A month after a shooting on Sixth Street left 14 people injured and one dead, many of the details about the incident have yet to be revealed.
With twists and turns from the arrests of two teens with middle school drama to finally finding the right suspect, questions have been raised from the public about the investigation.
The last public update was given on June 25, when the Austin Police Department announced they had arrested the suspect that fired the fatal shot. Police said it was an ongoing investigation at the time and have still kept many of the details under wraps. Austonia has since acquired the latest arrest affidavit that showed a few more details not released by police.
What we know
Sixth Street on an early Friday night in Austin. (Laura Figi/Austonia file photo)
As one of the most popular nightlife districts in the city, Dirty 6th was crowded with hundreds of party-goers clumped outside bars into the early hours of June 12—especially with the Republic of Texas Motorcycle Rally in town for the weekend. Around 1:24 a.m., 911 calls started coming in, reporting multiple gunshots had been fired near the 400 block of East 6th Street, according to APD.
Police on the scene began lifesaving measures immediately and 15 people were sent to the hospital shortly thereafter—some with injuries mild enough to drive themselves, some with injuries that would change their lives forever.
Investigators found eight shell casings from bullets, all from the same gun, in front of a bar that night.
By Monday, police had arrested two teenagers, a 17-year-old and 15-year-old male, who were both allegedly carrying weapons. The 17-year-old was charged as an adult with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, while the 15-year-old was charged with deadly conduct.
An initial arrest affidavit stated the shooting was the result of a disagreement between two groups of high schoolers from Killeen who had carried over a grudge since middle school. The two groups, both composed of multiple people, crossed paths and confronted each other.
After it seemed like a closed case, police announced more than a week later that they were dropping charges against the teens.
In a press conference with the interim Austin police chief and Travis County district attorney, they announced they were looking for 19-year-old De'Ondre "Dre" Jemirris White on June 22, saying that video evidence, witness testimonies and ballistic evidence connected his weapon to the murder and serious injuries.
The dropped charges for the teens came after the 17-year-old suspect's photo had been blasted out across media outlets.
White was arrested by police in the Killeen area on June 24 after he changed his appearance. He was put in the Bell County Jail on a murder charge before he was moved to the Travis County Jail on July 1. If convicted, White could face up to life in prison.
The arrest affidavit for White shows on June 15, an investigator received a call on his city-issued cell phone from a blocked number identifying White as the shooter. The unidentified caller also provided a description, address and Instagram handle. After contacting White's aunt, investigators were able to bring him in for a voluntary interview on June 20.
White and the 17-year-old were in the same group on Sixth Street; according to the 17-year-old, White was the first to draw his gun, a black Glock 9mm, and fired multiple rounds at the other group. White said he fired in self-defense. White and the 17-year-old fled to an apartment together, where Tabb said he told White 'you saved my life,' and they discussed the shooting.
Ballistic evidence linked White's gun to at least the fatal shot that killed one. The suspects' weapons have been seized by police. Both White and the 17-year-old's guns have been connected to other violent crimes, APD says.
The shooting resulted in:
- The death of 25-year-old Douglas John Kantor, a tourist visiting from New York
- Hospitalization of 19-year-old Adrianna Salazar, who will have to relearn how to walk after she was shot in both legs
- Hospitalization of 34-year-old mother of five Jessica Ramirez, who will be permanently paralyzed from the waist down
- 12 other people were admitted to the hospital with injuries
What we still don't know
It is still unknown whether or not White was the only shooter or exactly how many shots were fired.
And the big question lies in why police arrested and charged the 15- and 17-year-old. Dropping all charges against the other two suspects and releasing them was controversial—they were both carrying weapons but police haven't said if they have evidence that they fired.
The Travis County District Attorney's office said there is not enough evidence to seek an indictment at this time but the office has yet to make final charging decisions.
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The Food and Drug Administration will consider Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine application for emergency use authorization in 5-to-11-year-olds on Tuesday. The vaccine will likely be available to kids starting next week.
With 2.9 million Texas children in this age group, state health officials say this is a "big factor" in reducing the virality of COVID. At a Monday press conference, the Texas Department of State Health Services released info on the rollout efforts of the vaccine for children.
Here are some of the answers to your questions.
When and where will it be available?St. David's Healthcare staff unpack the first few shipments of its initial supply of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday.(St. David's Healthcare)
Assuming the FDA approves this version of the Pfizer vaccine this week, vaccines will start shipping out almost immediately with the first vaccines for children likely available next week.
DSHS has already put in an order of vaccines under the federal government's "pre-order prior to launch" program.
COVID vaccine providers will begin receiving those first shipments 1-5 days after the approval. After Monday night, DSHS will have put in three different orders for vaccines. The second shipment will arrive 3-7 days after approval and the third shipment will take place 5-9 days after the approval.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention will meet on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 to discuss best practices for administration, allowing for the first shots to be administered after.
The state will be allocated 1.3 million doses across 814 providers in 120 counties. Individual county allocations have not been released but each county got to send a request for how many doses they may need. Federal retail pharmacies, such as H-E-B and Walgreens, are getting their own shipments.
The health department advises using its vaccine finder tool to find the nearest vaccine provider near you.
How is this version of the vaccine different than the first one?Abbott says COVID vaccine to be available to other groups by end of March
The COVID vaccine for 5-11-year-olds is one-third of the dosage of the current vaccine available to those 12 years of age and older.
It is being identified as the orange cap vaccine, unlike the current purple cap. The purple cap vaccine cannot be administered to younger kids, according to the state health department.
And like the current vaccine, it is 95% effective. The first and second doses are the same and will be advised to be taken 21 days apart.
What are the side effects for children?
During clinical trials, it was reported that some kids in this age group felt pain at the injection site, fatigue and headaches.
The data submitted to the FDA shows no serious complications, such as cases of myocarditis inflammation of the heart muscle, or pericarditis, inflammation of the outer lining of the heart—rare complications that have been reported among young boys and men receiving the vaccine in other trials.
How will this affect herd immunity?
With so many children across the state, DSHS said "we need to have as many people vaccinated as possible."
State health officials said the herd immunity threshold is still being looked into, but with 3 million children soon to be able to get the vaccine, it will be a big factor in reducing the viral load in the state.
"Until we're able to add all the children, we'll see a bigger wave in stamping down the pandemic," DSHS' Imelda Garcia said during the conference.
Of those 12 and older, 72% are fully vaccinated in Travis County as of Monday.
I'm not sure if my child needs this vaccine. Why should I have them get it?
DSHS says this vaccine is important for young kids because it will protect the older population and others around them as well as themselves. The department says to ask experts and doctors questions if you are hesitant so you can be confident with your decision.
Tesla is officially in with the big guns.
After Hertz Global Holdings Inc. placed an order of 100,000 Teslas—the biggest single electric car purchase ever—Tesla officially hit the $1 trillion market cap for the first time.
The trillion-dollar club has some big names, including Apple, Facebook and Amazon. With the purchase, Tesla's stock shot up to more than $1,045 a share by midday Monday, a new record after topping $900 a share just a day earlier.
The $4.2 billion deal is the biggest purchase of electric vehicles to date. Hertz said it will use the Teslas to round out their fleet of electric rental cars by 2022 just months after filing for bankruptcy protection.
The news came just days after Tesla followed its leader, CEO Elon Musk, and relocated its headquarters to Austin. Austin's Giga Texas plant, which is currently finishing construction, is set to begin producing Cybertruck models at the end of 2022 and will begin "volume production" by 2023, Musk said in the meeting.
Musk celebrated the stock market victory on Twitter.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 25, 2021
Shortly after moving to Austin, Tesla saw its best quarter yet with Q3 revenue coming in at $13.76 billion—up from $8.77 billion this time last year. It was the electric car companies' ninth straight profitable quarter.
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They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
While Northwest Arkansas isn't exactly looking to be a breakfast taco-loving, live music-having tech hub, it is branding itself as the Austin of yesteryear. And who better to come to the quickly-growing paradise than Austinites themselves?
OZ Brands is the latest NW Arkansas organization to entice Austin residents to pack up and make the move. The company, which is named after the area's Ozark Mountains, promotes travel, trails and art within the region and is owned by Runway, a NW Arkansas business investment group. Runway is headed by Walmart founder Sam Walton's grandsons, Steuart and Tom Walton.
OZ is targeting Austinites with the "One Way Out" giveaway, a program that will give at least 10 Austinites a one-way Allegiant ticket from Austin to the Northwest Arkansas National Airport.
"Fall is the perfect time to visit and explore the natural beauty of the Ozarks," the program's website reads. "Why just one way, because once you're here, you won't want to leave!"
Why swap cosmopolitan Austin for NW Arkansas' forest-filled hideaway? Just like other local programs including the Greater Bentonville Chamber of Commerce and the NW Arkansas Council, OZ Brands is looking to capitalize on priced-out Austinites who may not be pleased with the region's unprecedented growth.
"It's okay, Austin, we get it. You're tired of the tourists, the traffic, the hassle," the website says, escalating to an all-caps message reading, "YOU NEED A BREAK, AND WE ARE HERE TO GIVE IT TO YOU."
OZ is far from the first program to offer financial incentives to move to the area. Ads for Greater Bentonville began cropping up on the feeds of Austinites weeks ago as they promoted their annual tech summit, while the NW Arkansas Council rolled out similar ads. Instead of "Austin City Limits," the organizations promised "Bentonville City Limitless." If you "wish you'd bought in Austin 10 years ago," the Council promises that the area is perfect for you.
The Greater Bentonville Chamber of Commerce and NW Arkansas Council have both made moves to bring Austinites to the region. (Greater Bentonville)
Like similar programs in the past, One Way Out "is an opportunity for Austinites who no longer feel at home in their own city to see for themselves the value and qualities of Northwest Arkansas ... It's for those living in the Texas city who feel the growing pains of Austin expanding beyond its limits," the company said in a press release.
The region has recently experienced substantial growth, moving to fourth on the U.S. News and World Report's list of 150 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2021-2022 and enjoying an influx of businesses, tech workers and startups tired of the West Coast's crowds and priciness. And with a great arts and culture scene, a lower cost of living and even a financial incentive to move to the area, talents like film producer Kristin Mann decided it was time to swap Austin for sunnier skies in Arkansas.
"I love (Austin) how it is now, don't get me wrong, but I've always fantasized about what it might have been like before it really exploded," Mann said. "And I feel like that's similar here...There's something really unique about this town, and it feels like there's something really exciting happening here."
The contest ends Oct. 29 and is open to anyone 18 and older that lives within 50 miles of Austin. Winners must book their trip within four months of the competition and finish the trip by May 1, 2022.
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