City News

Austin protestor in critical condition after being hit by police 'bean bag' shot

Austin protestor in critical condition after being hit by police

police tape caution police lights
A 20-year-old is in critical condition after being struck by a bean bag bullet. Huffington Post

KVUE — A 20-year-old man was in a hospital in critical condition Monday afternoon after an Austin police officer fired a less-lethal round that was intended for somebody else, according to police.

The incident happened after 11 pm on Sunday, May 31, in front of the Austin Police Department's headquarters, located near East Eighth Street and Interstate Highway 35.

Chief Brian Manley said protesters were gathered outside of the headquarters for the third night in a row when someone in the crowd threw a bottle at officers protecting the building. A witness, David Frost, told KVUE someone threw the bottle at the officers stationed on the I-35 bridge, however.

"One of the [objects], unfortunately, struck one of the officers that were on the top of the bridge, and they engaged in fire on us. And one of the bean bags that they shot, unfortunately, hit this gentleman in the head," Frost said.

Chief Manley said the 20-year-old Black man, who was recording video on his phone at the time, was standing next to the person who had thrown the bottle. Shortly after, the police department's HALO cameras showed that person throw a backpack at the officers. 

"Within a moment's notice, after that, one of the officers fired their less-lethal munition at that individual, apparently, but it struck this [20-year-old] victim instead. This victim then fell to the ground, and it appears as though he hit his head when he fell to the ground as well," Chief Manley said.

Frost saw what happened next.

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To read the full story and see the video, head to KVUE.