Austin mass shooting: Newly-named murder suspect arrested in Killeen, police believe he was the sole shooter

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KILLEEN, Texas (KXAN) — The Killeen Police Department announced officers arrested Sixth Street mass shooting suspect De’Ondre White on Thursday.

White, 19, is being held in Killeen City Jail, according to police, after being arrested without incident. Bond has been set at $1 million.

De'Ondre White (Killeen PD photo)
De’Ondre White (Killeen PD photo)

Officers said on Thursday at about 2:23 p.m., members of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, with help from the Killeen PD SWAT team, found White in the 1300 block of Anna Lee Drive in Killeen. That’s west of South Fort Hood Street.

He was arrested on a warrant for murder in connection with the June 12 mass shooting that took place in downtown Austin, police said. White is awaiting arraignment.

“We are glad to work with dedicated professionals that are committed to keeping our communities safe regardless of boundaries. This case covered multiple jurisdictions, and together we were able to locate and take into custody a violent fugitive,” said Killeen PD Chief Charles Kimble in a press release.

White’s arrest comes just two days after the Travis County District Attorney’s Office dropped charges against the two previous teenaged suspects in the case, ages 15 and 17. White was named the new, sole suspect by the Austin Police Department on Tuesday.

APD said on Tuesday White was responsible for the death of 25-year-old Douglas Kantor in the mass shooting, which also injured 14 others. Interim Chief Joseph Chacon said new witness statements, ballistic evidence and surveillance camera footage led investigators to believe White was the one who fired the shots.

APD said White was interviewed after the shooting but was released back to Killeen. Officers said he changed his hair and appearance before hiding from law enforcement.

APD believes White fired the sole gun in shooting

According to an arrest affidavit for White, a disagreement between two rival groups of teens/young adults from Killeen led to the shooting.

When interviewed by police, two people within White’s group named White as the shooter, the affidavit said. One said a person with the other group showed a gun, and that’s when White fired multiple rounds from near the curb line into the street at the other group.

“This information matches evidence on scene, specifically the location of the cartridge cases on the sidewalk and in the street near the curb, as well as the victim locations in the street, away from the sidewalk area,” the affidavit reads.

Witnesses said White admitted he shot in self defense during a discussion among the group once they returned to Killeen, according to the affidavit.

A third person in White’s group also said White was the shooter and described to investigators where White was standing as he allegedly fired shots into the street, which lined up with other witness accounts.

De'Ondre White (Austin Police Department)
De’Ondre White (Austin Police Department)

Crime scene investigators found eight cartridges at the scene in front of a pub on the sidewalk near the north curb line in the 400 block of East Sixth Street. A preliminary examination determined the eight cartridge cases were most likely fired from the same gun, according to the affidavit.

In White’s June 21 interview with investigators before he was released back to Killeen, he said his group was standing on the sidewalk facing the street, while the other group was in the street facing the buildings.

The affidavit said White “claimed to have turned away and then heard gunfire coming from [the other group].” But officers in the affidavit said this would not have lined up with where the cartridges and victims were found.

“No victims were located on the sidewalk and no projectile defects were located in the building behind [White’s group],” the affidavit said.

How one gun could’ve hit 15 people

In video taken by Sixth Street visitors at the time of the shooting, KXAN counted at least six shots that sent the crowd running for their lives.

“Yeah, boom, boom, boom. That’s just somebody randomly firing, that’s all,” said Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works.

Cargill is a Central Texas gun activist. KXAN chose to reach out to him, because he owns a local gun shop in town and understands the capacity of these kinds of firearms.

“You’ve got a group of people not trained and randomly just firing with no purpose in life,” said Cargill.

He showed KXAN’s Kaitlyn Karmout the type of gun police believe White used, which was a 9mm handgun.

“This gun can hold 15 rounds, one round of chamber, so you’re looking at 16 bullets,” said Cargill. “When you’re looking at a full-metal jacket, that particular bullet there, it can actually go through a person and hit another person.”

Arrest documents also indicate police believe the target was another group of teens from Killeen.

“This was a planned hit, this was the making of an assassination is what this is,” said Nick Kantor, brother of 25-year-old Douglas Kantor, who died after the shooting. “My brother was caught in the crossfire.”

Family members of Douglas aren’t convinced the others involved should be able to walk away that easily.

“No charges on guns, no charges on assault… how is that, how is that even possible?” said Nick.

DA Office asks to add aggravated assault charges

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office released a statement Thursday evening, saying it will be presenting the case to a grand jury and asking that White be charged with murder and multiple counts of aggravated assault.

The office also plans to ask that White be held in custody while awaiting trail.

“We’re grateful to the Lone Star Task Force and APD for bringing Mr. White into custody,” said Travis County District Attorney José Garza in a press release. “We know this has been a scary and stressful time, and appreciate our community’s patience throughout the investigation. Based on both forensic and eyewitness testimony, we have full confidence that the person responsible for the shooting has been arrested and is no longer a danger to our community. At this time, we believe that Mr. White was the only shooter.” 

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