Police working crime scene in Austin. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels AUSTIN, Texas--It was a busy weekend, with more than four shootings, but the one getting the most attention is the mass shooting on Sixth Street because it killed one tourist and wounded more than a dozen others. The mass shooting comes on the heels of Governor Gregg Abbott signing a law to allow handguns to be purchased in Texas with no permit.
We've had 41 homicides in Austin this year, and in 2020, the 41st homicide came on Oct. 30, more than four months later in the year. In 2019, there were 36 homicides and 33 in 2018, so the trend of homicides in the city is going up.
“It’s harder for us to deal with because our numbers are down, a lot of people aren’t liking us right now, but we’re still here to do our job and try to protect this city,” Officer Dimitri Hobbs said. Prosecutors have dropped the charges against two teens involved in the incident to apprehend the person they now believe is the main suspect in the shooting. The Austin-American Statesman reports Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza as saying: "We are dismissing the charges against the juvenile and the 17-year-old because it is what is necessary to protect the integrity of our prosecution against the person who we believe is the shooter," Garza said. "At this point in the investigation, there is not sufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution of either young man." The family of Douglas Kantor, the individual who dies in the shooting, has no faith in the investigation. The deceased Kantor's brother speaks out: “Basically, what I took away from the press conference was that they are not prosecuting violent criminals anymore,” Kantor said. “Nothing we can do now is going to bring my brother back. And that’s something we have to accept and grieve in our own way. But moving forward, we don’t want to see more people going through what we are going through.” Austin Police Department reports 19-year-old De’Ondre Jermirris White will be charged with murder — his bond has been set at $1 million. But, Kantor's uncle Larry Lightner thinks authorities should be acting quicker: "If I go to Texas, I can now expect to be shot? Is that the idea? By a 15-year-old and he can leave and go do his homework?” Lightner told KXAN’s Alex Caprariello in a Tuesday interview. “… I’m not having it that these other two kids were sitting around eating ice cream…” Interim Austin Police Chief Chacon says sometimes the information in these kinds of cases changes and authorities are building the best case possible against the person they believe is responsible for the shooting, “What we are focused on, what our responsibility is, is to hold the person who committed murder, and who injured 13 people on our streets a couple of weeks ago, accountable,” Garza said. “That is our focus. And what we are doing right now is ensuring that we have the best case possible in order to do that.” Kantor's uncle wants justice for his family and wants the teens to be held accountable: “This was a planned hit. This was the making of an assassination. And my brother was caught in the crossfire. And these assassins were free to go,” Kantor said. “I have no faith in what is going on down there (in Austin).”
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