AUSTIN, Texas, July 31 (UPI) — A woman is dead and four others were injured in Austin’s entertainment district early Sunday in what
police said became a chaotic scene within minutes of a gunman opening fire.
It is unclear at this time if the shooter is in custody.
Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services said there were actually two shooting scenes, but they have determined that while they were in close proximity, they were unrelated, CNN reported.
The chaos began before 3 a.m. when Austin police tweeted that there was an “active shooter” in the entertainment district and warned people to stay away from downtown Austin.
Active shooter incident downtown, multiple victims. Stay away from downtown. Media: Dont call for updates at this time, more to follow. PIO6
— Austin Police Dept (@Austin_Police) July 31, 2016
Witnesses reported that someone began “firing a weapon in to a crowd” on busy E. 6th Street, followed by a call moments later that a gunshot was heard in a nearby parking garage, NBC reported.
Austin Police Chief of Staff Brian Manley said the first incident occurred about 2:17 a.m. during which gunshots were fired, sending the crowd running in every direction.
Five people were hit by bullets, including a woman in her 30s who was killed. Three were transported to a nearby hospital for treatment, Manley said.
Because the next call came in just seven minutes later of a shot being fired in a parking garage, police initially believed they had an active shooter situation, Manley said. Police later determined the two incidents were separate. No one was hit by gunfire in the garage.
Austin police are asking the public to turn over any video they may have that could assist in this case. Manley said his department is interviewing multiple witnesses, including a “person of interest.” He said the witnesses gave some consistent statements in describing the shooter, but many of the descriptions also varied greatly.