Police Chief: Austin Gunman Could Have Had Anti-Immigration Motive

Austin police are considering the influence of anti-immigration rhetoric on the shooting suspect who opened fire on the city’s Mexican Consulate and other government buildings on Friday, according to Police Chief Art Acevedo.

Acevedo brought up the “potential” political motivation in a press conference Friday morning.

“When you look at the national debate right now about immigration, that … comes to mind. Sometimes our political discourse becomes very heated and sometimes very angry,” Acevedo said, as quoted by The Chicago Tribune.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) recently warned that an exectuive order on immigration by President Obama could spark “instances of anarchy” and “violence.”

“I would venture that political rhetoric might have fed into some of this, but that is speculation on my part,” the police chief also said, according to USA Today. “If you look at the targets, it doesn’t take a genius that that is the potential.”

Police described the suspect as a white male in his 50s with a criminal history. After a brief exchange of gunfire with police, the gunman was killed around 2:30 a.m., according to the police chief. Authorities say it remains unclear whether the shooter was killed by police fire or took his own life.

Officers searched the suspect’s vehicle as well as his home in north Austin, according to the Austin American Statesman.

The gunman targeted a U.S. federal courthouse, the Mexican consulate and police headquarters, the Statesman reports. Below is a map of the area between the three locations:

Watch the video below:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: