Austin police say two latest murders have been solved

Thursday, Austin police were called out to Bluff Springs Road for reports of a shooting at an apartment complex.              

Once on scene, they located 30-year-old Matthew Fernander with a gunshot wound to the head, with his roommate over him doing CPR.               

Fernander was taken to South Austin Medical Center but did not survive.

"The next day, at 6:06 a.m., a call of a man shot by the Penny Backer bridge was received. Detectives responded to that as well, identified him and tied him to the murder on Bluff Springs," said Sgt. Eric De Los Santos with the Austin Police Department homicide unit.

Police said 28-year-old John Edward Litchfield had been staying with Fernander temporarily. Officers found text messages between the two men that showed they had some kind of disagreement prior to the shooting.               

"We believe that Mr. Litchfield shot Mr. Fernander and possibly felt remorse and took his own life later," De Los Santos said.

Saturday, just before midnight, police were called out to another shooting. This one on East Ben White near Woodward Street.               

When police arrived to the parking lot outside of a halfway house there, they found 56-year-old Norman Ross McCarthy dead. 

"They located the decedent and security guards pointed out another individual who they believed to have shot the decedent," said De Los Santos.

The person they pointed out was 75-year-old John Hawkins, who, like the victim, was living at the halfway house.

"He admitted to the shooting, said that they had argued. The decedent was intoxicated that night, and this is according to Mr. Hawkins, and wanted to assist in parking cars for the nightclub that's next door. Mr. Hawkins felt that he was too intoxicated to be doing that," De Los Santos said. 

Hawkins explained to detectives how the argument escalated. He claimed McCarthy used racial slurs and spit at him before he pulled the trigger.

Hawkins was charged with murder and booked into the Travis County Jail.