AUSTIN, Texas — Three Austin police officers have been placed on leave after killing a suspect in a shooting on West Sixth Street late Sunday night and into the early hours of Monday morning.
On Jan. 20, the deceased was identified as 31-year-old Anthony Marquis Franklin.
At 11:33 p.m. on Jan. 15, the Austin Police Department (APD) received a 911 call stating that someone had been shot at the intersection of Fifth and Guadalupe streets. A second call was received by dispatchers at 11:34 p.m. to the 300 block of West Sixth Street, stating that multiple shots had gone off and people were running away.
"We have shots fired, two, three, people are running," the second caller stated.
Officers began arriving to the scene at 11:35 p.m. to locate a victim of the shooting and to find any other victims affected by the incident. At 11:36 p.m., dispatchers were told that someone in the area had been shot, but APD was not able to locate the victim at the time of the update. The call indicated that the shooter was last seen in the West Sixth Street area.
The shooting victim was located with non-life-threatening injuries two minutes later, leading officers and EMS to treat the man's injuries. He was taken to a hospital by Austin-Travis County (ATCEMS) and later discharged.
By 11:43 p.m., three officers located the suspected shooter that matched the description offered by witnesses and approached him in one of the cruisers APD uses in the downtown area. When officers approached, they discovered that the man still had a gun and directed him to drop his weapon, according to Police Chief Joseph Chacon.
The man began running away, leading one of the officers to leave the vehicle and follow on foot. According to Chacon, the man was told multiple times to drop his weapon during the chase.
As they arrived at 601 Colorado Street, police said Franklin ran onto the porch of a building. Another male who is believed not to be involved in the incident was also on the porch at the time but jumped off and ran away with his hands in the air.
Police said Franklin then jumped off the porch too and fell to the ground. Within seconds, police said all three officers fired their weapons, which can be seen on the body camera footage provided by APD. Franklin also threw his gun a few feet in front of him and, despite the close proximity of the weapon, officers began detaining him and providing life-saving measures.
In body camera footage provided by APD, Franklin can be seen jumping off the porch and rolling onto his side. It is unclear the proximity of the gun to his body. The officers, following the shooting, can be heard stating "shots taken, shots taken" after unloading a few rounds. When Franklin was instructed by officers "don't move," his hands were raised off the ground.
EMS arrived and also began performing life-saving measures on the man before transporting him to a local hospital. The suspect was later pronounced dead at the hospital at 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 16.
Chacon stated that there were many people on foot and that it was "a very, very active area despite the late hour," but no one else was injured.
All three of the officers involved have been placed on administrative duty, per the APD's policy. The body camera and audio footage regarding the incident is available to view through the APD's YouTube account.
Two investigations will occur, an administrative one and a criminal one, to help determine what occurred during the incident.
The attorneys for Franklin released the following statement following the release of the body camera footage:
“The video makes it absolutely clear. Anthony Franklin was on the ground crouched in the fetal position when these officers opened fire, shooting him in the back and killing him. In other words, while most of us were celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, Anthony Franklin was taking his last breaths because these officers thought they were gunslingers instead of peace officers.
“Austin may be in Texas, but it’s not the Wild West and you don’t get to appoint yourself judge, jury and executioner whenever you want.”
No further information is available at this time.