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Over 17 people injured in spate of shootouts in Texas

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Over 17 people were wounded in overnight shooting incidents between Friday and early Sunday in Austin, Texas, according to the city’s police force.

The incidents began with a shootout on the night of Friday to Saturday in which 14 people were wounded, the Austin police reported.

According to interim police chief Joseph Chacon, reports of shots being heard came in at about 1:30 AM local time in a busy city centre street.

Speaking at a press conference, Chacon said large crowds had gathered at the scene, “like before the coronavirus pandemic.”

An investigation into the shootout, which could possibly have resulted from a dispute that escalated, is underway, whilst two people are being sought.

The police have called on anyone with information, including mobile phone video clips, to contact the authorities.

Earlier reports had stated that 13 people had been injured, but Chacon said there were 14 victims, of which two people were in a critical condition.

Almost all the victims were innocent bystanders, he said, stressing that the investigation was still in its early stages and all information available was still preliminary.

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Chacon commended the police department for its speedy response. Police officers rendered first aid and transported some of the injured to hospital, which, he said, saved lives.

Saturday’s pre-dawn shooting was followed by three others in the Austin area, according to local media.

The first occurred at around 2:09 AM in the east of the city, nearby the location of the previous shooting.

There are few details on what led to the incident, but police reported that there had been a large gathering before it. Two female victims were said to be in critical, but are now in stable condition in the hospital.

Another incident happened around 2:39 AM on Sunday, on Jollyville Road in north Austin. According to police, one male suspect was taken to the hospital with a non-life threatening gunshot wound.

The third shooting incident of the night occurred on Howard Lane in north Austin at 3:07 AM. Police said a man was taken to hospital, also with non-life threatening injuries.

The Brussels Times