AUSTIN (KXAN) — The man who was shot and killed by Austin police officers early Thursday morning has been identified as 34-year-old Morgan Wayne Crocker.
Police say they were originally called to the Sedona Springs Apartments in the 4200 block of Monterrey Oaks Boulevard in southwest Austin around 10:20 p.m. Wednesday for a report of a car being burglarized. When officers arrived, they couldn’t the suspect and left around 11:30 p.m. Just before midnight, officers returned when someone called 911 to say the suspect had returned.
When officers arrived the second time, they saw Crocker trying to run away from the apartment complex. In order to get him to stop, one officer used a stun gun on the suspect, but he rolled over on the ground and when he rolled over, police say he took out a weapon and shot at one of the officers. The officers shot back and wounded the man but police say he continued to resist after being shot.
The officers then used the impact shotgun, which fires non-lethal bullets. “They used it after they had shot the suspect when he was not complying with their orders to show his hands and get on his stomach since he still had the gun,” explained a police spokesperson in a statement. “They were trying to coerce him to move away from his gun so they could take him into custody and render medical assistance.”
None of the officers were injured in the shooting. Crocker was taken to a nearby hospital where he died a short time later.
The officers involved in this shooting are Officers Bernardo Ramirez and Brett Fritz. Ramirez has been with the department for nearly 24 years and Fritz has been with the department for nearly three years. As is standard protocol, the officers have been placed on paid administrative leave.
The case will be administratively investigated by APD’s Internal Affairs Unit and monitored by the Office of the Police Monitor. A concurrent criminal investigation will be conducted by the APD’s Special Investigation Unit in conjunction with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.
This is the seventh time this year an Austin police officer has been involved in a shooting. The most recent was on Labor Day. Police say 35-year-old Cesar Garcia raised a rifle at officers on Tech Ridge Boulevard in northeast Austin. Garcia died after the shooting.
On April 22, Tyler Hunkin was shot and killed by an Austin police officer. He was running at the officers with knives in his hands.
Crocker’s Criminal History
According to court records, Crocker was recently released from prison in May of 2015 after serving a 6-year sentence for an aggravated assault case out of Travis County. He also has priors for burglary of habitiation in Galveston County and another assault in Travis County from 2006.
Travis County court records indicate Crocker was most recently arrested last month for numerous family violence charges. In February, he was arrested and accused of having drugs and assaulting an officer.