Police have arrested and charged 24-year-old Brandon Montgomery Daniel with capital murder in the shooting death of Austin Police Officer Jaime Padron.
Padron was shot and killed early Friday morning by Daniel, who was reportedly drunk and causing a disturbance at a North Austin Walmart.
Padron was dispatched to the Walmart at I-35 and Parmer Lane at around 2:30 a.m. after employees called 911 to report a man causing a disturbance in the store.
When Padron arrived at the store, Daniel immediately attacked him. After a brief scuffle, Daniel pulled out a semiautomatic pistol and shot Padron in the neck at point blank range. Padron never had a chance. He somehow managed to get on his radio and tell police dispatchers he had been shot.
Two brave Walmart employees jumped on Daniel and and tackled him to the ground. Daniel fired one shot at the Walmart employees, but missed. They were able to hold him down until other officers arrived.
Paramedics arrived and tried to save the veteran officer’s life, but it was too late. Padron died on the scene.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that we’ve lost a police officer this morning,” police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters in an early morning press conference. “They (fellow officers) are extremely distraught. It is a tragedy on Good Friday to lose an officer like this, but it is part of what these men and women do. They know when they become a police officer that this is a sacrifice they are willing to make.”
Chief Art Acevedo
Padron was a U.S. Marine Corp. veteran and had been with the Austin Police department for 3- years. Prior to joining APD, he spent 14-years with the San Angelo Police Department. He leaves behind two daughters, 10 and 6-years-old.
“It’s a terribly sad event for (his) family as well as for law enforcement and all the members of the San Angelo Police Department. A lot of people cared a lot for Jamie,” said San Angelo Police Chief Tim Vasquez.
Brandon Daniel is a software engineer with Hewlett-Packard in Austin. Daniel’s roommate told the Statesman that Daniel left their apartment early Friday morning to get a prescription filled for Xanax.
Davis said he went to bed early and didn’t see him again. When he woke up this morning, Davis said Brandon’s bed was made, and every light in the apartment was on.
“He’s been a great roommate. We’ve never had any problems. It doesn’t make sense,” Davis said.
He described Daniel as a quiet “computer nerd.”
“He’s a good person. Nice, quiet and chill,” Davis said. “He had so much going for him. I couldn’t imagine it being him.”
Chief Acevedo says the Walmart employees who tackled Daniel and defended the officer will be honored for their actions in the coming weeks.
“What makes me proud is that Walmart employees immediately, upon seeing the officer viciously attacked without warning, jumped the suspect and took him down to the ground. The suspect actually fired an additional round aimed at one of the Walmart employees,” Acevedo said.
- 2:20 a.m.: A Walmart employee calls 911 and reports a disturbance in the store
- 2:21 a.m.: Padron is dispatched to the Walmart
- 2:29 a.m.: Padron arrives at the Walmart
- 2:44 a.m.: Padron is pronounced dead
In the past, Walmart fired employees that got involved with individuals who brandished weapons. Four Walmart employees in Utah were fired after disarming a man who pulled a pistol in the store on January 13. Walmart’s “Investigation and Detention of Shoplifters Policy” instructs employees to retreat if an individual brandishes a weapon.
But Friday afternoon a Walmart spokesperson released a statement saying that the employees had not violated policy and praised them for how they handled the situation.
Two memorial funds have been established to help Padron’s family.
Read Officer Patron’s memorial web page here.
Here is the press conference from early Friday morning.