AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Austin police continue to investigate the attack on Travis County District Judge Julie Kocurek, here’s what we know so far.
The night of the shooting
On Friday, Nov. 6, police say Kocurek, 51, was pulling into the driveway of her home on Scenic Drive around 10: 30 p.m. when an unknown assailant approached the vehicle and fired shots into her car. Sources say Kocurek was in the passenger seat and her son was driving at the time, but got out of the car to remove a garbage bag near the gate when the shooting happened.
“Investigators absolutely believe the assault was an attempt to murder, an attempt on her life… she was targeted on that attack,” said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo a few days after the shooting.
What are the extent of her injuries?
While police have not officially identified her injuries, sources say broken glass and shrapnel caused her injuries. Kocurek was taken University Medical Center Brackenridge for treatment. A week after the incident, the family released a statement indicating she was still in the hospital—in stable condition—and had to be treated for an infection. As of Dec. 23, a family representative says there are “no new updates” in regards to Kocurek’s condition and wouldn’t say whether or not she is still hospitalized; however, sources tell KXAN News Kocurek was released from the hospital the week of Dec. 14.
Who are the police investigating?
No one has been charged or arrested in connection to the shooting but Austin police have identified Chimene Onyeri, 28, of Houston as a person of interest. Onyeri was taken into custody in Houston on Nov. 9 on unrelated murder charge. Records show Onyeri was arrested for a 2012 fraud case in Rollingwood. Court documents show Kocurek sentenced Onyeri to 3-years probation for the fraud, but prosecutors recently asked Onyeri be arrested for violating probation terms for a similar case out of Louisiana.
In December, search warrants relating to Onyeri were unsealed, revealing officials were warned two weeks prior to the shooting that Onyeri was planning to kill an unnamed Travis County judge.
Police say they are also looking into reports of a suspicious person spotted in Kocurek’s neighborhood the day of the shooting. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now assisting Austin Police with the investigation.
Does she plan on staying on the bench?
Kocurek has no plans to step away from the bench. On Nov. 18, Judge Kocurek filed for reelection. In a statement, the family representative says Kocurek “will return to her public service duties as soon as is practicable.”