A white, middle-aged gunman, in what appears to be a politically motivated anti-government attack linked to immigration, fired more than a hundred rounds at buildings in downtown Austin early Friday and tried to set fire to the Mexican consulate before he died of a gunshot wound.
The unidentified suspect was described as white male in his 50s with a criminal record.
Police were investigating whether the gunman was killed by a police officer who fired at him in front of police headquarters or died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
A police sergeant putting away police horses for the night shot the suspect with one hand while holding two horses by the reins in the other, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters.
After the shooting, police discovered suspicious cylinders in the man’s white van parked in front of the police headquarters. Officers also feared that the man’s bulky vest might contain explosives and retreated after dragging the wounded suspect across the street.
A bomb squad, using a robot, found no explosives, Acevedo said. The man’s Austin home was also searched, police said, KVUE-TV reports.
The police chief said the suspect not only shot up several buildings in downtown Austin, he tried to set the Mexican consulate on fire using several small propane cylinders. The fires were put out before the flames could spread, he said.
SOURCE: Amber Downing and Doug Stanglin