A police sergeant who was outside Austin police headquarters shot a gunman in the wee hours of the morning today; that gunman is dead, though it's unclear if he died by the sergeant's bullet or his own. KVUE reports by way of a news conference that 911 calls reporting gunfire began coming in at 2:22am local time, and police confirmed that the male suspect fired more than 100 rounds at the Mexican Consulate (which he also tried to set on fire), city police headquarters, and other downtown buildings before he was killed, reports the AP. Assistant Chief Raul Munguia says bullets did strike police headquarters.
The sergeant, who had just completed a mounted horse patrol, was holding the reins to two horses when he fired. Police Chief Art Acevedo says officers who approached the suspect saw cylinders in his nearby white van and discovered he was wearing a vest they thought may be rigged to explode. Officers retreated and a bomb squad was called. It was later determined the items were not explosive. USA Today reports the still-unidentified gunman was white and in his 50s, and describes the incident as potentially a " politically motivated anti-government attack linked to immigration." Says Acevedo, "If you look at the targets, it doesn't take a genius (to suggest) that that is the potential. I would venture that political rhetoric might have fed into some of this, but that is speculation on my part." (Read more Austin stories.)