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Man arrested in connection with North Austin hookah lounge shooting that left 2 dead, 4 injured

A person of interest was identified after the Jan. 28 shooting on Research Boulevard.

AUSTIN, Texas — One person has been arrested in connection with a shooting on Jan. 28 in North Austin, according to the Austin Police Department (APD). 

On March 13, APD held a press conference to announce that officers arrested one suspect in connection with the shooting. Police also amended their original reporting of four victims to six total victims.

The suspect, identified as 19-year-old Christijan Deshaun Stevens, was arrested in Killen on March 8. The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, along with the Killen Police Department and U.S. Marshalls Task Force, located Stevens and arrested him. 

APD said Stevens was identified as a person of interest within the first 24 to 48 hours after the shooting. He is currently being held in the Bell County Jail, awaiting transfer to Travis County. He faces a capital murder charge. 

At this time, APD is investigating the shooting as a double homicide. Stevens is accused of opening fire inside a North Austin hookah lounge. Two people succumbed to their injuries from the shooting, according to APD.

Credit: Austin Police Department
Photo courtesy of the Austin Police Department.

On Jan. 28, at approximately 10:17 p.m., APD said officers responded to a shooting at the Moon Palace Hooka Lounge, located at 12646 Research Blvd. APD said on March 13 that officers arrived at the scene to find five victims with gunshot wounds, including 17-year-old Brayden Bolyard, a Jarrell ISD student.

Despite life-saving efforts, Bolyard died at the scene. The other four victims were transported to a hospital.

APD later announced that on Feb. 1, 19-year-old Jaitron Tatum died from his injuries. The department also announced that a person of interest had been identified. APD said at the time that detectives believed the person had prior history with one of the victims.

APD said on March 13 that investigators partnered with Killen police and discovered that Christijan Deshaun Stevens had attended the same high school as the victims of the shooting. APD said Killeen police were "instrumental" in the discovery of Stevens.

When Bolyard's death was initially announced, Nick Spinetto, director of communications for Jarrell ISD, released the following statement:

"To our great sadness, we received word this morning that a Jarrell High School student passed away overnight in the hospital. Our hearts are heavy with grief. His loss leaves a hole in our Cougar family. We ask you to join us in keeping his family and our community in your thoughts during this time."

The deaths of Bolyard and Tatum are being investigated as Austin's eighth and ninth homicides of 2023.

Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to call the Austin Police Department at 512-974-TIPS or report a tip anonymously through Capital Area Crime Stoppers online or by calling 512-472-8477. 

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