Witness recalls deadly firework dispute

An argument over fireworks took a deadly turn Wednesday in a southeast Austin apartment complex.

19-year-old Devonte Ortiz was shot near Anken drive and Pleasant valley around 1:30 this morning. He was taken to a hospital, where he later died. Austin police arrested a 41-year-old man at the scene.

In a report they state both Ortiz and the man were armed.

Those who witnessed the fight say it escalated beyond what anyone was expecting.

Those who know the victim were shocked at what happened. "He was a loved young man," said Darrell Medearis who lived nearby and witnessed the fight. He says his family is taking the events hard.

"He was pretty much like a family member here, he would come over, he would hang out with my son, come get haircuts," said Medearis.

Ortiz was killed early Wednesday morning when an argument broke out with another man over lighting fireworks in a parking lot. Medearis was present for the whole thing.

"He had a problem with the noise, he was claiming it was a problem for his dog and his dad because his dad is an elderly fellow," said Medearis. After the two argued for a while, Medearis said the man left.

He thought this was the end of it until the man returned. "Came back with a gun and started an altercation with the youngster that we're out there," said Medearis.

After more arguing, Medaris said shots were fired and Ortiz was on the ground.

"This is very much an isolated incident there's no fear of any on going from this incident itself," said Corporal John Majefski with Austin police. While Medearis knows fireworks are not allowed in Austin, he didn't think things should have turned out the way they did.

"It really didn't have too, everything was fine at first until he went to brandishing the fire arm and he poked it in and out of faces of the young men that were out there," said Medearis.

An autopsy will be done Thursday.

The Travis County District Attorney's office will be reviewing the case.