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Fatal northeast Austin shooting reportedly began as fight over child's piggy bank

The incident occurred Saturday morning on Reinli Street, according to authorities.

AUSTIN, Texas — According to our partners at the Austin American-Statesman, Saturday's deadly shooting on Reinli Street began as an argument over a child's missing piggy bank.

The Statesman reports that an arrest affidavit stated 38-year-old Marvin Elam III told police he shot 37-year-old Isaac Dixon in self-defense after their argument over the piggy bank escalated to a shootout in the parking lot of the Mueller City View Apartments at 1106 Reinli St. at around 9:47 a.m.

At a press briefing Saturday morning, Austin police said at approximately 9:47 a.m., Austin 911 started receiving multiple shots fired calls in that area. When officers arrived, they located a victim in the back parking lot that had "obvious trauma." According to the Statesman, Dixon had a semi-automatic pistol in his right hand and his finger was still on the trigger.

Officers immediately began performing CPR and made the scene safe for Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) medics and Austin Fire Department crews to take over medical care. At 10:22 a.m. Saturday, ATCEMS said one adult patient had been pronounced dead on the scene. The Statesman reported that the affidavit states Dixon was pronounced dead at 10:18 a.m.

Police said Saturday that witnesses at the scene informed officers that three suspects had fled westbound on foot toward Capital Plaza. Officers went to that area and located the three suspects. All three were detained and interviewed. Officers were also informed that one suspect had dropped a gun when he fled, which was later located by a K9.

The Statesman reported that the affidavit stated police detained Elam in front of a Target less than a mile away from the shooting after he matched the description given by witnesses. Elam told police, "I shot him, but it was in self-defense." Elam told authorities that he and Dixon knew each other and that they started having issues weeks before because Elam believed Dixon had stolen his daughter's piggy bank.

Credit: Austin Police Department
Marvin Elam, 38

According to the Statesman, Elam said he pulled up to the apartment complex with his daughter and her mother Saturday and saw Dixon walk outside toward his vehicle. He said Dixon got two guns out of his vehicle and put them in his jacket. Elam said Dixon walked up to his vehicle and asked him, "What's up?" Elam got out of his vehicle and Dixon asked him if he had been telling people he stole the piggy bank. The men began to argue and things became physical when Elam said Dixon punched him on his cheek. Elam said one of Dixon's guns fell out of his pocket and he bent down and picked it up, then pointed his second gun at Elam.

The report states Elam said Dixon began to fire the gun toward him and Elam eventually fired back. Elam said Dixon fell to the ground and he continued to fire at him while he ran past. When asked which way he ran, Elam said he couldn't remember. He said the gun and his phone must've fallen out of his pocket while he was running – but police found the gun in a shallow creek on Reinli Street.


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According to the Statesman, a witness told police that, from his apartment, he saw two men exchanging gunfire. He said Dixon eventually fell to the ground and the other man shot him in the back three times before running away. According to the Statesman, surveillance video from the complex showed Dixon push, not punch, Elam and showed Elam kept his hand in his front right pocket as if securing something. The video skipped ahead 15 seconds, so the following clip showed Dixon fall to the ground and Elam running up to him, bending down and firing multiple times into his back. Dixon tried to get up and pointed his gun at the fleeing Elamn, but collapsed back to the ground.

The Statesman reported that police said Elam never bent down to pick something up like he said and, therefore, police concluded that he had a weapon on him.

Elam is currently booked in the Travis County Correctional Complex, charged with a third-degree felony, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His bail is set at $20,000. The Statesman reports he has five previous felony convictions.

This incident was just one of several violent crimes that occurred over the weekend.


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