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Austinites take to Twitter to recount mass shooting, calling for more strict gun policies

As violent crime ticks up in Austin and the city experienced the latest mass shooting on Sixth Street Saturday morning, Austinites voiced their thoughts on social media.

The shooting sent 14 bystanders to the hospital—two in critical condition. One suspect has been caught, while another remains at large.

The incident has gained national attention, including a statement from the White House:

"This morning, Austin has become just the latest American community to wake up ravaged by an act of senseless gun violence," White House spokesperson Ike Hajinazarian said. "While we pray for the shooting's victims and their families — and thank first responders for their quick, heroic work — we must not lose sight of what this tragedy again makes clear: it's long past time for the Senate to pass meaningful gun reform and allow Texans—and all Americans—to enjoy a night out without the fear of another night of gun violence."

Gov. Greg Abbott shared a statement on Twitter thanking police and inviting Austinites to join wife Cecelia and "I in prayer for those who were injured," prompting backlash from hundreds of followers, largely surrounding the upcoming bill that will allow unlicensed open carry.

Though the bill has yet to be signed into law, Abbott has said he will sign the bill despite objections from law enforcement groups.

Prominent Austin City Council Member Gregorio Casar also commented on the incident, calling to "double down" on efforts to reduce violence. Several people responded, placing blame on Casar for writing the plan to defund the police.

While investigators are confident that they will catch the other suspect, Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon said that with low staff levels, responding to violent calls is getting increasingly difficult. Police said they believe Austin is still a "safe city," though residents should remain alert and exercise caution while visiting downtown.

As Sixth Street is usually one of the busiest entertainment districts, it is usually highly policed. Still, some Austinites said they were afraid themselves, having been to the street themselves.

The We Are Blood community blood center is asking for donations to replenish its supply after using blood and platelet donations to treat patients involved in the shooting. Austin police are also asking for anyone with information to call 911 or 512-472-TIPS.


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