The gunman who targeted several government buildings in Austin, Texas, early Friday morning has been identified as 49-year-old Larry Steve McQuilliams, law enforcement has confirmed via Twitter. Authorities said the shooter, who opened fire on a federal courthouse, the Mexican Consulate and the Austin Police Department, was killed from a gunshot wound shortly after going on a shooting spree downtown, but it is unclear whether the fatal shot was self-inflicted.
Although McQuilliams’ motive has not been determined, officials are looking into whether possible anti-government sentiments over recent developments in U.S. immigration issues played a role, according to the Washington Post. President Barack Obama last week unilaterally changed immigration policy to allow as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants temporary amnesty from deportation, a move that sparked a national debate about the president’s use of executive action to alter U.S. policies.
— TWC News Austin (@TWCNewsAustin) November 28, 2014
"If you look at the targets, it doesn't take a genius [to suggest] that that is the potential," Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters on Friday. "I would venture that political rhetoric might have fed into some of this, but that is speculation on my part."
McQuilliams’ shooting spree in downtown Austin began around 2:20 a.m. The gunman fired more than 100 rounds of ammunition at several locations. Some of the buildings McQuilliam targeted were close to Sixth Street, a popular spot for nightlife entertainment where bars close at 2 a.m. Police said no one else was hurt, according to KAKE.
The shooter also attempted to set fire to the Mexican Consulate, law enforcement said. Police officers encountered McQuilliams in front of police headquarters. An officer who was putting horses back into the stable shot the gunman. Police found the shooter was wearing some kind of vest that they first feared was a detonation device, but a bomb squad soon cleared his vest and vehicle of any explosives, according to the Austin American-Statesman.