AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Police Department on Oct. 6 released footage in relation to a fatal police shooting that occurred on Sept. 23. On that Friday morning, one person was shot dead by a SWAT officer amid a domestic disturbance response.
Police said the initial caller reported around 9:20 a.m. that she was involved in a disturbance with the father of her child or children and needed assistance. When officers arrived on the scene around 9:35 a.m., they learned there was a gun involved and found that the suspect was pointing the weapon toward his head.
After hours of negotiation attempts, the man was eventually killed.
Among the materials released on Thursday include:
- 9-1-1 audio
- Unmanned aerial camera clips
- Body-worn camera video from Officer Benton Coker
- Body-worn camera video from Officer Kevin Olejar
The footage can be watched below:
Aerial Camera Clip 1
Aerial Camera Clip 2
Officer Coker Body Camera
Officer Olejar Body Camera
The incident was first reported near the 6000 block of Fairway Street, which is located in the Montopolis neighborhood. The APD later reported that the incident had evolved into an officer-involved shooting in the same area but updated the address to the 6200 block of Caddie Street.
Police said upon arrival, the suspect, identified as Antonio Gonzales, 29, had the weapon in his hands and he was asked repeatedly to drop it. A mental health officer arrived on the scene around 9:46 a.m., however, police said Gonzales stated he would shoot himself if officers did not do so first.
Officials noted that as this incident occurred in an open area along the street, officials attempted to evacuate the neighborhood. Due to the nature of the incident, some residents chose to shelter in place inside their homes.
Crisis intervention and hostage negotiators remained on the scene for two hours in an attempt to de-escalate the situation. APD Chief Joseph Chacon said they had lengthy discussions with Gonzales over PA and via phone.
At some point, police noted that he placed the weapon in his waistband, where it was still visible to responding officers and within reach of Gonzales.
At 11:51 a.m., Chacon said officers moved closer in an attempt to use less-lethal means to incapacitate Gonzales, such as Tasers and impact munitions, all of which were ineffective. At this time, Chacon said Gonzales reached for his weapon, which is when a SWAT officer fired their gun, taking the suspect down.
Chacon said that after more than one minute to make sure Gonzales was no longer a threat, officials moved in to provide lifesaving measures. Gonzales was pronounced deceased at 11:59 a.m. No other injuries were reported.
The SWAT officer involved has been with the department for six years. He and other responding officers will be placed on administrative duty pending future investigations.
"It is always a horribly tragic thing when something like this happens. We always hope that we can resolve these types of situations peacefully. And, in the vast majority of cases, we are able to resolve them peacefully," said Chacon.
Chacon added that the woman and her children were taken to the APD's victim services unit and that all are unharmed.
Danny Granado, the brother of Gonzales, said he tried to get police to let him communicate with his brother but they said no.
"I told him and I begged him, 'Please let me go over and talk to my brother,' and I told officers, 'I don't see no gun in his possession.' They said, 'We got it under control.' I said, 'Man, please, y'all let me go. Let me go do this for my little brother, man,'" Granado said.
A neighbor who wanted to remain anonymous was near the area where the shooting happened in southeast Austin. She said she also didn't see the man with a gun. Austin police and the footage released show otherwise.
Police said Officer Coker, who discharged his duty firearm, has six years of service. Officer Olejar, who deployed less-lethal munition, has seven years of service.
Meanwhile, Officer Khristof Oborksi and Sgt. Kevin DeLaRue, who both deployed Tasers, have 20 and 15 years of service, respectively.
All of those named have been paced on administrative leave as the investigation continues. The investigations will be conducted by the APD Special Investigations Unit, in conjunction with the Travis County District Attorney's Office, and the APD Internal Affairs Unit, with oversight from the Office of Police Oversight.
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