The Austin Police Department released surveillance video, showing the moments leading up to a deadly shooting in an Austin hotel last year. Two people were killed, including the shooter.
The surveillance video was shown at the Austin Police Department’s Distinguished Awards Gala. The officer who shot and killed the shooter was awarded the Medal of Valor for his actions that deadly morning,
Officer Carlos Lopez a 5-year veteran of the Austin Police Department recalls the morning of July 5th, 2015 in a video produced by the department. “The call started off as a disturbance and quickly ended up being a man that had a rifle. I was in close proximity, I was just down at the headquarters, so I went ahead and assigned in route,” Officer Lopez said.
35-year-old Michael Holt walked into the Omni Hotel lobby with a gun and started firing. Taxi cab driver and veteran 60-year-old Conrado Conteras was killed. APD officers responded within two minutes, including Officer Lopez. “Once I got there, I saw the other units there, and I went ahead and pulled my shotgun from the rack, and saw where there position was and joined them,” he said,
APD released surveillance video showing Holt walking around the hotel with the rifle. At one point he is seen going up and talking to a hotel employee. You also see Officer Lopez in the video “I quickly moved to a secondary position, it appeared to be it was just better in my eyes for keeping a vantage point of the suspect who was inside the hotel, in the lobby. Initially we were just trying to ascertain the purpose of this suspect and what he was actually doing. So there was moments before the shooting started that we just kind of observed, or I observed what he was doing his actions and I tried to infer what his intent was there in the lobby,” he said.
Once Holt saw the officers he began shooting at them. Officers opened fire back, with Lopez firing the lethal shot. “People seem to view the fact that I put myself in danger, you know, as heroism. When in reality that's kind of what we do as law enforcement officers,” he said.
Officer Lopez has also been named a “Top Cop” by the National Association of Police Organizations. The awards ceremony is being held in Washington D.C. Saturday night.