Off-duty APD detective shoots road rage suspect in Burnet County

The scene of a shooting involving and off-duty Austin Police officer and a road rage suspect near Smithwick. CBS Austin/Leslie Allrich

An off-duty Austin Police detective shot a suspect in a road rage incident in Burnet County late Thursday night.

Captain Chris Jett of the Burnet County Sheriff's Office said the officer was on his way home in the 12000 block of FM 1431 near Smithwick just after 10 p.m. when he saw the suspect pointing a gun into a car with family of three inside.

The officer called 911 and exchanged gunfire with the suspect. The suspect was shot twice-- at least once in the chest-- and ran off into the woods, where he was found unconscious.

STARFlight flew the suspect to Dell Seton Medical Center. APD says the suspect is a 55-year-old white male. His name has not been released. He is expected to survive. No one else was hurt.

"I would hate to think what would have happened if that officer hadn't drove up on the scene," Burnet County Sheriff Calvin Boyd said.

The Burnet County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Rangers are handling the investigation. Austin Police are also conducting an administrative investigation since it was one of their employees who shot the suspect. Friday morning APD Chief Brian Manley commended the detective for his actions.

"As a police officer... even when you're off-duty you may be on-duty. That's why you always have to be aware. You have to pay attention and you have to be prepared to take action," Manley said.

APD said the detective has been with the department for 19 years. He will be placed on administrative duty during the investigation which is standard protocol following shootings involving their officers. APD plans to identify the detective in the coming days.

"Had he not been on that stretch of roadway at that time there's really no telling what would have happened because the act of aggression that he came across may have resulted in the loss of life," Manley added.

Authorities continue to investigate the circumstances that lead up to the shooting. Currently, they do not believe the family and suspect knew each other.

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