A single gunman has been killed early Friday morning in Austin, Texas after he shot over 100 rounds at various government buildings and damaging the Mexican consulate.
The shooter was identified as 49-year-old Steven McQuilliams, who, according to USA Today, has a previous criminal record. Currently, the police are investigating McQuilliams motives behind the shooting, but it is believed the shooting was politically motivated. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said, “If you look at the targets that were hit, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that that’s a potential.”
Assistant Chief Raul Munguia told NBC News they had received 911 calls around 2:30 a.m. and gunshots were reported throughout the downtown area for the next few minutes afterwards.
During that time frame, McQuilliams fired at the federal courthouse, the police headquarters, and at least one other building.
Jesse Van Wallene, 29, was working as a server at the time of the shooting and said, “He was firing in bursts of about five shots…He didn’t even seem to acknowledge we were there, he just seemed very focused on firing at the building, which had no lights on inside.”
McQuilliams made his way to a police station where one officer who was putting away police horses saw McQuillaims shooting. The officer then opened fire on McQuilliams from horseback. Shortly after the officer opened fire, the shooter was killed, but it is still unclear at this time whether the officer shot and killed McQuilliams or if he took his own life.
Once the shooter was down, officers began to investigate the shooter and his vehicle, which was nearby. According to the Raw Story, officers saw what could have been improvised explosive devices in the vehicle as well as in the shooter’s jacket.
The bomb squad was called in to investigate the devices, but no IEDs were found at the scene. However, there were a number of small green canisters commonly used for portable BBQ grills stashed in the vehicle.
These canisters were reportedly used by the shooter to try and light the Mexican consulate on fire, but the fires were put out before any significant damage occurred.
According to the LA Times, the FBI will be assisting the investigation into the shooter and his motives. Spokeswoman for the San Antonio office of the FBI, Michelle Lee, said the FBI’s main concern though is why the shooter fired on the Mexican consulate and the federal courthouse.
No civilians or officers were injured during this shooting.