A former police detective who is believed to have killed three people on Sunday afternoon in Austin, Texas is still on the loose as of late Sunday night.
Authorities are worried what his next move might be.
Police and fire department officials had responded to calls in the Arboretum area of northwest Austin shortly before noon, according to Austin-Travis County EMS.
Three adult victims, two Hispanic women and one Black man, were found with gunshot wounds and were declared dead at the scene.
No other victims have been reported.
Joseph Chacon, the interim chief of the Austin Police Department, identified the suspected shooter as 41-year-old Stephen Broderick and confirmed he was a former sheriff’s deputy, the Austin American-Statesman reported Sunday evening.
“The victims were all known to this suspect,” Chacon told The Associated Press. “At this point, we do not think this individual is out there targeting random people to shoot. That does not mean he is not dangerous.”
Broderick was still at large Sunday evening, but officials had transitioned to a fugitive search and lifted the shelter-in-place order that had been in effect for residents during much of the afternoon. Residents who had been restricted from the area were also allowed back into their homes, the newspaper reported. Chacon said the community should remain vigilant and to call 911 if he were spotted, rather than approach him.
Officials did not know whether he had fled on foot or in a vehicle, police told CNN. Chacon said the concern is that he could be hiding somewhere or take a hostage. A manhunt was underway, AP reported, and officials said they didn’t even know if he was still in the city.
The shooting took place near the Great Hills Trail, with office buildings on one side and apartments on the other.
Broderick is described as a Black man, listed at 5?7? and average build. He is reportedly wearing a gray sweatshirt, sunglasses and baseball hat.
Chacon confirmed Sunday evening that Broderick had served as a sheriff’s deputy. .
Broderick had been charged last June with sexually assaulting a child, the Austin American-Statesman reported earlier in the day. The property crimes detective spent 16 days in jail before posting $50,000 bail, then resigned, Travis County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Kristen Dark told the Austin American-Statesman. Shortly after his arrest, his wife filed for a divorce and a protective order, the newspaper said.
A child was originally “involved” in the shooting incident but has been rescued safely, Chacon said.
Anyone who sees him or knows where he is was directed to call 911 immediately. He is considered armed and dangerous.
“Obviously this is tragedy. We have people who have lost their lives out here,” Chacon said, according to CNN. “The danger still remains high at this point.”
Is it just us, or has this past week been a little more chaotic than usual…?