Senior Police Officer Jaime Padron was shot twice — one in his protective vest and a second time in the neck — and died at the scene, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a news conference.
Padron, 40, was responding to a call about a drunk man inside the store around 2:30 a.m., Acevedo said. The suspect tried to run and the officer chased after him, before the two fell to the ground.
“The suspect produced a semi-automatic pistol and shot the officer at point-blank range,” Acevedo said. Padron didn’t have a chance to even pull out his own weapon.
As the officer called for help with his radio, two Wal-Mart employees tackled the suspect, who fired a third shot at one of them before he was disarmed, he added.
Once the suspect was handcuffed, another officer gave Padron CPR and medics tried to revive him. They pronounced the officer dead at 2:44 a.m. The initial call was considered low priority and low risk, Acevedo said.
“This was a routine call,” he said. “What makes our job deadly is that there is no routine call.”
Brandon Montgomery Daniel, 24, was taken into custody, Acevedo said, and later booked in the Travis County jail on capital murder charges in connection with the shooting. If convicted of capital murder, Daniel could face the death penalty.
Acevedo said that Wal-Mart security cameras had filmed the entire incident from multiple angles, and the officer’s lapel microphone recorded the audio onto his patrol car’s video system. But Acevedo refused to discuss details of the investigation.
“I’m not going to do anything to jeopardize a capital murder investigation,” Acevedo said.
Padron is the first officer shot and killed in the line of duty in Austin since 1978. He leaves behind two daughters, ages 10 and 6, Acevedo said.