AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin police officer who suffered a gunshot wound won’t face any charges for shooting and killing the man who shot him. A Travis County Grand Jury found the officer was justified in his shooting Wednesday.
Officer Armando Perez was on regular patrol in the downtown corridor on April 3 when he came across a man chasing after Darrin Martin, 25. Police say Martin was trying to get away from an apartment complex concierge who said he saw the suspect trying to break into cars at a nearby parking garage.
Officer Perez caught up to the men in the parking lot at 508 West Avenue where he witnessed the two men scuffling. Police say the apartment employee knocked the suspect to the ground twice as the officer was trying to catch up to them.
While Perez was trying to secure the suspect, police say he was giving the commands: “Let me see your hands, let me see your hands.” In an interview with police, the concierge said once the officer was able to grab a hold of the suspect, he backed off so the officer could do his job.
As the officer called for more back-up, police say the concierge jumped back in to help the officer when he asked for help holding on to the suspect. While grabbing the suspect’s hands, the concierge said he saw a black handgun in the suspect’s right hand. “I yelled out ‘gun,’ then I backed off and got out of the way by running toward a dumpster,” said the suspect in his statement.
When Perez heard the warning, he tried to back up but the suspect pointed the gun at him. Police say Martin fired once, hitting Perez in the abdomen. Perez returned gunfire killing Martin.
The officer, who was struck in the abdomen, returned gunfire, shooting and killing Martin.
While he was in the hospital, Perez said the concierge was his “hero.” Perez, a 9-year veteran with the Austin Police Department, is still recovering from his injuries but has returned to patrol duties.