Police: Argument over military service leads to deadly attack

Ross C. Barrow (Austin Police Department)
Ross C. Barrow (Austin Police Department)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A 30-year-old man is in jail, charged with murder, for the alleged beating of a man during an altercation over which military branch they served in central Austin Sunday night.

Austin police said two officers were at the Northcross Mall shopping center at 2545 W. Anderson Ln. handling an unrelated call just before 9 p.m. when they noticed two men fighting near the Exxon gas station.

As the officers ran towards the men, the officers saw the suspect, identified as Ross C. Barrow, “kicking and stomping” on the 57-year-old victim, identified Tuesday as Alan Albert Niedermann. According to an arrest affidavit, officers saw Barrow pick up Niedermann by his shirt and throw him several feet. The officers then saw the suspect “jump in the air and stomp down” on the victim’s head.

Police say the victim was lying motionless on the ground when they got to him. He died at the scene.

A witness told police he, along with the suspect and victim, were all hanging out in the grassy area drinking alcohol when the two men starting arguing over their respective military branches in which they served. The verbal argument started to escalate from there, and the witness said he heard Barrow said he was “going to kill” Niedermann.

Police immediately took Barrow into custody. The Travis County Medical Examiner’s office conducted an autopsy Monday morning and determined the death was from blunt force trauma and ruled it a homicide.

Barrow’s bond has been set at $100,000.

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