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Published:May 1st, 2014 10:49 EST
What`s Behind the Shootout at the Pointe On Rio Construction Site Near UT?

What`s Behind the Shootout at the Pointe On Rio Construction Site Near UT?

By John G. Kays

Efforts to size-up a construction site double shooting Wednesday, near the University of Texas campus (MLK Boulevard and Rio Grande) have their limits, thus far. The time of the shooting, where both a fired worker, possibly returning to his former work site seeking revenge, and a foreman on duty, exchanged gunfire at a little after 11:40 AM, is clear however. 

I say this, since the disturbance call reached the APD at 11:43 AM. (The Daily Texan) Gaps in the story come by way of not knowing the names of the two parties doing the shooting; also we are curiosity is piqued as to the type of firearms that had, since the foreman holds a concealed handgun permit.

When watching news reports on both KXAN (by Lindsay Bramson) and KEYE (by Fred Cantu) this morning (on the internet), I did recognize the location of the construction site shooting (identified as the Pointe On Rio), since I`m a UT Alumni and a long time resident of Austin. Well, MLK is changing all the time, I thought to myself, as I drove down it just last Monday morning. 

Two conspicuous examples of a changing MLK landscape are: a favorite UT hangout, Mr. Gattis, closed its doors not too long ago, and (this may date me), The Night Hawk, which I still see in my minds-eye whenever I drive by the intersection of Guadalupe and 19th (that may date me also).

Keeping that detour on low boil, I suppose a better question is: why was this construction worker so angry that he`d try to kill his former supervisor? Well, obviously, he`d been fired about two weeks previously, but why was he fired, we want to know? How strong were the threats he`d made towards the foreman at the time he was let go? 

Alright, so according to the AAS, the assailant had returned to Pointe On Rio and threatened the foreman just a week ago. This would be halfway between when he was fired and when he ultimately returns to reap his revenge, in earnest. A police report had been filed, according to APD officer Veneza Bremmer. (Austin American Statesman)

Another fact given by KXAN that interests us, is the foreman was eating lunch at Janitzio Mexican restaurant just an hour before the incident or showdown. Apparently many of these construction workers frequented this eatery, and no obvious quarrels had been noticed there before. According to one employee at Janitzio, Lori Salas, the workers had had eaten at this restaurant for at least a year, which is how long she`d worked there. (KXAN) 

In my mind, this sets the stage for the dramatic encounter that takes place late yesterday morning. This isn`t as big as the Shootout at OK Corral or anything, but nonetheless an interesting situation. It looks like the disgruntled, terminated worker fired first, then the foreman pulled out a gun and gave him a tablespoon of his own medicine, injuring him much more seriously than he was.

We haven`t been told where they were shot, and, as I mentioned previously, we don`t know what type of guns figure in. We do know both victims were rushed to University Medical Center Brackenridge, not too long after the shots were exchanged.

We anxiously await more details today, so perhaps some of the blind spots will see some light. It`s my understanding, both (we`ll call them) shooters are under the vigilant care of the APD while they`re hospitalized; this doesn`t mean, however, they`ve been arrested yet. 

As you know, the foreman was carrying this concealed handgun legally; we hear he had a valid license for it. As for the stalker or attacker, if he doesn`t die from getting shot, I`m sure he`ll be arrested. He was the aggressor and even pulled a knife out after he had already fallen from getting shot!

Last night KXAN hinted at the background behind the Concealed Handgun License law, passed in 1995 when George Bush was our governor. You have to turn back the clock a ways to a horrendous mass shooting in Killeen at a Luby`s Cafeteria, on October 16, 1991. 23 people were killed and 20 were injured by a crazy man who goes by the name of George Hennard; for some reason Hennard mainly targeted women. *(I`ll have to research this further for his reasons).

One woman present at Luby`s that tragic day, Suzanna Hupp, had both of her parents shot to death by this lunatic, David Hennard. Hupp lobbied successfully for the CHL law, since she recalls the harrowing story of having a .38 pistol still in her car, leaving her helpless; otherwise, she could`ve easily blown Hennard away in defense of her family (or so we are told). (Wikipedia)