Man killed by Austin police officer identified

Darrin Martin was shot and killed by an APD officer on April 3, 2016. (TDCJ mugshot)
Darrin Martin was shot and killed by an APD officer on April 3, 2016. (TDCJ mugshot)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department says 25-year-old Darrin Andrew Martin was the man who an officer shot and killed during a shoot-out Sunday morning. The injured officer, 37-year-old Armando Perez, who was born and raised in San Antonio, has been with the department since November 2005 and his regular patrol is the downtown corridor.

Austin Police Association President Ken Casady told KXAN Monday night the officer is out of the hospital and at home on administrative leave.

Prior to the shooting, a 23-year-old concierge saw on live surveillance video of Martin breaking into cars. The concierge left his desk and began chasing the suspect while telling someone to call 911. The APD officer, who was on regular patrol, came upon the foot chase and called for backup.

Acevedo says the apartment employee knocked the suspect to the ground twice as the officer was trying to catch up to them. As the officer was trying to secure the suspect, Acevedo says you can hear the commands being given by the officer. “Let me see your hands, let me see your hands,” explains Acevedo during the news conference on Sunday.

As the officer called for more back-up, police say the concierge helped the officer with the suspect. “He is the first one who sees the gun and yells ‘gun,'” says Acevedo. “The suspect without any warning turned and took out a semiautomatic pistol and fired one shot at our officer.” The officer returned gunfire, shooting and killing Martin.

Austin police is launching a criminal investigation into the shooting, as well as an internal administrative investigation as to why the officer shot the suspect.

The officer will be on paid administrative leave pending the completion of the investigations.

According to DPS criminal records, over the past eight years, he has been arrested and convicted of three crimes in the San Antonio area. In 2009, he was arrested on a theft charge and received deferred adjudication. In 2010, he was arrested by the San Antonio Police Department for a burglary of habitation charge and sentenced to five years in prison. In 2012, he was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle. In December 2014, he was released on parole that was set to expire in September 2017.

Officer involved shooting at Fifth Street and West Avenue.
Officer involved shooting at Fifth Street and West Avenue.

Social Media Concerns

Chief Art Acevedo says the department took more than 24 hours to identify the officer involved due to security reasons. Acevedo says the department had a team working to properly secure Perez’s social media accounts as well as his friends and family’s accounts. Police say people who don’t see the officer’s actions as heroic could harass the officer and his family.

“Some of these illegitimate groups that don’t believe an officer has a right to defend themselves or anybody else will start trying to harass them and their families on Facebook, on social media,” Acevedo says. “It’s important for our officers to have time to check their security settings, tell their families to check their security settings.”

He’s talking about groups like Peaceful Streets Project, who have tweeted strong words at the police department.

“I have absolutely no interest in negotiation with them except for degrading them,” Joshua Pineda, a member of the group says.

Pineda has experienced negative encounters with law enforcement and does not trust them, he said.

“I want APD abolished, I want the police officer union abolished and I want something new established within the community with direct democratic representation,” Pineda says. He thinks communities should vote for their own officers to help with transparency and accountability.

When asked if the group would harass the officer’s family and friends, they said yes. “We would harass his family in the same way they harass other families within the communities by attacking the character and morality of his victims.”

“The things they say, the things they write are so vile, and there’s no accountability,” Acevedo says. “I don’t consider these people to be legitimate. And I think it’s important for the folks that report the news and watch the news to get a glimpse into the mind and the mindset of this particular group.”

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