AUSTIN — The Austin Police Department has identified the 26-year-old man who was fatally shot in northeast Austin Tuesday.
According to Austin-Travis County EMS, officials responded to the 1500 block of East Parmer Lane for reports of a deceased man with a gunshot wound at around 3 p.m. Callers described seeing a man lying in the parking lot there.
The victim, identified Wednesday as Joshua Hardesty, was pronounced dead shortly after. Based on the current evidence, investigators believe there may be multiple individuals involved in this crime and urge anyone with any additional information to call the Homicide Tip Line at 512-477-3588, Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS, text "Tip 103" plus your message to CRIMES.
KVUE spoke with Clifford Hardesty, Joshua's father, who said Joshua was the father of a 10-year-old boy.
Clifford Hardesty said his son was shot multiple times in the parking lot. Both he and police said Joshua Hardesty's dog, Zero, stayed by his side until animal protection arrived.
"He was just a very giving, giving person," said Clifford Hardesty. "He loved his dog. And that was one of the most amazing things is even with all this gunfire going on, the dog never left his side."
During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, police said they believe this was an isolated incident that may have stemmed from a drug transaction and that the public is not in danger.
Police added that the victim received an "extensive amount of trauma" to the center of his body.
Austin Animal Services on Wednesday say the dog was taken to Austin Animal Center, which is a common practice when officials are dealing with the deaths of pet owners. A spokesman said the dog appeared to be well behaved and was in good health.
Clifford Hardesty said they will give Zero to Joshua's 10-year-old son.
APD also encouraged any witnesses to come forward with any information or video they have regarding this case.