AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police identified the two suspects shot and killed Tuesday night when they reportedly tried to break into an apartment in northeast Austin.
During a news conference Thursday afternoon, police said Casaundra Hernandez and Emilio Maisonet died at the scene after suffering gunshot wounds. A homicide detective did not release the name of a third injured suspect, who remains hospitalized at this time.
Police said they responded to a shots fired call at about 10:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Creekside on Parmer Lane apartment complex.
A detective said three people went to the apartment to rob a couple of residents of drugs and money. Police said people inside the apartment fired the shots.
Police said they found multiple guns at the scene.
They do not anticipate any charges being filed against the residents related to the shooting.
“They live there, and they felt like, I’m sure, that they were protecting their lives, that their lives were threatened, so they used what force they believed was necessary to protect themselves,” Sergeant Eric De Los Santos said.
Police could not confirm if the residents or the suspects knew each other.
APD also shared that they have not been able to talk to the hospitalized suspect yet, but that charges could be filed in the case.
“These folks planned a robbery,” De Los Santos said. “And we take that very serious. So, anybody involved in that? We’re going to go after.”
What neighbors experienced Tuesday
“They were running around everywhere, ambulances and everything,” said Witness Tyler Watts. “With their assault riffles running, they were huge.”
Police had the majority of the complex blocked off with crime scene tape.
Tyler Watts was just moving into his new Creekside apartment when the shooting happened. He thought a spot farther from where he used to live at Lamar and Rundberg two years ago would be safer.
The boxes are still piled up in his new unit. He recently moved away from violence in California.
“That was the whole point of coming up north was getting away from it. To know that it’s up here, it’s pretty surreal. It’s pretty ridiculous,” said Watts.
A day later after the shooting, the tape was limited to the stairwell leading up to the unit, but the carnage of the night’s violence was still evident.
”That’s what you come home to. A double murder, or homicide. It’s not awesome,” said Watts.
Police evacuated the other people living at the complex after the shooting but then later escorted them back into their homes one at a time.
APD says most Austin murders happen during drug deals, especially marijuana sales
At the press conference on Thursday, police said they were not as concerned with the marijuana in this case, but more concerned with the violent crime that can be associated with it.
A few months ago, Austin homicide detectives told KXAN the majority of cases they work involve drug deals.
Sergeant Eric De Los Santos said at the time, of the city’s 35 murders in 2018, 20 of them happened while someone was selling drugs. He also said these incidents most commonly involve marijuana.
2019 change in Texas law impacts gun owners at apartment complexes
Lawmakers passed nine gun-related laws during the 2019 Legislature. One law — House Bill 302 — prevents landlords at apartment complexes from being able to keep tenants or their guests from carrying a firearm.
This means that as long as the renters in this case possessed the guns legally, they cannot face consequences from their apartment complex for having the guns within their apartment.