Taxi carjacking leads to fatal officer-involved shooting

Police are investigating a deadly officer-involved shooting in Southeast Austin.

The situation started out with a taxi being stolen, followed by a pursuit. Police say it ended when the suspect pointed a gun at officers and they opened fire. 

APD says so far in 2018, there have been two officer-involved shootings and there were nine in 2017. In all cases, there is a complete investigation by the DA's office and the police department.

Cell phone video shows police on their pursuit of a suspect who they say stole a taxi. It continues through the HEB parking lot off William Cannon in South Austin

"A lot of people don't see a vehicle as a dangerous weapon but, it is. It's a several thousand pound weapon if you use it in the right way. We're just very happy that our officers are okay and no other citizens got hurt last night" says Ken Casaday, Austin Police Association president.

Many were there to witness the situation unfold. It was a terrifying moment for Sonia Gerrero, as the pursuit ended at the gates of the mobile home park where she lives. It led to some evacuations.

"They say 'there's a guy, they have a gun and they're shooting.' I said, 'what?' I grabbed my dad and my daughter and got out," says Sonia Guerrero, witness.

Police say the man driving the taxi initially got into a disturbance and then was involved in what was reported as a kidnapping.

"He was a passenger in the cab and ultimately, when we got to the 4800 block of Nuckols Crossing and our officer attempted to stop the that point the cab driver got out of the vehicle and the cab driver jumped into the front seat and took the cab," says Interim Chief Brian Manley, Austin Police Department.

Manley says the suspect was seen with a gun - holding it to his head and then reportedly pointing it at officers. It was at that point, we're told officers fired their weapons. The man was fatally shot. As a result, seven officers are on administrative leave as is customary. 
"Two of the officers were from patrol, there were a couple of SWAT officers and there were also officers from our organized crime unit. So, it effects everyone differently. We're already short on patrols, most people know. We have the smaller organized crime units, where even losing one or two people can stop all of your operations that you're working," says Casaday.
Looking at the aftermath, you can see the cab riddled with bullet holes and it appears several bullets struck one of the mobile homes. The Guerrero family heard the gunfire. 

"We were scared because that never happened, this situation," says Guerrero 

Casaday says there is no doubt in his mind that officers tried to de-escalate the situation.
"No one wants to take a life, no one wants to use deadly force. In this circumstance, they had to. These officers have to live with that for the rest of their lives," says Casaday.

Texas Taxi says they have GPS trackers in all of their cabs. They were able to update police with the suspect's route every step of the way.