AUSTIN - The Austin police officer who was shot and injured late Sunday morning in downtown Austin has been released from the hospital, according to Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday.
Casaday said Armando Perez was released Monday evening. Perez was shot in the abdomen below his bulletproof vest while confronting a suspected burglar late Sunday morning near the intersection of West 6th Street and West Avenue.
According to Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, a security worker at an apartment complex on the 800 block of West 5th Street saw a man acting suspiciously and thought he was breaking into cars in the area. The security worker made contact with the man who then started to run from the scene.
Acevedo said the security worker began chasing the suspected burglar and yelled for someone to call 911. Perez was patrolling in the area, came upon the scene and called for assistance as he came upon the scene.
The suspected burglar ran into the parking lot of Frank & Angie's Pizzeria when the security worker knocked him down twice. Perez came up on the suspected burglar and began trying to place him in handcuffs.
According to Acevedo, Perez called for units to get to the scene quickly and asked the security worker to help subdue the suspect. At this point Acevedo said the suspect without warning turned and brandished a gun.
The security worker yelled gun and the suspect fired one shot that hit the officer in the lower right abdomen below his bulletproof vest. The officer immediately fired back, shooting and killing the shooter on the scene.
Acevedo said Perez, a nine-year veteran of the department, was taken to University Medical Center-Brackenridge and had the bullet removed.
KVUE News learned Tuesday the shooter was Darrin Andrew Martin, 25.
The entire incident was captured on audio and video from the officer’s dashboard camera. There was also video from the apartment complex showing the shooter allegedly burglarizing cars.
Acevedo said he wants to release the dash cam video as soon as possible to illustrate how quickly officers have to react when dealing with a combative suspect.
Acevedo also took some time to talk about the importance of officers making sure a person isn't armed -- even if they have to use force.
He said this reminded him of when another Austin police officer was shot in 2012. Officer Jaime Padron was killed while responding to a shoplifting call. The man Padron was trying to apprehend had a gun in his pocket and shot Padron in the neck and vest.
"It's really easy for us to jump to conclusions and demonize officers when they're trying to gain control of a resisting suspect that is not showing their hands," Acevedo said.
Per standard department protocol, Perez has been placed on paid administrative leave until the investigation into the shooting is complete.
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