Fatal car accident in East Austin investigated as homicide

The Austin Police Department is trying to piece together what happened right before a man was shot while driving in East Austin, causing him to crash into a tree.

Family and friends gathered at the site Thursday evening where 43-year-old Carlos Swist lost his life. His wife said he's leaving behind a 6-year-old daughter that he loved very much.

Tuesday morning APD said Swist was driving the van belonging to the floral company he worked for when he drove off the road and crashed into a tree, causing the van to burst into flames. Vehicular homicide detectives were called into investigate.

“Once they got to the victim, who was later identified as Carlos Swist they determined that he had a gunshot wound to his body,” said Lt. Justin Newsom of the Austin Police Department. “We do have a lead right now that we are following up on, we are not ready to talk about who that suspect is yet, but we do have some leads,” he said.

Gas station attendants in the area had surveillance video prior to the shooting, they said two men including Swist went into the Conoco on Springdale Road and left, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. They said Swist was a regular customer who came in every morning before work and was always happy and smiling.

Detectives believe this is an isolated incident, and there isn't a reason for the public to be concerned about safety.

"They may have been strangers prior to their encounter earlier, but it wasn't as though. We don't believe that Carlos was simply driving down the road and some random stranger shot him. We think something led that person to that point," Lt. Newsom said.

Newsom said they are hoping for more answers soon. “Hopefully by next week we will be able to talk about it,” he said.

Homicide detectives are asking if anyone has information or saw anything that morning to contact APD.

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