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Calling Austin Shooter an 'Extremist', Acevedo Gives Details of Investigation

Filipa Rodrigues/KUT
The scene outside APD headquarters on Friday November 28, 2014 following a shooting by Larry McQuilliams.

Austin Police are giving more details of what they've found so far in their investigation of Friday's early morning shootings in downtown Austin.

Larry McQuilliams, 49, shot at several downtown buildings, including the Mexican Consulate and APD headquarters, before he was fatally shot by Sgt. Adam Johnson at approximately 2:32am Friday.

McQuilliams had the words "Let me die" written on his chest at the time of his death.

APD Chief Art Acevedo commended Johnson, saying the officer took only one shot from 312 feet away, to end the incident. 

Acevedo said investigators found a map on which McQuilliams had identified 34 locations, including other government buildings, banks and churches, perhaps indicating the shooter may have planned to target many more locations.

FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Christopher Combs said McQuilliams acted alone, and that there was no note or posting yet found that explain his actions. For his part, Acevedo called McQuilliams an extremist. "If you look at what he did, he terrorized a city, he's just an American terrorist trying to terrorize our people," Acevedo said.

A search of McQuilliams rented van after the shootings found several weapons, including gas canisters rigged with fireworks to make crude improvised explosive devices. McQuilliams used several of those devices at the Mexican Consulate, with limited effect.

Acevedo identified the two primary weapons used in the shootings as an M&P 15 long rifle and an Arsenal SLR-95 long rifle. A handgun, several magazines and boxes of ammunition were also discovered in the van.

Investigators are still looking into how McQuilliams obtained all the weapons.

A book called "Vigilantes of Christendom: The History of the Phineas Priesthood" was also found in the van, along with a handwritten note that Acevedo says "discusses his rank as a priest in the fight against anti-God people." The Phineas Preisthood is a known white supremacist group whose members have been convicted in attacks on banksand abortion clinics in Washington state.

Acevedo said McQuilliams spent time in federal prison for an armed robbery of an armored vehicle in Austin in 1992.

Matt Largey is the Projects Editor at KUT. That means doing a little bit of everything: editing reporters, producing podcasts, reporting, training, producing live events and always being on the lookout for things that make his ears perk up. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @mattlargey.
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