Tag Archives: slain

Family of slain Austin mass shooting victim has ‘no faith’ in investigation

Family of slain Austin mass shooting victim

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The news that the Travis County District Attorney will drop all charges against the two teenagers previously in custody for the mass shooting in downtown Austin is not sitting well with the family of the man killed in the crossfire.

Nick Kantor, whose brother Douglas Kantor died after the June 12 incident on Sixth Street, said he has little faith in DA José Garza — and believes the investigation is heading in the wrong direction.

Douglas Kantor
Doug Kantor graduation photo from the University of Michigan. Kantor died several days after the mass shooting in downtown Austin. Photo provided by Kantor family

“Basically, what I took away from the press conference was that they are not prosecuting violent criminals anymore,” Kantor said. “Nothing we can do now is going to bring my brother back. And that’s something we have to accept and grieve in our own way. But moving forward, we don’t want to see more people going through what we are going through.”

The Austin Police Department has spent the last week and a half interviewing new witnesses and combing through video and ballistic evidence. It’s what led them to their sole suspect, 19-year-old De’ondre Jermirris White, of Killeen, a man they say is a fugitive and who is likely still armed.

Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon said evidence shows the two previous teenage suspects also pulled out guns that night. However, not enough evidence exists to prove they actually fired the weapons.

Douglas Kantor died from his injuries just after 12 p.m. on Sunday June 13 at the age of 25. In addition to Kantor, 14 other people were injured in the incident.

Douglas Kantor’s uncle, Larry Lightner, expressed his disappointment about the teens’ release.

“If I go to Texas, I can now expect to be shot? Is that the idea? By a 15-year-old and he can leave and go do his homework?” Lightner told KXAN’s Alex Caprariello in a Tuesday interview. “… I’m not having it that these other two kids were sitting around eating ice cream…”

Garza said he plans to charge White, who investigators believe fired most of the shots, with murder. The district attorney said a special team of investigators, dedicated to murder and other major crimes, will be working with APD during the investigation.

“What we are focused on, what our responsibility is, is to hold the person who committed murder, and who injured 13 people on our streets a couple of weeks ago, accountable,” Garza said. “That is our focus. And what we are doing right now is ensuring that we have the best case possible in order to do that.”

Chacon said that during an investigation of this magnitude, new information comes in daily, which often conflicts and supersedes previous reports.

“The information starts coming in and that information always seems to change. And sometimes we will get information that proves to be incorrect,” Chacon said. “As the case progresses, we actually kind of zeroed in on the right person, the person who actually pulled the trigger and is responsible for the multiple shootings.”

The chief said through examining ballistic evidence, there is proof White’s gun was linked to Kantor’s murder. It’s also been linked to other violent crimes, which he says will also be investigated. Chacon said all resources in this investigation will now be poured into tracking White down.

Even still, Kantor believes this won’t bring his family justice. He wishes the other teenagers would also receive a punishment for their crimes, where evidence exists to prove their involvement.

“This was a planned hit. This was the making of an assassination. And my brother was caught in the crossfire. And these assassins were free to go,” Kantor said. “I have no faith in what is going on down there.”

Reach KXAN’s Alex Caprariello by email at [email protected] or by phone at 512-703-5365, or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Author: Alex Caprariello
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Slain Texas deputy's body returns to San Angelo as community mourns

SAN ANGELO, Texas (KXAN) — The body of slain Sgt. Stephen Jones was escorted to a San Angelo funeral home Wednesday morning as the community mourned. Jones was one of two Concho County Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed Monday.

Jones and Deputy Samuel Leonard were shot and killed when they responded to a dog complaint at a home in Eden, Texas. The situation “quickly escalated to gunfire,” the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

Jones and Leonard were there with a City of Eden employee, who was also shot and critically injured. He was taken to the hospital in San Angelo.

The man suspected in the deadly shootings, 28-year-old Jeffrey Nicholas, was arrested and booked into Tom Green County Jail. He’s charged with two counts of capital murder of a peace officer and is being held on a $ 4 million bond.

State Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, led a moment of silence in the Texas House on Tuesday, saying: “When they left their homes that morning in Eden, Texas, — you know, just the the mere image of the name conjures about peace and tranquility — when they left, they would not return to their families.”

How to help the deputies’ families

Jones’ funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 19 at Paul Ann Church in San Angelo, CCSO says. A visitation will be held Tuesday, May 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services for Leonard will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, May 17 at the First Baptist Church in Lamesa, Texas.

The sheriff’s office has a dedicated post office box for those wanting to donate items to the Jones and/or Leonard families. Community members can send condolences to P.O. Box 67 in Paint Rock, Texas, or drop them off at the sheriff’s office in Eden.

CCSO has also opened accounts at Eden State Bank in Eden and First State Bank in Paint Rock to benefit both families. Eden State Bank now has an account for each deputy — which the bank also donated to — and First State Bank has an account for both officers.

Author: Russell Falcon
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Public memorial service for slain San Marcos police officer set for Sunday

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — A public memorial service for a San Marcos police officer killed in the line of duty last year is set for Sunday.

The patrol car of San Marcos police officer Justin Putnam, who was killed in the line of duty April 18, 2020, served as a memorial for him with people leaving flowers on it as a memorial. (KXAN photo/Chris Davis)

The San Marcos Police Department is hosting the memorial honoring Justin Putnam on the first anniversary of his death following an ambush-style shooting at an apartment complex while he and two others responded to a domestic disturbance call April 18, 2020.

Putnam was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting and two other officers, Franco Stewart and Justin Mueller, were injured.

The ceremony is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. at Five Mile Dam Park’s soccer complex located at 4440 Old Stagecoach Road in San Marcos. Putnam regularly visited the park with his dogs, the department said, and it will “serve as a joyful recognition of his service.” A formal funeral with full honors will be held at a later date, the department said.

“We think about Justin every day and the impact he had not only on our lives but on the lives of our community and the many young people he inspired,” said San Marcos Director of Public Safety Chase Sapp. “We lost a true hero, friend, and dedicated public servant and we’re glad to finally join together to honor his contributions and ultimate sacrifice.”

Billy Gates