SWAT Officer, Others Dead After Hostage Situation Turns Deadly

A hostage crisis in Austin, Texas, ended with the death of four people on November 18. SWAT officer Jorge Pastore died in a gunfire exchange with a man suspected of holding three people against their will in a residential building in the city.

The incident began when a woman called law enforcement saying she had been stabbed. Police arrived at around 4 am and found that the woman and two others were barricaded inside a residence and held at gunpoint. A third person escaped the home before the police arrived.

First responders were met with gunfire, and a SWAT team was subsequently called. Mr. Pastore was shot dead while two other officers were rushed to a local hospital. The suspect, as well as both of his captives, all died at the scene, but police have not confirmed the cause of death or the identity of the suspect or the victims.

Interim Chief of Police Robin Henderson paid tribute to Mr. Pastore on social media. “My heart is heavy today. Please help me and our APD family pay tribute to SPO Jorge Pastore for his brave & heroic actions. Sir, we’ll take it from here,” she wrote.

Mayor Kirk Watson said Austin’s residents were broken-hearted during a “horrible” moment for the city. “I’m praying for the family of our fallen officer, for our officer who was shot and in surgery and his family,” he said.

Mr. Pastore is one of six Texas law enforcement officers to die in the course of duty this year. Lieutenant Milton Resendez was shot to death in October, a car fatally struck Officer Darrin McMichael in September, Deputy Sheriff Matthew Pierson died in a vehicle crash in August, Deputy Sheriff David Bosecker died from a gunshot wound in July, and Sergeant Joshua Lee Clouse was killed in gunfire in May.

Statistics show that 41 law enforcement officers have died due to gunfire in the United States this year.