Austin police confirmed that they are investigating a mass stabbing attack downtown that started with an altercation at a coffee shop and ended up at a Freebirds World Burrito outlet. “Update to incident in 500 Block of Congress Ave: One person is confirmed deceased,” police added.
In a press conference, Austin police Sgt. David Daniels said that, at 7:49 a.m. on January 3, 2020, officers were called to Bennu Coffee Shop for a disturbance between the suspect and a customer at a coffee shop. “The disturbance escalated and patrons at the coffee shop intervened and detained the suspect in question.” The first incident at the coffee shop was not at a stabbing.
Police were en route to the scene when the suspect “broke away and took off running toward the Freebirds shop…” said Daniels. Police gave chase on foot. The officer lost sight of him. Police then received calls from Freebirds in reference to a stabbing. Once they got inside, they located two victims who had been stabbed. One is deceased.
“The suspect managed to make his way out of Freebirds and somehow managed to get on the top of the roof of this business and ended up jumping off the roof and sustained injuries.”
The suspect was taken to the hospital.
KVUE-TV reported that the suspect, who was not yet identified, began randomly stabbing victims in a business. The suspect jumped off a roof of the building after the attack but survived, the television station reported. The Austin American-Statesman also reported that police believe that the stabbing attack was random in nature and indicated that photos show the law enforcement response was to outside Freebirds World Burrito. The stabbing attack occurred at a business in a shopping center, the newspaper reported.
“The suspect is a 27-year-old White male. He was transported to a local hospital. Clarification from news conference: the person at the coffee shop that was assaulted was not transported to the hospital. No other information is available at this time,” Austin police wrote.
Initial scanner audio mentions Freebirds. You can listen to the audio here. It doesn’t start until about 7 minutes in.
According to Austin-Travis County EMS, four people were injured in the attack. “500blk S Congress Ave: #ATCEMSMedics have obtained Deceased On Scene pronouncement ~20s male. 1st patient, ~50s male has been transported to local trauma center with serious potentially life threat stab injury. 2 additional patients still on scene. More to follow,” the agency wrote on its Twitter page.
The EMS also wrote, “No additional transports have occurred at this point. 2 patients remain on scene, 1 with continued CPR in progress. #ATCEMSMedics have regained pulses on 2nd patient with CPR from traumatic arrest. Transporting ~20s male to local trauma center with critical life threatening injuries. 4th patient is a refusal. EMS is clearing the scene. No further info available.”
Earlier, the EMS page wrote, “On scene command reporting 4 total patients being treated & prepped for transport. 4 #ATCEMS ambulances, 3 Commanders & Physician Assistant on scene.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Austin Police Say the Suspect Is in Custody But a Motive Is Not Yet Clear
“APD is working a shoot/stab hotshot in the 500 block of Congress Ave. #20-30396. Avoid the area if possible. More information to follow when available,” police wrote on the morning of January 3, 2020.
They added: “Suspect is in custody. At this time, no other known suspects are outstanding. More information to follow when available.” Police have not provided additional details.
People posted information on social media. “My sister is there by the bank and she said there’s EMS and police all over. Y’all be safe!” wrote one woman on Twitter.
EMS wrote: “Reported stabbing incident with multiple patients & two patients with CPR in progress. Avoid the area. Multiple public safety agencies responding.”
This post is being updated as more information is learned about the mass stabbing attack.