AUSTIN, Texas - The Austin Police Department is investigating an officer-involved shooting in North Austin.
The shooting took place in the 9000 block of Northgate Boulevard around 8:45 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22.
Police identified the four APD officers involved in the shooting: APD Officer Austin Fowler, APD Officer Lowery Miller, APD Officer Bryce Connor, APD Officer Matthew Bishop. A DPS trooper was also involved; he remains unidentified.
On Friday, Oct. 27, APD released a timeline of the events that took place before the shooting:
- At 7:55 p.m., Austin 9-1-1 received a call that reported an intoxicated subject was threatening a woman with a gun in the 9000 block of Northgate Boulevard.
- At 7:57 p.m., the first APD unit was assigned to the call and began responding to the scene. While APD officers were responding, additional information was received that the subject was holding his wife in one hand and a gun in the other.
- At 8:02 p.m., the first APD officer arrived on scene and began to gather additional information, which included the location of the apartment involved and began to secure the scene. Officers were also notified that the woman at risk was not his wife and that the subject, later identified as Cristobal Ordonez Flores, was pointing the gun at multiple neighbors.
- At 8:19 p.m., Austin 9-1-1 received a service call. A separate caller requested a check-welfare for a child that lives in an apartment in the 9000 block of Northgate Boulevard. The caller provided the same apartment number where the suspect was located.
- At 8:32 p.m., APD officers knocked on the door of the suspect’s apartment and identified themselves as police officers.
- At 8:33 p.m., Officers began making verbal "call-outs," attempting to make contact with the suspect in both English and Spanish.
- At 8:34 p.m., Mr. Ordonez Flores was seen on the balcony area holding a gun. The officers began giving verbal commands to Mr. Ordonez Flores, but Mr. Ordonez Flores then pointed the gun at the officers. Officer Bishop deployed his Department-approved PepperBall system. Officer Fowler, Officer Miller, and Officer Conner fired their Department-approved firearms at Mr. Ordonez Flores. Mr. Ordonez Flores then retreated into the apartment out of view of the officers.
- A Spanish-speaking neighbor on scene yelled out information to Officers regarding the apartment number where Mr. Ordonez Flores was located. Officers worked to secure the area and SWAT was requested. Before SWAT was able to arrive, officers had reason to believe that a woman and a child were inside the apartment and in danger with Mr. Ordonez Flores, who was armed.
- At 8:44 p.m., officers forced entry into the apartment to rescue the woman and child. As officers entered the apartment, the suspect fired his gun at the officers. The officers returned fire and shot the suspect. An officer gave verbal commands for the suspect to show him his hands in order to safely detain him, but the suspect did not comply. The suspect reached for the firearm, grabbed the gun, and pointed it at officers. The officers shot the suspect again, at which point the suspect dropped the gun.
Once the scene was made safe and the suspect’s gun was secured, officers safely removed the woman and child from the apartment. Officers then immediately provided medical aid to the suspect prior to EMS’ arrival on scene.
The suspect later died from his injuries. He was later identified as 57-year-old Cristobal Ordonez Flores.
No one else was injured, police said.
By midday the complex, which is located at the intersection of Highway 183 and Northgate Blvd., was still unusually quiet, according to Shaeron Harris.
"The vibe that probably would be going on, like there would probably be music being listened to right now and people going in and walking around, and we're barely starting to see people come out now," said Harris.
"In a setting like you're describing last night, those officers are heroes. They went in to save lives," said Charlie Wilkison is the Executive Director with CLEAT, the Combine Law Enforcement Associations of Texas.
According to the organization, there have been 133 critical incidents, so far, statewide this year. In 2022 there were 145 incidents involving a shooting or a death in custody.
A recorded number of cases is expected by the end of the year, and it’s part of a larger problem, according to Wilkison.
Domestic disturbance calls are extremely dangerous for law enforcement officers. The cases are rarely clear-cut, with many different variables at play.
"In fact, many times there's alcohol or drugs involved. And it's almost impossible for the officers to determine what's going on in their communication gets cut off easily, and there's not a way to de-escalate once that violence has already occurred. Think of the events inside a home prior to a female admitting she needs real help from the police. There's no telling how many hours had transpired before that that person reaches out and makes that emergency call. So, the police are coming in on the end of something, and they're not there to de-escalate at the beginning," said Wilkison.
As for Sunday’s officer-involved shooting, Wilkison explained the need for the extra shots that were fired after the suspect went down.
"Anytime someone is trying to take a gun, reach for a gun with intent more than the officer is justified," said Wilkison.
The possibility of a Grand Jury Indictment by the Travis County D.A. is a concern for Wilkison.
"I am worried that they will be indicted. Absolutely," said Wilkison, even though he made it clear, in his opinion, the officers followed policy.
Police on the scene of an alleged shooting incident that took place on Northgate Boulevard in North Austin.
Three APD officers discharged their department-approved firearm, one officer deployed their department-approved PepperBall system(non-lethal), and one DPS trooper discharged his department-approved firearm.
The incident was captured on multiple officers' body-worn cameras. Per APD policy, APD video relating to this incident will be released within 10 business days.
Two of the three APD officers that discharged their Department-approved firearm have 5 years and 8 months of service with the department. The third officer that discharged his department-approved firearm has 3 years and 8 months of service with the Department. The fourth officer that deployed his department-approved PepperBall system has 11 months of service with the Austin Police Department.
Per APD protocol, all four officers have been placed on administrative leave.
APD will conduct two concurrent investigations into this incident: a criminal investigation conducted by the APD Special Investigations Unit and the Texas Rangers in conjunction with the Travis County District Attorney's Office and an administrative investigation conducted by the APD Internal Affairs Unit, with oversight from the Office of Police Oversight.
Anyone who may have photos or videos can upload the material by scanning the QR code included in this release, or click here.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call APD's Special Investigations Unit at (512) 974-6840 or Capitol Area Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477. For the Capitol Area Crime Stoppers submission, you may submit a tip online at austincrimestoppers.org. You may remain anonymous.