Crime

Texas man killed by SWAT officer, home destroyed in blaze after man opens fire over lawn care

Officers and city code enforcement personnel arrived at the home to conduct lawn maintenance, police said

Texas man was shot and killed by police officers Wednesday, hours after he opened fire on code enforcement personnel and authorities attempting to do lawn maintenance at his home. The man barricaded himself inside his home before the house caught fire, authorities said. 

The unidentified suspect was shot by an Austin police SWAT officer after he exited his garage holding weapons, police Chief Joseph Chacon told reporters. The man was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

Police and city code enforcement officers arrived at the home in the 10600 block of Pinkney Lane around 9:15 a.m. to serve a nuisance abatement search warrant for overgrown grass in the front and back of the home.

The warrant was left on the front door, and contractors began to do lawn work, Chacon said. A short time later, shots were fired at the officers and contractors from inside, police said. 

No one was injured, and SWAT officers, mental health officials and a crisis negotiator were brought in to assist. 

When the suspect barricaded himself inside his home, a nearby elementary school was placed on lockdown. The officers attempted to get in contact with the man for several hours using a public address system.

“SWAT spent the next several hours trying to negotiate with the individual to just simply come out of the house,” Chacon said. 

Around 3:20 p.m., officers behind the home took gunfire from the suspect, Chacon added. 

Officers in the front of the home then deployed a robot to go inside and discovered that a fire had been started inside the house and was beginning to spread quickly. The house became engulfed in flames.

An Austin police vehicle at the scene of a deadly standoff Wednesday. 

An Austin police vehicle at the scene of a deadly standoff Wednesday.  (Austin Police Department )

The Austin Fire Department began trying to extinguish the blaze. Moments later, the suspect emerged from his garage holding weapons and was shot. 

He fell to the ground, and officers pulled him away from the home. They rendered first aid before he was taken to a hospital. 

Earlier in the day, a police spokesman said the neighborhood homeowners association had gone through the process of getting code enforcement involved over issues with the suspect’s property. 

The SWAT officer who shot the man has been with the police department eight years and will be placed on administrative duty pending an internal investigation, Chacon said.  A criminal investigation will also be conducted in connection with the dead suspect. 

Austin police engaged in an hours-long standoff with a suspect who was killed by a SWAT officer. 

Austin police engaged in an hours-long standoff with a suspect who was killed by a SWAT officer.  (Austin Police Department )

The chief said code enforcement officials had been to the home before. 

“My understanding was that it was an ongoing situation. This was not the first time they had been out here and, ultimately, it led to them getting a search warrant for the residence,” he said.  

Written by Louis Casiano

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