On November 11, 2023, Austin, Texas, was rocked by a hostage situation, resulting in the death of a SWAT officer, two hostages, and the suspect.
The Austin Police Department received a desperate 911 call just before 3 a.m., with a woman reporting an attack on Bernoulli Drive.
Upon arrival, officers found a woman who had narrowly escaped from the house, sustaining injuries. She was immediately taken to a hospital, though the nature of her injuries was not made public. It was learned that two more individuals were still trapped inside with the knife-wielding suspect.
The suspect, additionally armed with a gun, secured himself and the hostages inside the house. SWAT officers were dispatched to the scene and breached the house after 4 a.m., only to be met with gunfire from the suspect. In the exchange, Senior Officer Jorge Pastore of the SWAT team was killed, and another officer was injured but is in stable condition.
Inside the house, officers found two victims and the suspect, all dead. Their identities have not been released.
Interim Chief of Police Robin Henderson described the incident as “very tragic,” underlining the risks faced by police in volatile situations. Mayor Kirk Watson conveyed his deep sadness and extended prayers to the affected families.
This marks the first loss of an Austin Police Department officer in the line of duty in a decade. An extensive investigation is being conducted by the APD, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, and the Office of Police Oversight to unravel the circumstances of this tragic event.
Officer Jorge Pastore, who joined the Austin Police Academy in 2019 and became an officer in 2020, served in various capacities, including patrolling Central and South East Austin, and being part of the SWAT and Special Response Team. He leaves behind a wife and two stepsons.