Man in stand­off fires at of­fi­cers

Res­i­dent ‘went off the rails.’ No one in­jured; po­lice didn’t re­turn fire.

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - METRO & STATE - By Mary Hu­ber

Froy Sali­nas was awo­ken early Satur­day by a re­verse 911 call warn­ing of sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity in his South Austin neigh­bor­hood. Shortly af­ter, he heard what sounded like bang­ing on the walls of his home and called po­lice, he said.

The 911 call-taker told him of­fi­cers were al­ready at the scene, and when he walked out­side, he re­counted hours later, he saw po­lice cars ev­ery­where.

A SWAT of­fi­cer came into his home about 5 a.m. and told Sali­nas and his wife they would have to evac­u­ate. They were loaded onto a Cap­i­tal Metro bus down the street, where they waited for three hours un­til a po­lice stand­off next door to their home on Harpers Ferry Lane had ended.

Sali­nas said it was near­ing dawn when of­fi­cers fi­nally took his neigh­bor of 30 years into cus­tody.

The man, who has not been iden­ti­fied, had fired shots at of­fi­cers and was forced from his home by tear gas, of­fi­cials said.

“I don’t know what hap­pened,” said Sali­nas, who de­scribed his neigh­bors as good peo­ple. “He went off the rails.”

Ac­cord­ing to se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer Bino Cade­nas, the in­ci­dent

be­gan at 2:38 a.m. when au­thor­i­ties re­ceived a call from some­one who was brows­ing so­cial me­dia and came across a Face­book post with video show­ing a friend hav­ing a “men­tal break­down.”

In the video, Cade­nas said, the per­son asked for some­one to send help.

Of­fi­cers re­sponded to the 3600 block of Harpers Ferry Lane, near Brodie Lane and Wil­liam Can­non Drive, and tried to get the man to come out of his house, Cade­nas said.

“He re­fused and made a threat, say­ing he had a weapon and would shoot any­one on his prop­erty,” Cade­nas said.

Po­lice called in a he­li­copter and SWAT ne­go­tia­tors and at 3:48 a.m. be­gan hear­ing shots be­ing fired from a hand­gun in­side the res­i­dence, Cade­nas said. About 10 min­utes later, he said, more shots were fired from a shot­gun.

Of­fi­cers said the man was fir­ing on them. That’s when a SWAT team ar­rived to evac­u­ate the neigh­bors, load­ing them onto buses nearby, Cade­nas said.

About 6:30 a.m., Cade­nas said, the man was forced out of his home by of­fi­cers us­ing tear gas. He was ar­rested in his back­yard and taken to the hospi­tal to be eval­u­ated and will be charged with ag­gra­vated as­sault on a pub­lic ser­vant, he said.

Po­lice did not re­turn fire dur­ing the in­ci­dent, and no one was in­jured.

Of­fi­cials said mul­ti­ple weapons were found in­side the home and that the man was there alone, though his wife did come to the scene and was co­op­er­at­ing. Neigh­bors were al­lowed to re­turn to their houses early Satur­day.

Sali­nas said he had lost a few hours of sleep but was glad no one was hurt. “It re­ally scared every­one,” he said.


Austin po­lice and foren­sics teams in­ves­ti­gate the scene where a man bar­ri­caded him­self in­side his home on Harpers Ferry Lane and then fired on po­lice Satur­day. The man faces a charge of ag­gra­vated as­sault on a pub­lic ser­vant.

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