A man in his 50s died early Friday after he fired more than 100 rounds at government buildings in downtown Austin and tried to set fire to the Mexican consulate. It is unclear whether the unidentified man was killed by a police officer who opened fire, or whether he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, reports the Austin American-Statesman. Although officials are still trying to determine a motive, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters that the targets suggest the shooter had political motives, and that the attack may have had something to do with U.S. immigration policy, notes Reuters.
“When you look at the national debate right now about immigration, that … comes to mind. Sometimes our political discourse becomes very heated and sometimes very angry,” Acevedo told reporters.
The shooting began at 2:22 a.m. Friday morning and continued for around 10 minutes, until a sergeant who was handling two horses returned fire. That’s when police officers approached and saw the gunman was wearing “some sort of vest” and detected “suspicious cylinders” inside his van, reports local ABC affiliate KVUE. A bomb squad was called, but it was determined the items were not explosive.