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The Lead: Mayor Applauds Obama’s Gun Measures; APD Looks for Shooting Witnesses

Nathan Bernier

Good morning. Austin’s warming trend continues today; the National Weather Service says Austin’s due for a high near 60, with slightly warmer temperatures expected this weekend.

Lead story: President Obama’s call for a series of stronger gun control measures has met with immediate opposition from state officials. Governor Rick Perry issued a statement soon after the President’s speech calling for prayer, and stating that “guns require a finger to pull the trigger.” 

Locally, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell says he supports President Obama’s measures to limit gun ownership. He issued a statement saying people in Austin have called for stronger gun regulations.

“As a member of the over 800 mayor strong coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a citizen, a father and a grandfather, I applaud President Obama and Vice President Biden for their leadership and courage in addressing gun violence prevention. Folks from Austin and across the country have called for stronger gun regulations, and I am thankful that real reforms will finally be enacted. I stand firmly behind our children and families, as well as our national leaders, as we move forward on this critical issue.”

The mayor won’t be attending today’s City Council meeting; he’ll be in Washington D.C. for the U.S. Mayors conference, where gun violence is one topic municipal leaders will explore.

Police looking for shooting witnesses: Austin police want anyone who witnessed a police shootout earlier this week to come forward and help with their investigation.

The incident started Monday afternoon at theCapital Plaza Shopping Center off of I-35. Someone robbed the driver of an armored vehicle and took off.

People called 911 and police chased the suspect to a wooded area near the Springdale Shopping Center at Manor and Springdale Roads. That’s where the shootout happened. One police officer was hurt in the shootout, but his injuries were not life threatening.

Witnesses can contact the Special Investigations Unit at 512-974-6840.

Houston names new symphony director: The Houston Symphony has named a Colombian-born, Austrian-trained music director. It marks the first time the orchestra will be led by a Hispanic.

The symphony announced today the appointment of 35-year-old Andres Orozco-Estrada.

The appointment ends a three-year search to fill a post that will be vacated in May when Hans Graf leaves after 12 years as the symphony’s music director.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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