Texas man dressed as Santa Claus opens fire at Halloween party

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A Texas man who was dressed as Santa Claus opened fire at a Halloween party in Austin, seriously injuring several people before fleeing the scene, local police say. The suspect was taken into custody a short time later.

The incident happened at about 6:12 a.m. CT on Sunday when officers were called to reports of a shooting at a private residence in the 5500 block of Avenue F, which is located in the North Loop neighborhood in north-central Austin.

“It was described a white male subject that was dressed up as Santa Claus had shot a number of victims at that private residence,” said Detective Lee Knouse of the Austin Police Department. It happened when a number of people were gathered there for a Halloween party.

While en-route to the scene, officers received information that the suspect had made contact at another home nearby. “At the secondary location, officers were able to take the suspect into custody without force or without any further incident,” Knouse said.

A total of four people were injured, including three people who were rushed to Dell Seton Medical Center with injuries described as “very serious.” The other victim was treated at the scene but refused to be taken to hospital.

Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Service said a woman in her 30s was rushed to hospital with critical and life-threatening injuries, a man in his 20s was transported with critical and potentially life-threatening injuries, and a woman in her 30s was taken with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

There was no immediate word on what may have been the motive for Sunday’s shooting.

“We do believe the lone suspect in the incident is in custody at this time and the incident is being investigated,” Knouse said. “We do anticipate charges being filed, but as far as what those are, or when they’re going to be filed, is not something I can speak to right now because it is a very active investigation at this time.”

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