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SW Austin man, who fired shots after city tries to cut lawn, dies in SWAT standoff, home engulfed in flames

At 10610 Pinkney Lane, AFD took out a fire during a SWAT situation. (AFD/Twitter)

After Austin Code Enforcement tried to cut a Southwest Austin man's lawn, it resulted in the man firing gunshots and an hours-long SWAT standoff before the man was shot by police and his home was engulfed in flames.


On Wednesday morning, Austin Code Enforcement and district representatives were on the scene at 10610 Pinkney Lane, near the Circle C neighborhood, for a warrant on lawn maintenance. As they attempted to cut his lawn, the man, who was alone in his home, fired shots. One code inspector suffered a minor injury to the shoulder.

By 10:43 a.m., SWAT crews, mental health officers and crisis negotiators responded trying to deescalate the situation. The man barricaded himself in his home through the afternoon until he started firing shots again around 3:19 p.m, this time in the back of the house.

Through a robot, police were able to see that a fire had been started in the house. Austin police officers tried to coax the man out of the house as the fire grew. As the Austin Fire Department started extinguishing the fire, the man ran out of the home from the garage with "weapons in hand." He was then shot by SWAT officer Eric Strnad.

Medical attention was given to the resident and he was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:01 p.m.

The man was identified to the public by police as 56-year-old Robert Bruce Richart on Nov. 2. Neighbors to the man told KXAN they didn't have issues with him and reports show he didn't have a violent history.

Per department policy for an officer-involved shooting, the SWAT officer will be placed on administrative duty.

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