News from Austin, Dripping Springs and Travis County
Sixth Street shooting renews discussions about how to keep downtown bar scene safe
“ONE MINUTE AND 30 SECONDS WHEN YOU’RE IN A CRITICAL SITUATION CAN SEEM LIKE AN
BY BEN THOMPSON
7 minutes and 30 seconds average in recent years to 9 minutes in 2021 so far. “That’s a signicant increase and one of the drivers of why we are making these reallocations back to patrol,” Chacon said. “One minute and 30 seconds when you’re in a critical situation can seem like an eternity.” Austin EMS Association President Selena Xie said the shooting highlighted a shortcoming of the city’s overall strategy for keeping its downtown entertainment districts safe for visitors. Xie said adding EMS sta and improved staging and access for rst responders should be city priorities in the future. “[Austin] is showing that we are becoming a large city with a very, very popular downtown nightlife, and that we do need to take the downtown response seriously and not let it impact the city the way that we’re comfortable doing right now,” Xie said. Police arrested two individuals in connection with the shooting. A 15-year-old juvenile was arrested June 12 and booked for deadly conduct, and 17-year-old Jeremiah Roshawn Leland James Tabb was arrested June 14 and charged with aggravated assault.
ETERNITY.” AUSTIN INTERIM POLICE CHIEF JOSEPH CHACON ON POLICE PRIORITY RESPONSE TIMES, WHICH HAVE SLOWED FROM ABOUT 7 MINUTES AND 30 SECONDS PREVIOUSLY TO ABOUT 9 MINUTES IN 2021.
AUSTIN Fifteen people were injured with gunshot wounds on Sixth Street in the early morning hours of June 12, including one man, 25-year-old Douglas John Kantor, who was killed. Police and EMS workers immediately responded to the scene in the crowded Austin bar district, helping carry injured individuals away from the area to receive medical care. Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon said during a June 15 press conference that downtown remains one of the department’s most well- patrolled areas in Austin. “I do feel like we’re doing a very good job just making sure that we’re keeping our stang 24 hours a day in that area,” he said. However, maintaining a well-staed downtown force could leave other parts of the city more prone to delayed response times, Chacon said, especially as APD is experiencing retirements, resignations and a yearlong absence of new cadets. He said that issue is a factor in this year’s citywide jump in police response times to priority incidents, which have risen from an estimated
District 10 Council Member Alison Alter, who sponsored a resolution related to gun control in April following a murder in her Northwest Austin district, said preventing violent events such as this mainly is tied to state or federal action. “We have to understand this was two [teenagers] with guns who didn’t have another way to settle their dispute ... and absent that access to that gun this whole thing looks really dierent,” Alter said. “We as a city don’t get to control that, and we need leadership on the state and federal level that will recognize that access to guns does not make us safer.”
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