Wednesday, February 28

4 shot on downtown Austin 6th Street during SXSW; no critical injuries

EMS Cmdr. Kevin Parker conducts a news conference Sunday in front of the special response unit that medics used to help four shooting victims in downtown Austin. The victims' injuries were minor, and officers arrested a suspect, police said.

Four people were shot and injured on Sixth Street in downtown Austin early Sunday as the first in-person South by Southwest in two years drew to a close.

All four victims were hospitalized with minor injuries, officials said. Officers arrested a suspect, but police officials declined to name the person or say what charge the suspect is facing. 

Police responded around 2 a.m. to a “shots fired” call in the 400 block of East Sixth Street. As first responders swarmed the scene, the city issued an alert on social media.

“There is an emergency near 6th and Trinity,” city officials posted on Facebook and Twitter. “Calmly leave the area now, and follow instructions from uniformed emergency responders. Stay away until further notice.”

According to witness interviews, two groups of people started arguing, and then shots were fired in the crowd, police said. 

First responders took the victims to a “casualty collection point” and then by ambulance to a hospital, Austin-Travis County EMS officials said. 

By 7 a.m. Sunday, officers had cleared the scene.

First responders hold a meeting last week at the South by Southwest medic tent at Fifth and Brazos streets. Victims with minor injuries were taken to this tent days later after a shooting in downtown Austin.

The casualty collection point — in the 200 block of East Fifth Street — was a staffed base created to address any medical emergencies during large festivals and events downtown, said Capt. Darren Noak, spokesman for Austin-Travis County EMS. It has been a staple of SXSW emergency response for years. 

Before the shooting, police had made a total of 31 arrests and had seized 19 firearms downtown, Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday said. 

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