Girl shot in the head at Northeast Austin apartment complex

Shots rang out early Tuesday morning, an all too familiar sound for those who live in the Bridge at Harris Ridge Apartments.

"A lot of gun shots, about 6 or 7," said Erica Martinez.

Most of the people who live in the Northeast Austin apartment complex were asleep. The attack woke up Rodney Smith, but he didn't run outside to see what was happening.

READ MORE: Girl dies after being shot in head at NE Austin apartment complex

"Naw, I didn’t go out. I stayed in my house. I pull back the blinds and then when I closed the blinds I heard it again, boom," said Smith.

Austin police arrived around 1:30 am and found a young teen girl with a gunshot wound to the head.

"We started CPR, life-saving measures. EMS then transported her to Dell Children's hospital," said APD officer Demetri Hobbs who provided no other information.

Later Tuesday, around noon, APD released a short statement that the girl could not be saved. She is Austin's 31st murder for the year and her name was not immediately released. 

As police try to identify who fired the shots and why, residents were also looking for answers.

"It's gotten bad, like real worse, like in the last year and a half, it’s like multiple shootings over there," said Martinez.


Evidence of those past attacks can still be found in the complex with bullet holes still visible. 

Terrell Williams showed FOX 7 Austin the holes in the exterior walls of his apartment and even the entry and exit holes in an AC unit that was hit. They are all frightening reminders of how close the seemingly random attacks came to his children.

"Over the past 5 years and this is ridiculous, and this went through my son's room, my son was in there the night this happened, and he could have ended up dead, its just that easy these kids don’t care about whose houses they shoot at, they are just shooting at them," said Williams.

Residents told FOX 7 Austin their pleas to managers and owners have resulted in little to no real action.  

"Do better, have cameras up, pay the city for a police patrol here. And for starters these politicians, take these guns off the streets too," said a resident who goes by Little C.

For many it's long past time to leave, but Smith indicated he feels trapped as there are few affordable places in Austin to go.

"We are trying to get out of those apartments, we are in a housing program, it's been getting bad, we’ve been complaining, about fixing stuff and they don’t do nothing," said Smith.

FOX 7 Austin reached out to the property managers, but received no response as of Tuesday evening.