APD identifies man shot, killed by officer

Man killed by officer in South Austin

AUSTIN -- Police have identified the man shot and killed by a police officer in South Austin Friday morning as 61-year-old Robert Mesch.

According to Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, officers received a phone call around 3:30 a.m. from a Mesch's wife, who told police that her husband threatened to kill himself and kill her. The wife told police he had guns, but didn't know if he had them with him. She then screamed and dropped the phone. At some point during the fight, police say Mesch punched her and knocked her tooth out. She is recovering.

Austin police officers were already on the way to the home. They found Mesch in his truck and used a tire deflation device at William Cannon Drive and Manchaca Road to attempt to stop him, but it did not work. He stopped on Slaughter Lane and Congress Avenue, got out of the car and Acevedo said pointed a gun at officers. Officer Daniel Hannah fired shots at Mesch, hitting and killing him. Acevedo said the shooting was captured on the officer's dashboard camera, but that video has not yet been released.

Acevedo said the shooting appeared to be "suicide by cop." According to Acevedo, Mesch did not have a criminal history, and officers had not been called to the home previously.

Acevedo said Hannah has been with the department for two years and has been placed on administrative leave. He will undergo a blood chemical test and a psychiatric evaluation. These practices are standard in an officer involved shooting investigation, Acevedo said.

Police are asking any witnesses to come forward. Anyone with information is asked to call the APD Special Investigations Unit at 512-974-1290.


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