AUSTIN – The Austin mass shooting that happened early Saturday morning on 6th Street left many people shocked and scared.
“Last night was really kind of an eye-opener and a crazy experience,” Noah Ramirez said.
It was supposed to be a fun night for Ramirez, a Seattle native visiting Austin friends. He said he was hanging out at a bar on 6th Street when the chaos unfolded.
“We were all leaning over the top of the balcony looking down into the street. We turned our back and the next thing we know we hear some loud gunshots,” Ramirez said.
The popular area was packed with people inside bars and barricaded off from traffic. It quickly turned into a crime scene.
“We turned around and we saw quite a few bodies on the ground, people bleeding officers running in trying to help,” Ramirez said.
Investigators said what started as a dispute between two people turned into a shooting and sent 14 people to the hospital, two remain in critical condition.
Interim Chief Joseph Chacon said he is grateful no one died.
“I want to express our heartfelt commitment to the victims in this case: we will seek justice. We’re going get the people responsible into custody,” he said.
Jerry Castillo was visiting Austin from El Paso for a bike rally and left minutes before the mass shooting happened.
“It’s unfortunate we are out here to have a good time and enjoy ourselves,” Castillo said.
Jocelyn Boyle had plans to visit the area last night but decided to wait.
“This morning at 7:30 my cousin called me, are you okay and I said yeah we are fine what happened, and he told me about the shooting,” she said.
Most of the victims are believed to be innocent bystanders. Officials said officers had to transport some of them to the hospital in their patrol cars.
“The actions that they took, how quickly they took them... and the fact that I believe they truly saved lives. We have 14 people who were shot... ok? And none of them died. I’m extremely grateful for that,” Chacon said.
After hours of investigating, police arrested one man, but the search continues for another.
Others said this shooting will not stop them from visiting again.
“Austin will stay strong,” Hunter Burgess said.
“You never expect to go through something like that. I’ve been to Austin before and gone to 6th Street and never felt like it was going to be a problem,” Ramirez said.
Chacon said state troopers are assisting with extra security this weekend because there are different events.
Several agencies are reviewing multiple sources of surveillance to help with the investigation.