Austin Police Call Black Friday Shooter a “Homegrown Terrorist”

Tweet

In the early morning hours of Friday, November 28th, Austin like other towns in the U.S. appeared quiet. Aside from the normal traffic accidents, and disturbances typical for a Thanksgiving holiday the night had been peaceful. By two in the morning a few people were already stirring in preparation for Black Friday, but the downtown streets were unusually disserted. Most state and city offices were closed for the long weekend, and downtown shops and bars were likewise closed and locked. A few have theorized Larry McQulliams who started a one-man siege of Austin’s downtown district chose this date and time so as not to kill, but no one will ever really know.

Austin police and fire were responding to alarms coming from the Mexican consulate around 2:22 a.m. when numerous reports of gunshots became pouring, with some callers stating that an unidentified man was targeting government facilities. For those in central Austin the quiet morning suddenly erupted into the wail of sirens.

By 4:00 am local media’s presence downtown gave residents a glimpse of the scene as police sent in robotic arm to check for explosives devices in McQulliams’ van. By 4:09 am APD released one statement via Twitter offering information on the morning’s events. “One male suspect is deceased. We are in the process of securing the scene.” As early morning shoppers whizzed passed the televisions marked down for Black Friday the strangely surreal scene still unfolding downtown was displayed on almost all of them.

By Friday afternoon answers were forthcoming, but they all seemed to lead to yet more questions. Larry Steven McQuillams, 49 of north Austin was identified as the shooter. A newcomer to Austin he’d appeared to fit in, telling new neighbors and friends his move to this part of Texas was for a “fresh start”. Neighbors in his apartment complex referred to him as “friendly” and “kind”.

According to police McQuilliams fired off over a hundred rounds of ammunition in downtown Austin, and in his van were dozens more propane cylinders. He’d attempted to burn down the Mexican Consulate by setting fire to one such canister, so it’s theorized he planned the same for the federal buildings and other institutions he riddled with bullets instead. McQuillams was killed when he fired several rounds at the Austin Police Department, and APD mounted patrol sergeant Adam Johnson returned fire.

According to Police Chief Art Acevado, McQuilliams was a White Supremacist with hidden ties to the Phineas Priesthood, a hate group that opposes gay marriage, taxes, “race mixing” and holds extremist views toward the government. Group members of the Phineas Priesthood have committed bank robberies and bombings such an attack on a Planned Parenthood office in Spokane, Washington. A map discovered in McQuilliams home marked at least three-dozen potential targets throughout Austin. McQulliams left no note, so his motive remains unclear, but when his body was examined the words “Let me die” were found written across his chest.

 

Sergeant Johnson, the leader of the department’s 12-member mounted patrol was placed on administrative leaves following the shooting.


Tweet

Related posts: