18-year-old shoots APD SWAT officer during narcotics search

An APD SWAT officer was shot Thursday morning while serving a narcotics warrant in North Austin

People who live on Morrow Street woke up to the sights and sounds of SWAT a little before 6 am.

"It's important for our community to know that the Austin Police Department has a policy that when we breach those doors we immediately use what's called a RAD which is a very loud PA system," APD Chief Art Acevedo said in a press conference.

Sara Brinton and her kids live a couple of doors down from where the warrant was being served.

"It was very loud and shocking and [I] was pretty scared.  Kind of ran to see if it had woken the kids up yet," Brinton said.

The Brintons hunkered down.

"We sat in the youngest kid's room together and just prayed as things kind of went on we just let the kids watch a movie and tried to keep them all together," Brinton said.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says SWAT officers Layton Radtke and James Pittman breached the door of the suspect's house.

"A suspect who was upstairs in the location 'sliced a pie' which means he came around the corner, looked down at the officers with a long rifle and commenced to open fire," Acevedo said.

Chief Acevedo says 18-year-old male Tyler Harrell shot officer Pittman in the knee.  Radtke returned fire so other officers could get Pittman out of there.  Harrell and who police believe to be his mother walked out about 12 minutes later.  Harrell was arrested.  APD brought in the bomb squad to make a final sweep of the house. 

"I would just ask the community of faith to say a prayer for our officer that... although he's stable that the injury or the wound...we're hopeful that he'll fully recover.  Because you always have to worry about officer's careers and their ability to maintain this wonderful career that we've all chosen of public safety," Acevedo said.

Acevedo says Officer Radtke, who returned fire, will be placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation. 

Harrell was booked into the Travis County Jail and charged with attempted capital murder.  A police source tells Fox 7, Harrell was suspected of dealing coke and meth.  So more charges may be on the way.

Chief Acevedo pointed out this afternoon this is the second officer that's been shot in the last couple of weeks.  He says it's been a tough time for APD.
 

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