AUSTIN, Texas - UPDATE: "We can confirm that the suspect in yesterday’s homicide on S. Congress is homeless. We are not releasing his name or the name of the deceased victim at this time due to the ongoing investigation. We will likely have a news conference on Monday to provide more details. No other information is available at this time," the APD said in an email Saturday morning.
A man has been arrested after Austin police say he assaulted someone at a South Congress coffee shop and then ran towards a nearby restaurant where he stabbed two employees before climbing onto the roof and jumping off on Friday morning.
APD officers responded to a suspicious persons call at Bennu Coffee on South Congress on Jan. 3 at 7:49 a.m. where they found two patrons actively trying to detain a white man in his mid-20s. The man had reportedly assaulted another patron for no apparent reason.
APD says during the struggle to arrest him, the man was able to break free and ran from the business.
“He had no shoes on. He had socks on, but barefooted. And I saw him run across the street to Freebirds,” said a woman who works next door to the coffee shop.
Around half an hour later, another 911 call reported the man had fled to a nearby Freebirds World Burrito. An employee there reported he and a coworker had been stabbed by the man who was seen by another witness leaving the restaurant and climbing on the roof of a nearby business.
The suspect was then seen running and jumping off the roof where he sustained life-threatening injuries.
ATCEMS transported one of the Freebirds employees and the suspect to Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas. The employee is currently in stable but serious condition and the suspect remains in critical condition.
Despite life-saving measures by EMS, the other Freebirds employee succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at 8:30 a.m.
“It's a tragic situation that somebody has lost their life. This is the first homicide of 2020,” said Sgt. David Daniels.
APD says this incident appears to be completely random and there is no ongoing threat to the community.
“You know, we all work in this small shopping center, so I know the employees that work here. I know the employees that work at Bennu,” said Mela Star, manager at IVitamin. “I'm sending love to all the families of any of the victims and sorry that this happened."
Detectives are asking anyone with video or information about this incident to call Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS or use the new Crime Stoppers App or email APD Homicide at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may remain anonymous. You can also submit tips by downloading APD’s mobile app, Austin PD, free on iPhone and Android.
Gov Greg Abbott tweeted about the incident Friday evening, speculating that the suspect is "a homeless man with prior arrests."
On Friday night, a high ranking source at APD said the suspect is, in fact, a homeless man with a violent criminal history.
The identities of the victims and suspect are being withheld at this time.