APD officer indefinitely suspended for December shooting incident


by MELISSA MAHADEO / KVUE News and photojournalist KENNETH NULL and KVUE.com


Posted on October 12, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 12 at 6:27 PM

AUSTIN -- Police Chief Art Acevedo has announced the indefinite suspension of one of his officers.

Austin Police Department Officer Chris Allen was no-billed last month, meaning he would not be indicted by a grand jury, for a shooting incident which happened last year.

On Dec. 5, Officer Allen and Travis County Deputy Tracy Stirman say Todd Michael Zurovetz stole a car from a Southeast Travis County home and led law enforcement on a high-speed chase.

Zurovetz then broke into a nearby home and tried to steal another vehicle from the garage. Officers shot him as he backed out of the garage toward them. Police told KVUE that Zurovetz surrendered after a five-hour standoff. He is now in jail, charged with assault and burglary.

In September, a Travis County grand jury made the decision to not indict Allen or Stirman.

But on Friday, Chief Acevedo discussed the decision to fire Officer Allen.

Acevedo called Allen's actions in December "reckless" due to the fact that the officer fired about 14 rounds into a residential street.

"A couple of our officers had to actually take cover to ensure they, themselves, weren't shot," Chief Acevedo said. "That vehicle did not pose a threat to anyone, and the threat that was caused was the officer discharging the 10 additional rounds."

Officer Allen was a seven-year veteran of APD with no prior serious disciplinary record.