Ex-police officer arrested over fatal shooting of three people in Texas

Austin: A manhunt for a former Texas sheriff’s deputy suspected in the fatal shooting of three people in Austin ended when authorities said he was arrested without incident about 30 kilometres from the scene of the weekend attack.

Officers found Stephen Broderick, 41, along a rural road around 7.30am on Monday, local time, in Manor, an Austin suburb, after receiving reports of a suspicious person matching the description of the suspect in Sunday’s shooting, Manor Police Chief Ryan Phipps said.

Authorities at the scene of the shooting in Austin, Texas on Sunday.Credit:Austin American-Statesman via AP

Broderick had a pistol in his waistband, Phipps said. He said Broderick was taken to Travis County jail, where authorities did not immediately release more information.

“I’m truly heartbroken that a former Travis County Sheriff’s Office Deputy is the suspect in such a horrific incident,” Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez said in a statement.

Stephen Broderick was arrested on Monday morning in connection with the shooting.Credit:Austin Police Department

Authorities hadn’t released the identities of those killed, but Jodi Duron, superintendent of the Elgin Independent School District near Austin, said the victims included a current and former student at their schools.

She identified them as Alyssa Broderick, who Duron said withdrew from the district last autumn, and Willie Simmons III, a senior at Elgin High School. Duron said Broderick was an “excellent student and athlete” who was on the basketball team. Simmons was the football team captain and had been recently recruited to play at the University of North Texas next year.

“The Elgin ISD community grieves the loss of these two young, promising souls,” Duron said, adding that the district had made counselling available.

Interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon said Stephen Broderick was suspected in Sunday’s deaths of two women and a man. Chacon said Broderick knew the victims, but didn’t elaborate on how or provide a motive for the shootings.

Police initially told Austin residents who lived nearby to shelter in place, but they lifted that request later on Sunday when they said it was unclear whether Broderick was still in the city.

Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza said in a statement that Broderick had been arrested for sexual assault of a child last June and was released on $US50,000 ($64,000) bond. He said that the district attorney’s office on Sunday filed a motion to revoke that bond.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Kristen Dark told the Austin American-Statesman that Broderick, a property crimes detective, resigned after the arrest.

The newspaper also reports that Broderick’s wife filed for a protective order and divorce shortly after his arrest.

AP

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