The 17-year-old who died from gunshot wounds in an officer-involved "gun battle" on Sixth Street Friday has been identified as Michael 'Mikey' Carothers, according to the Austin Police Department.
Police were responding to a DWI call a block away when they heard gunshots in the entertainment district at around 1 a.m on Friday. The officers arrived to find two groups of men shooting at one another, and an officer that has been identified as four-year APD veteran Glenn Vargas began firing gunshots as well.
Carothers was found about 90 seconds later with critical injuries and was given life-saving measures by the APD Counter Assault Strike Team Rescue Task Force before succumbing to his injuries in the hospital.
One suspect was detained after both groups ran from police shortly after the shooting, and a handgun was later found at the scene.
It is unclear whether Vargas' bullet killed Carothers, but per protocol, Vargas has been placed on administrative leave. Body cam footage was captured in the moments that the officer fired the weapon as the department begins its early stages of the investigation. Police Chief Joseph Chacon recently shortened the time required to release body cam footage, and the department said it is working to release the footage to the public within 10 business days via a live-streamed press conference.
APD is hoping to find more video evidence and said anyone with information on the shooting can call 512-472-TIPS, or use the Crime Stoppers App.
Carothers was remembered as "the sweetest soul" by friends and family via Facebook after the shooting.
A GoFundMe has been set up by the best friend of Carother's mother in order to pay for funeral expenses. Just over $1,500 has been raised as of Wednesday morning.
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Nicklaus Pereksta says he loves photographing enthusiastic people, and it’s why his latest gig offering pictures to people out on Lady Bird Lake’s hike and bike trail is going smoothly. He sets up his gear on the Pfluger pedestrian bridge and puts out a sign: Photos, $10.
“Overwhelmingly, this has been a really positive experience,” Pereksta said. “I get excited when I wake up in the morning and I can't wait to go to work.”
Bikers and joggers are excited about it too. On the pedestrian bridge leading to downtown Thursday morning, a man on an e-bike rode up and posed, wanting more photos.
“I posted the last pictures on Instagram and people loved it. They asked, ‘where is this guy?’” the biker told Pereksta. Bashfully, Pereksta, who also photographs landscapes and at weddings and other events, said he was happy to hear that.
Pereksta started these photos about a month ago, after the strenuous runs required in his valet job started causing pain in his legs. And though he has a passion for photography, he wasn’t so sure when he started working independently if it would work out.
He felt uncertain about the demand for it and was also worried about having lots of expensive equipment out in the open.
“Then like the first day was nothing but high praise and people are like, this is so awesome. This is great. I've never seen anything like this before. I was like, Wow, this was really good, like positive turnout. So I got encouraged.”
Now, he wants to expand and is thinking of contacting the Mueller Farmers Market about how to become a vendor. Still, he'll carry a connection to photographing on the bridge since the word bridge is related to his last name.
“It's a name my great, great, great grandfather came up with when he was marrying somebody. It's actually quite a romantic name. It means a joining of two bridges," Pereksta said. "So, I thought it was ironic that I'm set up on a bridge. I'm kind of representing my last name right now.”
Austonia talked to Pereksta about life in Austin, where he’s lived for eight years after living in Boston doing band photography.
What was your first experience with Austin?
I came here to visit some friends and they took me to Barbarella. So we went to Barbarella and I was like, ‘wow, this place is great.’ And then the restaurants and the food and going to Barton Springs. I was like, ‘this is amazing.’ Because there's nothing like that in Boston. If you want to go to a natural spring, you got to go to New Hampshire. There's no pools in the city at all. So there's lots of swimming out here.
What do you like best about Austin?
You go to any little quiet bar and there's a band playing that should be like onstage for a sold out show. Yeah, they're playing to 10 people, right? Like, one of the best bands ever and they're playing for 10 people, right? And just little magic moments like that are pretty fun. You just run into little random weird things.
What do you think makes Austin different from other places?
There’s no fall.
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Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
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