An armored car robbery in East Austin Monday afternoon led to a police pursuit and a shootout, during which an Austin police officer was wounded.
Police were called to Capital Plaza Shopping Center just at about 3:15 p.m. for a report of an armored car robbery. An employee from a store nearby screamed and the robber fired several shots into the store before fleeing in a car.
A witness who saw what happened called police and followed the suspect’s car.
"I am very proud of the citizen that immediately started following the suspect, called 911 and gave us the information we needed to capture the suspect," Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said.
A passerby followed the car and called 9-1-1 until police spotted it and began a pursuit. The suspect led officers to the H-E-B at Manor Road and U.S. Highway 183.
The robbery suspect left his car and fired at police, who fired back. Chief Acevedo said one officer was injured when he was hit in the knee by what may have been a bullet, or shrapnel from a bullet that hit nearby. The officer was transported to University Medical Center Brackenridge and is expected to make a full recovery.
Following the shooting, the suspect ran and carjacked a motorist, demanding at gunpoint that the driver transport him across town.
Police said the carjacking victim dialed 911 after the suspect released him, and was able to provide good information on the man.
Using that information, police were able to narrow their search to an apartment complex in the 9400 block of Highway 290 where they took the suspect into custody. Chief Acevedo said the suspect was armed at the time of his arrest, but did not resist.
"Fortunately, we had enough resources free to capture this man and take him into custody before he injured or killed somebody," Chief Acevedo said.
Police have not identified the suspect or the wounded police officer.