Austin Police Suspect Man Shot At Bus Stop Was Killed In Random Attack

Sep 21, 2020

Detectives have not found any motive for the shooting death of John M. Young, 60, who was found at a South Austin bus stop with at least one gunshot wound just before 5:30 a.m. on Sept. 16. Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott pronounced him deceased not long after. 

Police believe Young was sleeping when he was shot at a bus stop along South First Street near William Cannon Drive. Investigators say he appeared to have been experiencing homelessness and had no address. 

The bus stop on South First Street near William Cannon Drive, where John Young was found shot to death early in the morning of Sept. 16.
Credit Trey Shaar / KUT

“It’s very worrisome for us," Sgt. Eric De Los Santos of the Austin Police Department Homicide Unit said during a news conference Monday. "We don’t have many of these occur. There’s usually always a reason that pops up pretty quick in the investigation. The fact that he was asleep on a bus stop bench — this is a new level of brutality and possibly anonymous brutality, so yeah, we're worried.”

Police had received several calls to 911 shortly after 1 a.m. that morning, but officers sent to the area found nothing suspicious. Another call to 911 more than four hours later reported the victim lying at the bus stop.

"This particular bus stop wasn't very well lit, so darkness did provide some cover," De Los Santos said. "If you're having to take a bus stop late at night and it's particularly dark, move up a block to hopefully the next one, one that's better lit."   

Police are looking for two people in connection with this killing. One appears to be in his teens or 20s with a thin build. The other was in a vehicle, suggesting to police that this might have been a coordinated killing.

De Los Santos said homicide detectives are investigating a possible lead in the case, but would not reveal further information to prevent the possible destruction of evidence. Because of the lack of evidence, he said police need help from the public. Tips can be made anonymously at 512-974-TIPS. Crimestoppers is offering a reward of $1,000.

De Los Santos then addressed his remarks to anyone who knows who committed this crime.

"This level of brutality doesn't deserve allegiance or support by any means,” he said. “This person could easily turn on you, as they did this individual."

Got a tip? Email Trey Shaar at tshaar@kut.org. Follow him on Twitter @treyshaar.

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