AUSTIN, TX – A hostage situation in Austin, Texas, ended in a fatal shootout early Saturday morning. A gunman, barricaded within a residence and holding three hostages, shot and killed a SWAT officer before being fatally shot by police, local authorities reported.
The situation escalated when police, around 4 a.m., forced their way into the home, leading to a gunfire exchange with the suspect. Inside the residence, police discovered two additional victims already deceased. Interim Austin Police Chief Robin Henderson shared the details with reporters at the scene.
The slain officer was identified as Officer Jorge Pastore, a recent recruit to the Austin Police Department. He started his service in June 2019 and was officially commissioned as a police officer in January 2020.
Henderson expressed his deep sorrow, calling for a tribute to the fallen officer, “Today, my heart is heavy. I ask that you join me and our APD family in honoring the brave and heroic actions of SPO Jorge Pastore.”
According to Henderson, the initial police response was prompted by a distress call from a woman claiming she was being stabbed. One hostage managed to escape the home before police arrived, informing them that the suspect was armed with a knife.
When officers attempted to enter the residence, they were met with gunfire, causing them to retreat without returning fire. A SWAT team was then called in to assist.
Upon arrival, the SWAT officers forced their way into the residence, leading to a gunfire exchange with the suspect. The shootout resulted in two officers and the suspect being hit. The suspect died at the scene, while the injured officers were transported to a hospital. One officer later died from his injuries, while the other is currently in stable condition.
During his service, Pastore served the Austin community in various roles, including as a member of the Honor Guard and SWAT Gold Team. He is survived by his wife, two stepsons, his parents, and two sisters.
The identities of the wounded officer, the suspect, and the two other victims are yet to be released.
Henderson confirmed that an investigation into the incident, involving multiple officers discharging their weapons, will be conducted by the Austin Police Department’s internal affairs division, the department’s special investigation unit, and the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.