Mass shootings are tragic, high-profile, and often chaotic. The pressure is on police to make arrests quickly after shootings. On occasions, law enforcement officers make mistakes.
Associated Press recently reported police have dropped charges against two juveniles after investigators identified a different shooter in an incident in downtown Austin that left a tourist dead and more than a dozen others injured.
The shooting on June 12 on 6th Street followed a dispute between two groups of teens from the city of Killeen, according to media reports. The shootings claimed the life of 25-year-old Douglas John Kantor.
Police initially arrested Jeremiah Tabb, 17, on an aggravated assault charge. Tabb was charged as an adult. They also arrested an unnamed juvenile.
Austin’s interim police chief Joseph Cacon said last week investigators have identified a different person of interest – De’ondre White, 19, as the shooter. A warrant was issued for his arrest last week.
The United States Marshals Service’s Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, with the assistance of the Killeen Police Department SWAT, arrested White in Killeen on June 24. They charged him with murder.
Ballistics evidence played a part in the dropping of the charges. Chacon said Tabb and the juvenile who was arrested had guns and were involved in the dispute. However, ballistics evidence revealed that the deadly shot that killed Kantor came from White’s firearm.
Although the charges against Tabb and the unnamed juvenile were dropped, Chacon was at pains to stress they were not innocent bystanders to the shootings.
Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza told the Associated Press his office chose to dismiss the charges against the duo because he wants to focus on the murder case. He left the door open to charges against them later in the investigation.
The June 12 incident in Austin was the latest in a long series of mass shootings in Texas. Police said 14 people ended up injured. Kantor later succumbed to his injuries. Two other victims were reported to be in a critical condition after the shootings. Police said the victims all appeared to be innocent bystanders.
Chacon told CNN, investigators are reviewing video footage from numerous sources including the city’s video surveillance cameras to determine what happened.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler noted an uptick in gun violence seen in the city was consistent with what is happening across Texas and the United States in 2021.
Murder and manslaughter are among the most serious crimes on the statute books in Texas. If you have been charged with a violent crime, talk to an experienced Dallas homicide defense attorney as soon as possible. Call (214) 720-9552.