HOUSTON: A Texas gunman has been arrested after a rampage across the US state left six people dead and three injured, including two police officers, authorities said early today.
The shooting spree occurred over the span of several hours yesterday in Austin, where four victims were shot dead and the suspect engaged in a shootout with police, and in the San Antonio area where a man and woman were found dead in a home.
“We strongly believe one suspect is responsible for all of the incidents,” Robin Henderson, interim chief for the Austin police department, said of the Austin killings.
The suspect, who was not identified, “is in custody and no longer poses a threat to our Austin community”.
At least four incidents were tied to the suspect across the Texas capital, including two double homicides, the wounding of a police officer near a school, and the non-fatal shooting of a cyclist.
Police exchanged gunfire with the suspect at the site of a burglary where two victims were found dead.
One officer there was injured.
The gunman fled in a vehicle and crashed after a car chase with police.
The man was arrested in possession of a firearm and charged with capital murder, Henderson said, describing the incidents as a series of “tragic events and horrific criminal acts”.
Authorities connected the suspect to a residence some 112km to the south, in Bexar County, home to San Antonio.
When police investigated that home they discovered the bodies of a man and a woman, believed to be in their 50s, wedged against the door of a small room.
“Certainly it’s a pretty grisly crime scene,” Bexar County sheriff Javier Salazar told reporters.
He said it is believed the man first committed the Bexar County killings “and then the suspect drove to Austin and did what he did there”.
Shootings are alarmingly common in the US, a country where there are more guns than people and where attempts to clamp down on the spread of firearms are always met with stiff political resistance.