AUSTIN, TX – Early Saturday, a tense standoff in Austin, Texas, ended in tragedy when a barricaded gunman, holding three hostages, fatally shot a SWAT officer before being killed on site, according to local authorities.
The incident escalated around 4 a.m. when police forced entry into the residence, discovering two additional victims deceased within the home after exchanging fire with the suspect. Interim Austin Police Chief Robin Henderson provided details to the media gathered at the scene.
The fallen officer was identified as Officer Jorge Pastore, a recent addition to the Austin Police Department. Pastore began his tenure in June 2019 and was officially commissioned as a police officer in January 2020.
In a heartfelt message, Henderson expressed his sorrow, “My heart is heavy today. Please join me and our APD family in paying tribute to SPO Jorge Pastore for his brave and heroic actions.”
According to Henderson, officers were initially called to the scene shortly before 3 a.m. by a woman claiming she was being stabbed. One hostage managed to escape the home prior to police arrival, informing them that the suspect was armed with a knife.
Upon attempting to enter the residence, officers were met with gunfire and subsequently retreated without returning fire. A SWAT team was then summoned to assist.
Upon arrival, SWAT officers forced entry into the residence, leading to an exchange of gunfire with the suspect. Two officers and the suspect were hit in the ensuing shootout. The suspect was killed at the scene, while the wounded officers were rushed to a hospital. One officer succumbed to his injuries, while the other remains in stable condition.
Throughout his career, Pastore served the Austin community in various roles, including as a member of the Honor Guard and SWAT Gold Team. He leaves behind a wife, two stepsons, his parents, and two sisters.
The identities of the wounded officer, the suspect, and the two other victims have yet to be disclosed.
Henderson confirmed that multiple officers discharged their weapons during the incident, which will be subject to an investigation by the Austin Police Department’s internal affairs division, the department’s special investigation unit, and the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.