AUSTIN, Texas - Austin Police say 60-year-old John Young was murdered in South Austin Wednesday morning.
According to police, Young was homeless. He was sleeping on a bench at a bus stop on South 1st Street, near West William Cannon Drive when he was fatally shot.
“There’s crazy people out here,” said Sacramento Esquivel, who lives across the street from the stop.
Young was found on the bench around 5:30 a.m. unconscious and bleeding. The person who found him called 9-1-1. First responders arrived, and less than ten minutes later Young was pronounced dead.
Young may have been shot as early as 1 a.m. Several people who live and work in the area reported hearing gunshots and called 9-1-1. “I heard that boom, boom, boom, boom. My dad said don’t go outside,” explained Esquivel.
Several officers responded to the shots fired call but “did not locate anything suspicious.”
John Presley is also homeless and camps near the bus stop. He was having an early morning snack when he witnessed the shooting. “I was sitting there in my chair and I hear shots, it sounded like firecrackers or gunshots. I heard four of them and then I see a guy walk across the street.”
Presley said he was too scared to go check on Young, and went to sleep. The two did not know each other.
APD says there is no apparent motive for the murder.
The Travis County Medical Examiner’s office will be conducting an autopsy to determine the official cause and manner of death.
Police say they will be talking to nearby businesses to see if there was any surveillance video that may have captured the incident and they are also speaking to people in the area.
A $1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest. Detectives are asking anyone with information or video of the incident to call APD Homicide at 512-974-TIPS; the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 512-472-8477 (TIPS), use the new Crime Stoppers App, email APD Homicide at firstname.lastname@example.org or use APD’s mobile app, Austin PD.