AUSTIN, Texas - Police say APD's Air One helicopter was struck 20-25 times by bullets fired by a gunman in Southwest Austin Saturday. We got a look at the damage Monday.
Air One sits in its hangar out of service.
There are two dozen nicks on the rotors and the side of the aircraft where the co-pilot was sitting on Saturday as Austin Police say Sawyer Flache shot at them from his Southwest Austin neighborhood.
"I think we'll never know why somebody that appears to come from a loving family would resort to engaging law enforcement and terrorizing his own neighbors by actively shooting in a neighborhood," said Chief Art Acevedo.
Chief Art Acevedo expressed his sympathy for Flache's family. The 27 year old was fatally shot by a SWAT sniper.
"I spoke with father last night and sent him my condolences and he wanted to extend his apologies to our men and women for what they had to endure," said Acevedo.
Acevedo says Flache can be seen on video shooting at the aircraft.
"You can actually see the suspect following the aircraft. You can see multiple rounds being fired at the aircraft. At one point you can see the suspect firing in a different direction, in the direction of the ground officers," said Acevedo.
Acevedo commended the two flight officers who he says made the courageous decision to stay in the air to deflect attention from officers on the ground--despite the fact that they had to stay low within shooting range due to cloud cover.
"One of the things that they identified early on was an emergency landing site in the event that they would be struck," said Acevedo.
Acevedo says he also reviewed video of the SWAT officer shooting Flache. He says at that moment Flache was armed with a long rifle and a scope.
"That SWAT officer made the split second decision as the suspect we can see him on video get into a shooting position and raise and targeted the rifle at our aircraft," said Acevedo.
Although Acevedo does not know a motive, he asked the public to be their neighbor's keeper.
"We had Mr. McQuiliams on Thanksgiving. Now we had this gentleman. We just have to be cognizant of our surroundings, know our neighbors, know our friends and most importantly have the courage to intervene," Acevedo said.
Air One can still fly. However, the damage will need to be repaired before it is back in service. That should take about a day.