Austin Arboretum shooting: Witnesses recount deadly shooting

Friday morning at the Arboretum, some businesses remained closed. The window of Teapioca Lounge was boarded up. 

ArtUs Co sits across the courtyard from the boba tea franchise. The founder and director of the nonprofit studio and gallery were at work when Thursday night's shooting occurred. 

"We had a lot of the studio members already here, and we were just chatting about this and that, and then all of a sudden we hear a big kind of like a ‘pop, bang,’" said Joshua Green, founder of ArtUs Co. "And of course, we all look out, and we see a shattered window."

RELATED: Austin Arboretum shooting: 2 dead, including shooter, 1 other critically injured

"We could see people hiding upstairs at the Teapioca Lounge," said Rosemary Villegas, director of ArtUs Co. "I mean, we definitely went into, like, fear mode where we locked the door, turned the lights off, and then all of us were here. We hung back away from the window because we weren't sure what was really going on, and I think we're trained to believe that it's a mass shooting or something is really serious."

Their fears were put at ease a bit due to the large and quick law enforcement response. APD’s interim chief confirmed the first unit was there within about seven minutes of the initial 911 call.

"It was our officers that initially arrived on scene, that ran towards danger, towards an unknown threat to help the victims and ensure no others were harmed," said Interim Chief Robin Henderson. 

Police eventually told Villegas and Green that they would have to evacuate out the back of their business due to the active crime scene. 

"It was scary, and it felt really dramatic in the moment, but when you zoom out, it was just like a very brief thing that happened," said Villegas. "It didn't seem like anything was continuing to go on over there after the initial shots. We didn't see anyone running out with a gun or anything like that."

APD has confirmed that two people died, including the shooter. One person was seriously injured. No identities or motive have been released. 

"We are sad that this tragedy happened. I mean, we're obviously thankful, that it wasn't a bigger tragedy or a mass shooting," said Green. "But it's got us all a little rattled here, and we're just kind of taking today to process it." 

Friday afternoon Teapioca Lounge shared the following in a post on Facebook:

"It is with heavy hearts that Teapioca Lounge, a dedicated member of the Arboretum in Austin, Texas, expresses its deepest condolences to the victims, families, and communities affected by the recent tragedy that took place. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to all those impacted by this horrific event.

We stand united with the Arboretum's residents during this difficult time, offering our unwavering support and solidarity. We understand the pain and grief that follows such senseless acts, and we share in the collective sorrow that has befallen our community. Our primary concern is the well-being and safety of every individual, and we pledge our support to any efforts that promote healing and recovery.

As we come together as a community, we want to extend our gratitude to the first responders, law enforcement personnel, and healthcare professionals who bravely stepped in to assist during this crisis. Their dedication and selflessness are a testament to the resilience and strength of our communities spirit.

In the face of adversity, Teapioca Lounge believes in the power of unity, compassion, and resilience. We will continue to stand by the Arboretum as we work towards a future of healing and hope. Together, we can rebuild and strengthen our community, demonstrating that love and empathy can triumph over hate and violence."