AUSTIN, Texas — There was a tragic incident at a big shopping center in northwest Austin on Thursday. Sadly, one person lost their life, and three others were hurt. It’s another sad event involving guns in the United States.
During a news conference late Thursday, Austin Interim Police Chief Robin Henderson expressed her condolences to the victims’ families and the witnesses who saw the terrible event. She later mentioned that the suspected shooter also died during the attack.
The Austin Police Department reported that this happened at a place near The Arboretum, which is an outdoor shopping center. Shortly after 5 p.m. local time, the police and paramedics were called to the area.
Tragically, two people passed away at the scene, as announced by Austin-Travis County EMS on social media. An adult was rushed to a local trauma center with very serious injuries, and two others had minor injuries.
Chief Henderson mentioned that there isn’t much information available about why this happened or the connection between the shooter and the victims. She said we have very few details right now.
Henderson didn’t say whether this took place inside or outside one of the stores at the shopping mall. She did mention that other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and ATF, also came because there were reports of an explosion, but they found no explosives.
One of the chefs at Hanara Sushi and Grill in the Arboretum said they didn’t even hear the gunshots. They were told to lock the doors because of the shooting, which was a pretty scary experience for them.
Jeffrey Laartz, who is from Germany, saw everything from his hotel. He noticed a lot of police near the Cheesecake Factory and a helicopter in the sky. It became clear to him that something serious had happened, possibly a shooting. He noted that in the United States, with the way things are, events like this sadly can happen.
It’s been a troubling year in the United States in terms of gun violence. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 479 mass shootings this year. Mass shootings are defined as incidents where four or more people are shot, and not all of them result in deaths.
This Austin shooting is just one more unfortunate event in a series of gun violence incidents happening across the country. Just earlier this week, two people were killed and five others injured in a morning shooting in Louisville, Kentucky. Police believe it started as a dispute between people at a restaurant and others on the street.
A few days later, there was another tragic event at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where a graduate student was charged with the murder of a faculty member on campus, causing a lockdown and widespread panic.