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APD: South Austin shooting spree suspect charged with murder

Police say 29-year-old Charles Curry is connected to a shooting death and shooting spree in South Austin. (Photo: Austin Police Department)

UPDATE: Austin Police confirmed to CBS Austin Saturday that Charles Curry has been charged with the shooting death of Christian Meroney. Curry is being held in Travis County Jail under a $3,250,000 bond.

ORIGINAL STORY

Police say they will issue a murder warrant Friday evening to the suspect in the shooting death of a man at a South Lamar apartment complex earlier this week.

Austin Police arrested 29-year-old Charles Curry on Wednesday after tracking him to the Post South Lamar Apartments following a shooting spree that injured two people. At that same apartment complex two days earlier, 32-year-old Christian Meroney was found shot dead.

Court documents say before the shooting spree on Wednesday, Curry attempted to purchase a gun suppressor, or silencer, at the Range at Austin at 8301 S. I-35 just before 2 p.m.

According to the affidavit, Curry was "acting very strangely" and commenting that he owned two guns, a Sig 228 9mm and a rifle. Due to Curry's behavior, the clerk decided not to sell him a suppressor.

Surveillance video from the Range shows Curry leaving the store parking lot in a white Chevy Tahoe, police say, and pulling in front of a Toytoa Camry.

The woman driving the Camry told police she had to switch lanes to avoid the Tahoe, and when she went around the vehicle, she was shot in the head, suffering only a superficial wound.

According to police, a call came in from Bob Wentz Park at Lake Travis around 5:04 p.m. where a caller reported seeing a suspicious man with a rifle unload a boat into the water. The license plate on the Tahoe towing the boat was registered to Curry.

Court documents say that the 911 caller's wife reported hearing a gunshot after the man went into the water. Upon arrival, Travis County deputies located the boat, named "Good Legislation," on a trailer--which, upon a license plate check, was found to also belong to Curry.

The boat was stored at Windy Point next door. Manager of Windy Point Richard Barstow said Curry seemed like a nice guy.

“Very nice, overall I would never have guessed him to have snapped and do what he did. He was very pleasant," Barstow said.

Barstow said he took the boat out about a dozen times over the past couple years. One worker at Bob Wentz park said he saw Curry several times over the past couple months. He said Curry was nice at first, but over the past couple weeks he said Curry became shorter in their conversations. The worker said Curry got angry when he told Curry the boat ramp was closed on their last encounter.

The Texas State Senate Secretary said Curry worked temporarily at the Capitol as a Senate Messenger for 51 days in 2016 then worked for Senator Joan Huffman as a policy analyst for just over six months after that.

A source that works at the Capitol who ran in the similar circles with Curry said he was "overly persistent" about getting a job in Texas politics. The source didn't want to have their named use for security purposes. They said they were "shocked" but "not surprised" when they learned he was the suspect in Meroney's murder and Wednesday's shooting spree.

Barstow told Austin Police that Curry stores his boat there, and that he had seen him leave and return with the boat on Wednesday afternoon driving his white Tahoe.

Later, at the Post South Lamar Apartments, police observed Curry, wearing shorts and no shirt, attempting to access the side door of the apartment complex. He could not get in, though, because apartment management had deactivated his key fob. Curry was then taken into custody.

APD says the same gun was used in the drive-by shootings and the murder on Monday. Police said further forensic analysis is necessary and continuing -- the results of which will determine additional charges on Charles Curry.

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