Austin police shoot man reportedly waving rifle on highway

Police said the man was in stable, but serious condition.

December 25, 2021, 3:57 PM

Austin police shot a man who was waiving a rifle on a highway Friday, the Austin Police Department said. The man is in stable, but serious condition. His injury is not believed to be life-threatening.

Police were on their way to the scene of a two-car crash on U.S. Highway 183 a little after 10:30 p.m. Friday when they received a call that a man was bleeding from his face, Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon said during a news conference Saturday about the incident.

Within moments of that call, 911 received several calls about a shirtless man waving a black rifle while walking around the intersection where the crash was, Chacon said.

Other calls came in minutes later that the man was pointing the weapon at people and was firing it into the air.

An APD sergeant reported over radio that he heard a gunshot in the area. Another officer then located the man minutes later, according to police.

The officer then exited his car with his shotgun and instructed the individual to drop his rifle. The individual did not comply and continued to walk toward the officer while holding the rifle, police said.

The officer shot one bullet, which struck the individual. Other officers then arrived on the scene and were able to disarm the man and began lifesaving measures.

EMS arrived and treated the individual briefly on scene then transported him to a local hospital.

Chacon said that Austin police are still investigating whether there was a connection between the man carrying the rifle and the car crash, but police believe this was an isolated incident and there is no further danger to the public.

The officer will be placed on administrative duty while an investigation into the shooting is conducted, as per police protocol, Chacon said. Criminal and administrative investigations are also pending.

Footage of the incident was captured on police body cam and police vehicle video and will be released within 10 working days, Chacon said.

Austin police did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

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