Victim, gunman identified in Downtown Austin Omni shooting

Austin Omni Hotel shootout

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police said the innocent bystander killed by a gunman over the weekend at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown was 60-year-old Conrado Guadalupe Contreras.

Conrado Guadalupe Contreras was shot and killed at the Downtown Austin Omni Hotel.
Conrado Guadalupe Contreras was shot and killed at the Downtown Austin Omni Hotel.

Yellow Cab President Ed Kargbo said Contreras was a “beloved” driver for their company.

“The entire Yellow Cab family is mourning for one of our most devoted and caring drivers,” Kargbo said in a statement. “We are heartbroken over the loss of our friend Conrad, a man who went out of his way to help and serve others.”

Contreras was an Army veteran and worked as a taxi driver in Austin for 15 years.

“Conrad’s family and friends, including everyone at Yellow Cab Austin, will miss him deeply,” Kargbo continued. “We so appreciate Conrad’s devotion to those around him in Austin, his kindness, and his commitment to doing the right thing.”

The gunman involved in the deadly shooting has been identified as Michael Holt, according to Austin police. He was later shot and killed by Austin Police Officer Carlos Lopez, a five-year veteran of the department who is assigned to the downtown area.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Stephanie Guerrero, Holt’s next-door neighbor. “He was quiet, nice, respectful and always said, ‘Hi,’ just like a regular neighbor.”

In a letter sent out Monday, Capital Factory founder Joshua Baer said Holt rented a desk at the start-up incubator on May 1. Capital Factory has operations inside the Omni Hotel building.

“I don’t believe that this incident had anything to do with Capital Factory or any other members,” Baer said in the statement. “We don’t believe there were any failures in Capital Factory security policies or procedures.”

According to his employment history, Holt, 35, has worked in Austin’s start-up community since 2008.

The Austin-based Internet company uShip said Holt worked at the Austin start-up from Jan 2008 to August 2011.

After that, he worked for RetailMeNot. According to a spokesperson, Holt was employed there until several months ago.

Michael Holt
Michael Holt

“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the still-unnamed victim and that person’s family who were impacted as the result of the shooting allegedly committed by Michael Holt, a former employee,” said Brian Hoyt, vice president of communications with RetailMeNot.

We found out Holt filed paperwork last month with the Federal Election Commission as a candidate for president.

On Sunday, Austin police received a 911 call at 4:48 a.m. saying there was a man walking around with a gun in the lobby of the Omni Hotel at 700 San Jacinto Blvd. The 911 operator said they could hear crying and yelling in the background. Two minutes later, the caller said the man had shot someone.

When police arrived one minute later, they saw a man carrying a rifle. There was also a body on the ground. Police say the suspect then pointed the rifle at them.

“When the officers arrived on scene, they did engage in gunfire with the suspect,” explained Austin Police Department Chief of Staff Brian Manley. “The suspect ran into the hotel, and the officers gave chase into the hotel — ultimately encountering the suspect off to the side near the restaurant, where they again engaged in gunfire.”

Officer Lopez shot at Holt and killed him. Lopez will be placed on administrative duty during the investigation.

Kargbo said Yellow Cab takes several precautions to protect drivers and passengers, including placing cameras in every taxi. He added the company will do “everything we can” to support Contreras’ family during their time of need.

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