AUSTIN, Texas - Austin police are searching for at least two people involved in what they believe may have been a “coordinated attack” on a sleeping homeless man in South Austin last Wednesday.
Police believe John Young, 60, was asleep on a bench at a bus stop on South 1st Street, near West William Cannon Drive, when he was fatally shot by a man on foot. They believe another person in a vehicle was involved.
Almost a week after the attack, police held a virtual press conference asking the public for help. They have been unable to develop descriptions of the two suspects, only noting that the man on foot is thin. They do not know if more people are involved.
“This is concerning to us because we have no motive in this case. This could be someone that knew Mr. Young and had wanted to kill him, or the worst case scenario this is a random murder -- meaning that someone saw Mr. Young and decided to shoot him while he was asleep.” explained Austin Police Sgt. Eric De Los Santos.
Police believe Young was shot just after 1 a.m. A number of people in the neighborhood called 9-1-1 to report shots, and several officers responded.
“Officers checked the area but they didn't locate anything that appeared suspicious,” said De Los Santos.
Young was not found until approximately 5:30 a.m. He was found at the bus stop and was pronounced dead within minutes.
John Presley lives at a homeless encampment just feet from the stop. He witnessed the attack, reportedly hearing “four shots” and watching a man “walk” away from the bus stop.
Presley told FOX 7 Austin he was too afraid to go check on Young after the shooting, and instead went to sleep. “I thought about going over there or checking on somebody or like getting myself shot, so I was like ‘alright I'll just not deal with it,’ so stayed away.” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Austin Police Department. “Call APD Homicide at 512-974-TIPS; the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 512-472-8477 (TIPS), use the new Crime Stoppers App, or email APD Homicide at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may remain anonymous. You can also submit tips by downloading APD's mobile app, Austin PD, free on iPhone and Android.”
Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward.