More details about the latest gun-related attack in the United States came to light Friday, as officials confirmed the fatal shooting at a boba tea shop in a northwest Austin shopping center was a random attack, officials said.
Austin police are still investigating the circumstances of the shooting at Teapioca Lounge in the Arboretum, an outdoor shopping mall, which initially led to 911 calls reporting an active shooting and prompted a large emergency response shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday. Two people, including the gunman, died, and another person was seriously injured with gunshot wounds.
Police identified the victim who died as 64-year-old Laura Jauregui. The gunman was identified as 38-year-old Tang-Kang Dave Chiang.
Gunman fatally shot himself after opening fire in store
The gunman shot two women before turning the gun on himself in lounge, Austin police said Friday. Jauregui and the shooter were pronounced dead at the scene, and the other, unnamed victim was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries.
The motive for the shooting remains under investigation. Police have built their investigation largely using witness statements and security video and have also asked that any person in the area with pictures or video provide them to police immediately.
Jeffrey Laartz, from Germany, said he saw all the activity from his hotel.
“I saw next to the Cheesecake Factory many police, and I thought it must be a bit more [than a police procession], and the helicopter flying around, for me, it was clear there must’ve been a shooting,” Laartz said, according to KTBC-TV. “If you deal with guns, or you’re allowed to have guns in the United States you must expect things like this.”
Gun deaths in the United States
There have been at least 479 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Mass shootings, defined as four or more people shot, differ from mass killings, defined as four or more people killed, in that many mass shootings do not involve deaths.
The firearm homicide rate in 2020 was the highest recorded in more than 25 years, and it rose by about 35% from the previous year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2021, gun deaths reached the highest number ever recorded at nearly 49,000, the agency said. It was the second consecutive year to set the grim record. In 2020, gun violence was the leading cause of death for children and teens.