Austin TX Jan 16 2017 A man with a rifle was killed in a police shooting outside Northwest Austin church
The armed man in his 40s was shot and killed by Austin police outside a Northwest Austin church early Saturday.
Before the fatal shooting, police said, the man had fired several times into the air with a rifle and had refused to put down his weapons.
Police have not released the identities of either the man or the officer who fatally shot him.
The incident began as a response to a “panic robbery alarm” at 10401 Anderson Mill Road at 1:08 a.m., said Assistant Police Chief Chris McIlvain at a news briefing a few hours after the shooting.
Officers were called back out to the same location for a second time after reports of two men “physically fighting” in the parking lot there, McIlvain said.
One man involved in the fight was described as being 40 to 45 years old and armed with gun, he said.
The man had fled by the time officers got there but witnesses told police that they took the gun away from the man, McIlvain said.
Police responded a third time to the scene at 1:36 a.m., after reports that the man returned, this time armed with a shotgun and an AR-15 assault rifle, according to witnesses.
One of the officers who had responded to a previous call was still in the area, McIlvain said, and made his way back to the scene. While waiting for backup, the officer saw the man aim the rifle into the air and shoot it five to six times, the assistant chief said.
More officers then arrived and ordered the man to put the gun down. The man moved south, toward nearby Hope Presbyterian Church, where he fired the rifle five to six more times in the air, McIlvain said.
The man set up a position for himself behind a retaining wall in the courtyard of the church, McIlvain said, and police "began a dialogue” with the man to drop his weapons but he refused to comply.
At 2:03 a.m., the armed man began walking through the courtyard. Minutes later, he encountered police and one of the officers shot the man who died at the scene, McIlvain said.
The officer who shot the man has been put on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.