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APD can backfill vacant positions with overtime after 7 officers put on leave

Seven Austin Police officers are on paid administrative leave after opening fire and killing a man Monday night. (CBS Austin)

Seven Austin Police officers are on paid administrative leave after opening fire and killing a man Monday night.

APD Chief Brian Manley said the suspect hijacked a Yellow Cab and led officers on a chase that ended on in the 4900 block of Edge Creek Drive near Perez Elementary School.

All seven officers are now pulled off of active duty while the shooting is investigated. Of the seven who fired their weapons, two are patrol officers, two are members of the SWAT team, and the remaining three are members of the narcotics unit.

An APD spokesperson said the department has the ability to backfill vacant positions with overtime officers if needed.

CLEAT, The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, represents officers across the state. Executive Director Charley Wilkison said the impact of putting officers on leave will likely be felt within the department and not the community.

"The administration's job will be to fill in those blanks and they will do that with moving some officers around and everything will be fine. The citizens won't notice any change or anything in service," Wilkison said.

He said there have been 13 officer-involved shootings in Texas so far this year. That's nearly double the number in 2018.

CLEAT is the agency that represents officers statewide. Several CLEAT attorneys responded to the scene Monday. "A disciplinary case could rise out of this, a criminal case could rise out of this. So, the attorneys are there to make sure they're not coerced by political circumstance into saying or doing the wrong thing," Wilkison said.

The Austin Police investigation continues Tuesday as the department reviews 911 calls and multiple scenes. "We're investigating a case that is somewhat complex. It occurred over three different locations throughout the evening," said APD chief Brian Manley.

Manley said the suspect hijacked a Yellow Cab and led officers on a chase that lasted several minutes. It ended near South Pleasant Valley on Edge Creek Drive where the man tried to ram the entrance gate into a subdivision to get away.

Manley said he pointed a gun at his head and then at officers. "The officers reported that the suspect pointed the gun at them again and at this point the officers fired their weapons," Manley said.

Neighbors Tuesday shared stories of witnessing the massive police presence on their street. One man said he heard dozens of shots go off. "We heard pop pop pop pop and I said, 'oh no,' and later on again less than 30 seconds later we heard pop pop pop pop pop I said this time they got the bad guy because there was too many shots," one neighbor said.

The driver of the hijacked Yellow Cab was not injured in Monday's incident. Austin Police have not released the name of the man who officers shot and killed.

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