APD’s evolving story about the 6th St shooting

This is an excerpt from the June 24 edition of the Austin Politics Newsletter. To get daily breaking news and analysis on city politics, click here to subscribe. 

Local authorities appear to be having a tough time getting their story straight about the 6th Street shooting. 

District Attorney Jose Garza has said that “at no time was there sufficient evidence to believe” that the two teenagers originally arrested fired any shots. In contrast, yesterday Police Chief Joseph Chacon told me that the two “did commit the criminal act they were charged with,” but today he revised his comments, saying only that there was “probable cause to believe” that they had committed the acts.  

APD Chief Joseph Chacon. Photo from APD’s Twitter account.

What the original APD affidavit says

The facts of this case are confusing, so bear with me. 

The affidavit, filed by an APD officer, cited four people who say they saw 17-year-old Jeremiah Tabb pull out a gun. All four of these people knew Tabb from Killeen and say they were part of the group that got into a verbal altercation with Tabb’s group in front of the Mooseknuckle Bar on 6th Street. Three of the four are siblings. Two of the siblings were wounded in the incident; one of these two was wounded by gunfire only days before in Killeen — he believes by Tabb. 

One of the siblings told police that she saw Tabb fire shots and that a member of her group had drawn a gun and fired shots in response. 

The affidavit said that eight shell casings were found at the site of the shooting and that investigators determined that all eight were “most likely” from the same gun. 

Based on all of this evidence, the affidavit concluded that Tabb was responsible for the injuries of at least 14 people and the death of Douglas Kantor. 

The story changes

Both Chacon and Garza said at a Tuesday press conference that new evidence had led them to determine that the shooter responsible for Kantor’s death was actually De’ondre White, 19, also of Killeen. Garza announced that White would be charged with murder and that he was dismissing charges against Tabb and the unnamed juvenile. 

During the press conference, Garza repeatedly stressed that he was dropping the charges against Tabb and the unnamed juvenile because it was in the best interests of the murder prosescution against De’ondre White, the suspect who both APD and Garza now say is responsible for killing Douglas Kantor and wounding 13 others. He did not rule out bringing different charges against them. 

However, on the same day Garza released a statement saying he was dropping the charges because “there is not sufficient evidence that either gentleman fired a shot, nor is there sufficient evidence to seek an indictment.” 

In the same statement, Garza said, “At no time was there sufficient evidence to believe that either suspect was responsible for the death of Mr. Kantor.” 

What Chacon said on Tuesday

At the press conference with Garza, Chacon said that White was responsible for the death of Kantor and “most if not all” of the injuries to 13 other people. 

And yet, he still said about Tabb and the unnamed 15-year-old: “These two individuals were involved. These were not people who were innocent bystanders or somehow incorrectly identified as being involved in this case.”

What Chacon said on Wednesday

Yesterday I emailed APD to ask the chief to clarify his remark. What did he mean the two were “involved”? Was he asserting that they committed criminal acts? This was his response (emphasis mine): 

Both of the original two individuals arrested were involved, as they were part of the two groups of individuals I described during the incident. I actually explained that, saying that they were each from one of the groups.  And yes, they did commit the criminal act they were charged with, and the DA’s office made the decision not to pursue the charges. The DA would have to answer the question about why the charges have been dismissed.

How can Chacon assert that White was responsible for the death and “most if not all” of the injuries but still insist that Tabb was guilty of aggravated assault? 

What Chacon said on Thursday

I asked the chief what evidence he was basing his assertion on. A department spokesperson told me he would provide a revised statement, which I received this morning. This time, instead of saying the two teens “did commit the criminal act they were charged with,” he said that APD had “probable cause to believe” they had committed the acts. 

Both of the original two individuals arrested were involved, as they were part of the two groups of individuals I described during the incident. I actually explained that, saying that they were each from one of the groups. APD had probable cause to believe that the two individuals had committed the offenses they were charged with. The DA’s office made the decision not to pursue the charges at this time. 

What Garza is saying now

I reached out to the district attorney’s office for a response last night and still have not been provided a statement. I also reached out to Tabb’s attorney, Jon Evans, and have not heard back. 

My questions

The divergence between the DA and the police chief about the initial arrests is troubling. Also troubling is the police department’s reluctance to admit error. Chacon can still believe that Tabb committed a crime during the incident but that is a far cry from the arrest affidavit, which accused Tabb of killing Kantor and wounding 13 others.

This is an excerpt from the June 24 edition of the Austin Politics Newsletter. To get daily breaking news and analysis on city politics, click here to subscribe.

One thought on “APD’s evolving story about the 6th St shooting

  1. Jack, you have a lot to learn. The DA and the APD have very different motives. They are not on the same team. The DA got elected with Soros money to destabilize the country. You can Google that and that’s a fact. Investigate what you can’t Google. Investigate the real motives of the DA. Investigate what happens when suspects go in front of judges for probation violations, and the DA doesn’t provide the judge with any information as to why they violated probation and the judge says “good job”.

    This DA’s goal is to de-criminalize everything, including shooting people on 6th street. The real criminal is an elected official.

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