Suspect in Auditorium Shores homicide arrested for murder: APD

A man was arrested following a homicide at a park in Auditorium Shores Wednesday morning, police said.

The Austin Police Department said 30-year-old Coltan Moore, was taken to the Travis County Jail for first-degree murder.

Police say just before 7 a.m. on August 24, officers responded to a check welfare call in the 800 block of West Riverside Drive. When officers arrived they found an unresponsive male with trauma to his head. 

Officers detained Moore nearby the scene. The investigation revealed Moore brutally assaulted the victim using large rocks, which caused fatal injuries to the victim.

Investigators believe this to be an isolated incident with no threat to the public.

The body was found under a tree covered area at Vic Mathis/Auditorium Shores. The crime scene was along a walkway that leads to the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue. 

W. Riverside Drive between S. 1st Street and N. Lamar Boulevard was closed during the investigation, according to FOX 7 Austin's Rudy Koski.

Yellow tape prevented those out for a morning walk and jog from getting close.

"Kind of surprising, honestly, just because you see, you know, so many people are here, and it's a very, very popular spot. You know, we're right downtown and, you know, a little scary that some serious like this happens, you know, in such a highly, densely populated, populated area," said Matt Jones, who was walking his dog.

A police spokesperson explained why it took so long to make the discovery.

"We used to have a Parks unit responsible for patrolling these areas, often times they would start early in the morning, and they would patrol the area and show up at the park before a lot of the joggers started coming out. That unit did use to exist, but it has since been disbanded as a result of our staffing crisis and are now back working regular patrols assignments," said APD Officer Michael Bullock.

Sarah Harrison was not far away from the scene. She said she was sleeping in the park when Austin's 50th murder of the year happened.

"I didn't hear anything. I didn't see anything. I don't know what could have happened. I did not hear or see anything at all," she said.

Harrison explained the murder and the climate on the streets do not have her scared, but she is concerned.

"I mean, people are kind of moving more towards religion. They are looking for a finding, and they're looking for a calling right now. So I'm not sure how that would navigate towards what's going on. But, you know, I just find that interesting. I'll keep my eyes and my ears open. Now." 

If you have any information, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS or the APD Homicide Tip Line at 512-477-3588.