Four injured after multiple highway shootings, suspect in custody

Rolando Martinez, 25, has been charged with multiple felonies in connection to a number of shootings along Interstate 35 early Saturday morning.

AUSTIN - A man is in custody after multiple highway shootings early Saturday morning led to the injuries of four people, including a 7-year-old girl, the Austin Police Department said.

APD said they received numerous calls starting around 1:57 a.m., the first from a person who reported they were being shot at while driving on Interstate Highway 35.

They caller stated they exited on Braker Lane and their windows were shot out, but the suspect was not seen. A minute later, police said multiple calls came in reporting shots fired on North I-35. No vehicle or suspect descriptions were given in these calls.

Around 2:27 a.m., police said a call came in from a gas station near Braker Lane and I-35. Officers were flagged down at that location. Police said a small black vehicle was seen in the parking lot, an individual got out and approached another vehicle in the lot and pointed an assault rifle. Police said the suspect got into his vehicle and fled the scene. A video was recorded of this incident, which police said would be released at a later time.

The APD reported that three people were injured in a later shooting under similar circumstances; a 29-year-old male, a 31-year-old female, and a 7-year-old girl. The two adult victims suffered minor injuries, while the child suffered life-threatening injuries and remains in intensive care at a local hospital. Police said these victims reported they heard shots fired at them but did not get a look at the suspect’s vehicle.

At 2:33 a.m., another caller stated they were traveling on I-35 near Wells Branch and said shots struck their vehicle.

At 2:49 a.m., a victim called from a local Walgreens leaving Downtown Austin. They reported that they noticed a small black vehicle traveling at a high speed, so they exited the highway northbound to avoid them when shots were fired out of the car from a rifle, striking their vehicle.

At 3 a.m., police said a call came from the 5800 block of I-35 stating that they saw a black vehicle pull up and point a rifle at them but did not fire.

At 3:07 a.m., a caller near 51st Street and I-35 observed a black vehicle driving erratically and it later pulled up beside her, then chased her and struck her vehicle from behind. She said the driver pointed a weapon at her but did not fire.

At this time, police said a male victim came to a local hospital reporting he was shot at and struck near North Lamar Boulevard and U.S. Route 183. Police said his injuries were minor.

Around 3:12 a.m., the Department of Public Safety discovered an abandoned vehicle matching the description near U.S. Route 290 and I-35. A male suspect was noticed nearby walking away from the vehicle. As a DPS trooper approached, he noticed a weapon inside the vehicle. At this time, the suspect was no longer seen and APD set up a perimeter but were unable to locate him.

APD said the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force was called in and began research on the vehicle, identified the suspect and were able to locate him at a residence, taking him into custody without incident.

Police said the suspect appeared to be intoxicated on some kind of substance, which is to be determined at a later time. As there are numerous victims and crime scenes involved in this incident, officials said the investigation could take weeks.

Police said the suspect is believed to be the only suspect involved in the incident and there is not believed to be any further danger to the public. The suspect’s name will not be released until he is formally charged.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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