Man arrested after officer-involved shooting

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by SHANNON MURRAY/ KVUE.com and Photojournalist Chris Shadrock

kvue.com

Posted on January 25, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 27 at 6:55 PM

AUSTIN -- A hit and run, shots fired and a police chase all happened in a matter of minutes Saturday afternoon in North Austin. Police arrested a man after he crashed his truck into an HEB gas station sign at the intersection of Lamar Boulevard and Rundberg Lane.

It all started just before 2:00 p.m. at the intersection of Rundberg Lane and I-35.

"I heard some shotguns; I came out there was a truck running over there," said car wash employee Jose Chavez.

Police said an officer working nearby got flagged down by a hit and run victim. Investigators say when the officer tried to stop the man in the Shell gas station parking lot, the man tried to hit the officer with his  truck.

"A vehicle can be used as a weapon, and when a vehicle is used as a deadly weapon our police, state law, allows you to actually defend yourself," said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo.

That's when the officer fired several shots at the truck.

"Obviously, in fear for his life he fired several rounds trying to stop the vehicle," Chief Acevedo said.

Police said as the man tried to leave the parking lot of the gas station, he hit two cars on the way out. He sped west down Rundberg Lane and, during the police chase, he hit another car.

"It happened very quickly and thankfully nobody was hurt," added Chief Acevedo.

It ended when he crashed his truck at the intersection of Rundberg and Lamar where police arrested him.

"Think about that. A guy is sitting there hitting cars, then he tries to run over you twice and you still have a presence of mind even after being involved in an officer involved shooting, to jump in your police car and give chase and ultimately take the suspect into custody," Chief Acevedo explained.

The driver now faces a string of charges including four counts of failure to stop at the scene of a crash, aggravated assault against a peace officer and driving under the influence.

"To hear everything he did, pretty sure he's going to be there for a long time. It's going to be hard to take him out," said the suspect's friend Daisy Panduro.

Panduro and other friends gathered on scene behind the caution tape.

"He has our support and hopefully he's OK. I don't know, he's been through a lot," she said.

She said they found out this afternoon when her husband spotted his brand new truck crashed on Rundberg.

"I hope it's a wake up call; we've told him so many times," she said.

The officer is on paid administrative leave, which is protocol when an officer involved shooting happens.

 

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