Gunfire in Austin, Texas, Leaves 1 Dead, 3 Hospitalized

(Reuters/AP) -

Officials say one person is dead and three others have been hospitalized in a shooting in downtown Austin, and police are looking for a suspect.

Austin Police Chief of Staff Brian Manley said police received reports of gunshots shortly after 2 a.m. Police arrived to find a chaotic scene and five people shot.

The motive for the attack was not immediately clear.

Manley said one woman in her 20s was pronounced dead at the scene, and three others, all female, were taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge with gunshot wounds. He said another victim declined to be transported to the hospital. There was no immediate word on the condition of those taken to UMCB.

Manley says a suspect began firing into the crowd after an initial disturbance.

“It was a very chaotic scene,” Manley said. “A lot of people running in different directions with all the gunshots coming out.”

He said officials are trying to determine who the suspects are, and he didn’t rule out that a suspect might be one of the people transported to the hospital.

“We have multiple individuals, witnesses, that we are currently interviewing,” Manley said. “We had one individual who was initially noted as a person of interest, however that person’s status at this point is undetermined.”

Manley said because of the large crowd presence, police were getting descriptions of a suspect from witnesses. However, he said the descriptions were consistent, to an extent, but not all the same.

Police originally reported an active shooter scene in the area, but Manley said two separate incidents caused the confusion. He said there was another confrontation in a nearby parking garage and that a shot was fired there. A man was transported to the hospital after that confrontation, but his condition was not immediately known.

The shootings follow several major acts of gun violence in the United States over the past several weeks.

On June 12, a gunman who sympathized with Islamist terror groups killed 49 people in Orlando, Florida, in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

On July 7, a U.S. military veteran shot and killed five police officers in Dallas in the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Just over a week later another gunman killed three officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Both attackers were killed by police.

Austin has a population of more than 900,000.