Stephen Nicholas Broderick is the suspect in the fatal shootings of three people in Austin, Texas, on April 18, 2021. The 41-year-old former Travis County Sheriff’s Office detective was arrested on April 19 after a lengthy manhunt. Broderick was accused of sexually assaulting a child in 2020. Austin Police said Broderick should be considered armed and dangerous.
Broderick was arrested while walking down a road in Manor, Texas, the Manor Police Department said in a Facebook post. Officers were called to a report of a suspicious person matching Broderick’s description, police said. “Manor Police Department Officers arrived on scene and immediately conducted a high risk stop on the subject who was identified as Broderick. Broderick complied with officer’s orders and was immediately taken into custody at 7:05 a.m. A loaded pistol was taken from Broderick’s waist band,” Manor Police said.
The victims have been identified as Broderick’s ex-wife, 35-year-old Amanda Ramirez Broderick, his 18-year-old daughter, Alyssa Broderick and her boyfriend, 18-year-old Willie Simmons III. The Elgin school district told the Austin American-Statesman that Alyssa Broderick was a student in the district until October 2020 and Simmons was a senior who was set to play football at the University of North Texas.
The shootings happened in Northwest Austin in the 9600 block of Great Hills Trail near the Arboretum shopping center, police said at a Sunday afternoon press conference. According to authorities, the deadly shootings occurred just before 12 p.m. local time. No one else was injured and the suspect fled from the scene.
Interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon identified Broderick as the suspect being sought by police during a press conference about 2:30 p.m. Chacon said, “I will be putting his name out because it is a matter of public safety because at this point he is still not in custody.”
Prior to Broderick’s arrest, Chacon said, “He is still at large. We do think he is armed, and he is very much dangerous. … We do not believe this individual is out targeting random people to shoot them. That does not mean he is not dangerous … I don’t want anyone to think we are packing up and going home. We are going to continue to look for this individual because he continues to pose a threat to this community.”
Here’s what you need to know about Stephen Nicholas Broderick:
1. Police Said the Shooting Was a ‘Domestic Incident’ & They Feared Broderick Could Try to Take Hostages While on the Run
Police initially responded to the scene after receiving a call of an active shooter situation, but later said on Twitter the gunman knew the victims in the shooting and it was not a random attack. The first tweet from the department said, “APD is currently on scene of an active shooting incident at Great Hills Trail and Rain Creek Parkway. All residents are advised to shelter in place and avoid the area.”
Prior to Broderick’s arrest, Chacon told reporters, “Our preliminary investigation indicates that he did know the victims and that it was certainly targeted to them. However, I would say that the danger remains high at this point. And we want to make sure that people understand that part.”
Police said there was an indication a child was involved, but the child was located and is safe and with police, Chacon said at the press conference. The shooting happened at the Arboretum Oaks Apartments, Austin Mayor Steven Adler told USA Today.
Authorities said the shooting remains under investigation and no other information, including how the suspect knew the victims, has been made public. Austin-Travis County EMS said on Twitter that CPR was performed on the three victims, but all three were pronounced dead at the scene.
Chacon said, “Obviously this is a tragedy. We have people who have lost their lives out here. We’re going to be doing our very best to conduct the best investigation that we can and also to get this person into custody as quickly as possible and hopefully with no further loss of life.”
Before he was arrested, police asked Austin-area residents to remain on alert, saying Broderick is armed and dangerous. Chacon, the city’s interim police chief, told reporters they are concerned Broderick could try to take hostages.
The Austin Police tweeted, said Stephen Broderick is a 41-year-old Black male who is 5 feet 7 inches tall.
Chacon said, “I do not have a last known direction of travel at this point. We don’t know if he is in a vehicle or on foot.” He said police were continuing to look in the area of the shootings for Broderick. A helicopter was also brought in to help in the search.
“We would ask if you have your neighbor’s phone numbers, call or text them. Check on them and make sure they are OK,” Chacon said. “We are concerned that he might possibly take a hostage and be himself sheltered somewhere waiting for us to leave. And most importantly if you see something or have information regarding this incident call 911 and please pass that information along.”
2. Broderick Fatally Shot a 78-Year-Old Man While on Duty in 2013
Broderick worked for the as a police officer from 2008 until his 2020 arrest on sexual assault charges, authorities said. According to an Austin American-Statesman article from the time, Broderick was one of two Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office deputies who shot and killed a 78-year-old man during a call on March 14, 2013.
According to the newspaper, police said in 2013 that Jose Manuel Canto was holding a gun outside of his home when he was shot by Broderick and another deputy. The American-Statesman wrote, “The deputies repeatedly told Cantu to drop the weapon, which he disregarded, the release said. It said Cantu pointed the weapon at the deputies, who then fired at Cantu, striking him.”
A neighbor, Joe Haros, told the newspaper members of their community had a distrust for police, who he said would “harass them” Haros told the newspaper he had filed complaints about Broderick in the past and accused the deputies of being “trigger happy.”
Broderick, who started working in Bastrop County in 2008, was placed on administrative leave after that shooting, but it is not known what the outcome of the investigation was. At some point, Broderick left Bastrop County to begin working in Travis County as a deputy and later as a detective.
3. Broderick Was Arrested in June 2020 on Charges Accusing Him of Sexually Assaulting a Teen Girl at a Home in Elgin, Texas
Broderick was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service on June 6, 2020, and charged with felony sexual assault, according to an Austin American-Statesman article from the time of his arrest. Broderick is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at a home in Elgin, Texas.
The case was investigated by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the newspaper reported. According to the criminal complaint in the case, obtained by the American-Statesman, the victim told her mother she had been sexually assaulted by Broderick and the victim’s mother took the girl for an examination and the abuse was confirmed by a doctor.
The newspaper reported, “Authorities allege in court documents that Broderick sexually assaulted the teen at a residence in Elgin on June 3. The girl reported the incident to her mother the same day, court documents say. The teen was evaluated at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin and went through a forensic interview at the Bastrop County Child Advocacy Center, court documents say.”
According to Travis County Jail records, Broderick was initially held on $100,000 bail. Court records on the Travis County website show the case is still pending. Broderick was released on personal recognizance bond in late June after 16 days behind bars. He was indicted on the sexual assault charge in November. 2020. Broderick was charged with sexual assault of a child, family violence, which is a first-degree felony. If convicted, he faces 5 to 99 years, or life, in prison.
According to Travis County records, Broderick’s trial is set to begin on May 6, 2021, in the 299th District Court of Travis County. It is not clear if he has hired an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
4. Broderick Was Placed on Administrative Leave by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office After His 2020 Arrest & Then Resigned
Broderick was placed on administrative leave without pay by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, where he worked as a detective, after his 2020 arrest, KVUE reported at the time. He later resigned, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Broderick was promoted to detective in February 2019, according to a Facebook post from the sheriff’s office union. Other details about his career as a law enforcement officer were not immediately available. He worked property crimes cases, the American-Statesman reported. According to KVUE, Broderick previously worked as an investigator with another Austin-area law enforcement agency, the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office.
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office has not commented about Broderick’s arrest in the sexual assault case or about him being identified a suspect in the Austin triple homicide.
5. Broderick’s Wife Filed for a Protective Order & for Divorce After His Arrest
Broderick’s wife filed for a protective order against him after he was arrested in 2020, according to Travis County court records. The protective order against Broderick was granted, records show. She also filed for divorce and those proceedings were still pending, according to court records.
A protective order against the victim in the sexual assault case was granted by a Travis County judge before Broderick was released on bail, court records show. Other details of the conditions of Broderick’s bail were not immediately available.
Real estate records show Broderick and his wife sold their home in Elgin in December 2020. They bought the house together in 2010. Broderick has also lived in Killeen, Texas, Austin and Brooklyn, New York, according to public records viewed by Heavy.
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