2 Austin officers cleared related to April shooting

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Two officers were cleared by a Travis County grand jury Tuesday related to an April officer-involved shooting where the officers returned gunfire at a suspect who fired at them first on a service road, according to the county.

Austin Police Department Officers Jon Riordan and Kingly Kong were not indicted for returning gunfire toward Gregorio Sarmiento on April 9, the county says.

That day, someone reported being shot at while driving near St. Johns Avenue and Interstate 35. APD officers, including Riordan and Kong, who were riding in the same patrol car, were sent to the scene.

Riordan and Kong were behind Sarmiento’s car on the Highway 290 westbound service road, according to the county, when Sarmiento’s car came to sudden stop in the middle of the road.

Gregorio Sarmiento (APD Photo)
Gregorio Sarmiento (APD Photo)

That’s when the county says Sarmiento got out of the car with guns in each hand, raised them toward Riordan and Kong’s car and began shooting.

Sarmiento hit Riordan during the shooting. Riordan and Kong both returned gunfire toward Sarmiento, who also was hit and fell to the ground, the county says.

Sarmiento was taken into custody after that. Riordan and Sarmiento were given medical attention by other APD officers on scene and were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The county says Sarmiento was indicted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted capital murder of a peace officer. He’s awaiting trail in the Travis County Jail.

“The District Attorney’s office takes the work of presenting all facts and evidence to a grand jury very seriously,” said Travis County District Attorney José Garza in a press release. “In this case, an independent group of members of the Travis County community heard the evidence and law and decided that Officer Riordan’s and Kong’s conduct was not unlawful.”

Written by Jaclyn Ramkissoon

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