KVUE — Authorities are dropping charges against the teenagers arrested in connection to Austin's deadly mass shooting on Sixth Street as the investigation continues and they close in on a new suspect, officials said June 22.
Travis County District Attorney José Garza and Austin Police Department Interim Chief Joseph Chacon provided an update on the investigation during a press briefing Tuesday morning.
In the early morning hours of Saturday, June 12, police initially said shots were fired into a large crowd in the entertainment district on Sixth Street, sending several to the hospital. One person died as a result of his injuries, and 14 others were injured, including one victim who may be permanently paralyzed and another who was shot in both legs and is relearning how to walk.
On Tuesday, Chacon said the shooting involved two rival groups who encountered each other on Sixth Street and exchanged words. "Many" people involved had guns, Chacon said.
Police had previously arrested two teens — a 17-year-old and a juvenile — in connection to the shooting. However, on Tuesday, Chacon said police now have a new suspect named De'ondre Jermirris White, who they believe to be the primary gunman in the shooting.
Garza said that evidence suggests White is the person who is "primarily responsible" for the shooting. Authorities are now searching for White, who is believed to be armed and dangerous, and are asking for the public's help in locating him.
Once White is apprehended, he will be charged with murder in connection to the death of 25-year-old Douglas John Kantor, who died from injuries sustained during the mass shooting.
Garza said the 17-year-old and juvenile who had been arrested in connection to the shooting had been charged with aggravated assault and deadly conduct, respectively. The charges against both of those individuals will be dropped.
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