Law enforcement officials in Austin, Texas, arrested one suspect in Saturday morning’s mass shooting in the city’s entertainment district that left at least 14 people wounded.
A manhunt was underway to apprehend a second suspect who remained at large, police confirmed at an afternoon news conference.
Two of the victims were in critical condition, while the other 12 were stable, interim Austin police Chief Joseph Chacon said, adding that almost all of the victims were innocent bystanders.
The gunfire erupted around 1:30 a.m. on 6th Street, a popular strip of bars and restaurants where thousands of people gather every weekend.
“There was a large crowd of people that were there at that time,” Chacon said. “It is always busy at that time. We are back to our normal size crowds that we were seeing before COVID hit.”
Chacon initially described a suspect as a Black male with a black shirt, skinny build and “dreadlock-type” hair – but told reporters early Saturday that the description wasn’t very detailed “based on the chaotic nature of the incident.”
The department did not release a description of the suspect who was taken into custody, but added that the U.S. Marshals Service’s Lone Star Fugitive Task Force had assisted with the arrest.
After shots were fired, police officers were on the block and able to respond within seconds, immediately starting life-saving measures such as applying tourniquets and other first aid, the chief said.
“We had 14 people that were shot, and none of them to this point have lost their life,” Chacon said. “I truly believe that it was our officers’ quick actions that are largely responsible for that.”
Police transported six of the victims to a local hospital and paramedics transported four others. Four more victims got to the hospital on their own.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler said Saturday that the “uptick in gun violence locally is part of a disturbing rise in gun violence across the country as we exit the pandemic.”
“APD and the City Council have initiated multiple violence prevention efforts in response- but this crisis requires a broader, coordinated response from all levels of government,” Adler tweeted. “One thing is clear – greater access to firearms does not equal greater public safety.”
Chacon also lamented staffing shortages at the Austin Police Department, saying the Texas Department of Public Safety has agreed to send officers to help with security Saturday night.
“It is making it hard to staff at these levels even if we offer overtime to our officers,” Chacon said.
Anyone with information about the shooting should call 911 or APD’s tip line at (512) 472-TIPS.
Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report.