Early Saturday morning, two juveniles opened fire on each other in the middle of Austin’s crowded east Sixth Street entertainment district. New reports indicate there was a “dispute” between the two, though what that means — whether it was possibly gang-related — isn’t clear. Austin’s acting police chief described it as “an isolated incident between two parties.”
That portion of East Sixth Street, also known as Dirty Sixth, was crowded Friday night and early Saturday morning. As a result, when the shooting started, 14 people were hit when the two opened fire on each other. Two of the wounded were seriously injured and one, 25-year-old Douglas Kantor, has since died.
While both of the shooters initially escaped, they have since been arrested. One suspect was arrested Sunday and is reported to be 15 years old. He hasn’t been identified because of his age. The second suspect who was arrested yesterday is 17 and because he’s been charged as an adult, KHOU has identified him as Jeremiah Tabb.
BREAKING: A second person — a 17-year-old — has been arrested and charged in connection with the Sixth Street shooting that killed a New York tourist and injured 13 others. The suspect is charged as an adult with aggravated assault as the investigation continues.
— Tony Plohetski (@tplohetski) June 14, 2021
As you’d expect, the shooting by two people carrying firearms illegally resulted in all of the usual bloody shirt-waivers waving their bloody shirts, including calls for Texas Governor Greg Abbott to veto the constitutional carry bill that’s still sitting, unsigned, on his desk.
Here’s Austin’s feckless mayor’s kneejerk reaction . . .
— Stephanie Ruhle Reports (@RuhleOnMSNBC) June 14, 2021
So is everyone going to delete their tweets blaming constitutional carry? Because juveniles can’t purchase/carry handguns in Texas… nor drink alcohol… nor go into bars. #txlege https://t.co/MBVVJSDTpy
— Justin W. Williamson (@DubyaWilliamson) June 13, 2021
One person of note wanted to make it clear that he doesn’t blame firearms or a lack of restrictions on gun rights for the shooting or the death of Douglas Kantor. Douglas’s brother Nick posted this message on his Facebook page . . .
That lack of resources Nick Kantor mentions is something that large cities across the country have been dealing with. These are self-inflicted wounds resulting from the post-George Floyd stampede to defund police departments and “reimagine law enforcement.”
The Austin city council zero’d out funding for three police academy classes last year and cut funding for 150 current officer positions, a cut of about $20 million in the department’s budget. All of that reimagining has also led almost 300 Austin cops to reimagine their careers and quit or retire from the force.
It’s gotten so bad here in Austin that the state legislature acted and Governor Abbott has signed into law a bill to penalize larger cities that defund their law enforcement functions. The state will withhold property taxes and used the funds to pay for Texas Department of Public Safety officers to fill in and maintain law and order.
But the new law hasn’t taken effect yet. The city’s cuts to the department budget along with cops who’ve quit and retired — not to mention the city’s recently overturned homeless camping law and a prosecutor who isn’t interested in prosecuting criminals — have resulted in inadequate numbers of officers on the streets and a corresponding spike in violent crime. Not to mention significantly longer 911 response times.
So Mayor Adler will have to forgive those of us here in the city who aren’t buying the party line about the need for more gun control. Texas already has laws against minors carrying concealed firearms, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and murder. It isn’t clear what additional laws anti-gun activists and politicians think would have prevented the shooting over the weekend and the media never seem to be interested in asking that question.
Since one of the perps is a juvenile, we may not learn much about him or his record. But it will be interesting to find out how many prior encounters Jeremiah Tabb has had with the criminal justice system.