APD releases NE Austin officer-involved shooting video after delay

The Austin Police Department has released video of the officer-involved shooting that occurred in Northeast Austin on Friday, July 30. 

Thursday, APD says it started a public release viewing process of a Critical Incident Community Briefing video that depicts the officer-involved shooting that occurred on Friday, April 9, 2021, in the 6300 block of East US Highway 290 on the Westbound Frontage road in Northeast Austin. 

These initial viewings include participants and consulted parties of next of kin, family members, attorneys, officers involved, and city officials. 

APD said it did not initially release this video during the 60-day timeframe due to production delays caused by the backlog of previously delayed video releases. This is a 21-day extension from the previously provided July 8 release date.

The officers significantly involved in this critical incident are identified as:

  • Officer Jon Riordan - two and a half years of service with APD
  • Officer Kingly Kong - two years of service with APD

These officers were initially placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with APD policy. Officer Kong has since been returned to full duty. Officer Riordan remains on limited duty due to the injuries he sustained during this incident. APD says it is working with the Office of Police Oversight and the Travis County District Attorney’s Office to release this video. 

The incident was captured on a body-worn camera as well as the in-car camera of the police vehicle, according to police.

Police say the video footage includes relevant audio and video footage from the ongoing investigation. 

"The Critical Incident Video is intended to provide our community with additional context about the event. In compliance with state law that prohibits the release of certain information and to maintain the integrity of the multi-departmental investigation, the video materials have been edited or redacted," said APD in a press release "The edited video does include comprehensive footage of the officers’ actions." 

According to police, the officer-involved shooting happened on Friday, April 9, just after midnight, in the 6300 block of the westbound service road for E. U.S. 290. Officers were dispatched to the area after Austin 911 received a "Gun Hotshot" call.

A motorist told Austin 911 that they were being shot at by a pursuing vehicle, according to police. The caller also said that the suspect vehicle continued to follow and shoot, even as the driver was attempting to flee down various streets.

A two-officer APD unit made contact with the victim driver that had been shot at. The victim was uninjured and provided officers with a description of the suspect’s vehicle and its last known direction of travel, according to police.

Minutes later, the officers were traveling behind the suspect vehicle in the 6300 block of the westbound service road for E. U.S. 290 and activated their emergency lights.  As the officers stopped the suspect vehicle and exited their patrol vehicle, they immediately took gunfire from the suspect, 22-year-old Gregorio Sarmiento.

The officers returned fire, according to police. During the exchange, one of the officers and the suspect were both struck.

Officers immediately requested medical assistance from ATCEMS.

Officer Riordan was in stable condition after undergoing surgery the morning of the incident and has since been released from the hospital.

Sarmiento was listed in critical, but stable condition the morning of the incident. He has been charged with two counts of attempted capital murder, with a total bond of $1 million.

APD officer, suspect injured in NE Austin shooting
Suspect in officer-involved shooting charged, officers on administrative leave
APD delays release of NE Austin shooting video due to backlog

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