A newspaper in Texas said on Saturday that it is not publishing the description that local law enforcement gave of a man suspected of shooting 13 people on Friday night because it “could be harmful in perpetuating stereotypes.”
“Someone opened fire in a popular entertainment district in downtown Austin early Saturday, wounding 13 people, including two critically, before getting away,” the AP reported. “Investigators were looking into what sparked the shooting but were not able to get a detailed description of the shooter, though they believe it was a man and were going through surveillance video and other evidence, interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon said at a 4 a.m. news conference.”
The Austin American-Statesman reported that law enforcement had “zeroed in on two suspects” believed to have been involved in the shooting.
At the bottom of the Austin American-Statesman’s report, the newspaper explained that it was not going to give the description that law enforcement provided of one of the suspects:
Editor’s note: Police have only released a vague description of the suspected shooter as of Saturday morning. The Austin American-Statesman is not including the description as it is too vague at this time to be useful in identifying the shooter and such publication could be harmful in perpetuating stereotypes. If more detailed information is released, we will update our reporting.
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) June 12, 2021
In a statement, the Austin Police Department described the suspect as “a black male, with dread locks, wearing a black shirt and a skinny build.”
The description was included in the following statement from the department:
The Austin Police Department continues to investigate an early morning shooting that occurred in Downtown Austin where 13 victims sustained gunshot wounds or were injured, and a suspect(s) remains at-large.
On Saturday, June 12, 2021, at 1:24 a.m., Austin police responded to multiple shots fired near the 400 block of E. 6th Street. At that time, a large crowd of people began to disperse in the area. Officers initially located several victims who had sustained gunshot wounds and were injured. Officers immediately began performing life-saving measures on multiple victims. Officers transported six victims in police vehicles to the hospital. Three victims were transported in personal vehicles and Austin-Travis County EMS transported four victims to local hospitals.
There were a total of 13 victims who sustained gunshot wounds or were injured. Eleven victims are in stable condition, and two victims are in critical condition. At this time, no fatalities have been reported.
The suspect(s) remains at-large. It is unknown if there is one, or multiple suspects involved. There is one suspect described as a black male, with dread locks, wearing a black shirt and a skinny build. The area will be closed for an extended amount of time to process the crime scene. Investigators are collecting and reviewing camera footage and surveillance video.
At this time, this appears to be an isolated incident. The investigation is ongoing and this information is preliminary. Detectives are asking anyone with information or video of the incident to call APD Aggravated Assault Unit at 512-974-TIPS, utilize the Crime Stoppers tip line at 512-472-8477 (TIPS), or the Crime Stoppers app. You may remain anonymous.
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