Lone gunman shoots up Austin police headquarters, other buildings

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AUSTIN, TX – An Austin man tried to make his own Thanksgiving doorbuster action.

The unidentified gunman fired off as many as 100 rounds in about ten minutes, beginning around 2:20 a.m. Friday.

His targets: buildings in downtown Austin, among them the federal building, the police headquarters, and the Mexican consulate, which he tried to torch.

A mounted police officer finally took him down in front of the police station.

"For a guy to keep his composure, holding the two horses with one hand and taking a one-handed shot with the other hand, just says a lot about the training and professionalism of our police department,” said APD chief Art Acevedo.

Cops first thought the man was wearing a bomb vest, or had explosives in his vehicle. But their bomb-sniffing robot didn’t find anything. And right now, police say no one else was involved.

At this time, police don’t know why the 50-year-old guy with a criminal record started shooting up the town. But Chief Art Acevedo thinks recent heated and angry political rhetoric played a big part.

"I would suspect, and I would venture based on my training and experience, that the rhetoric, the political rhetoric, might have fed into some of this,” said Acevedo.

It may sound like a bad joke to say Austin dodged a bullet, but that’s what happened, only it was more like a hundred bullets, any one of them capable of turning the day into a different Black Friday.