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Two killed by police gunfire in 2 separate Central Texas shootings

By Doug G. Ware

AUSTIN, Texas, July 5 (UPI) -- A suspected gunman was shot and killed by police during a shootout at an Austin, Texas hotel early Sunday -- gunfire that occurred after investigators believe he shot another man at random.

Police received a 911 call just before 5 a.m. local time reporting a man with a rifle in the lobby of the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown. When authorities arrived, they discovered a man dead lying there and chased the suspect following a brief confrontation.

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"When the officers arrived on scene, they did engage in gunfire with the suspect," Austin Police Chief of Staff Brian Manley said in a report by KXAN-TV. "The suspect ran into the hotel and the officers gave chase into the hotel. Ultimately encountering the suspect off to the side near the restaurant, where they again engaged in gunfire."

A few moments later, police say the officers fired at the suspect after he opened fire on them, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

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"I was just thinking, 'What the hell,'" he said. "There's a dead guy lying on the floor," hotel guest Lance Flores told the American-Statesman.

The suspect was a white man in his 30s, officials said, and the shooting that prompted the police response is believed to be a random act of violence.

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"We don't have any information at this point that leads us to believe this was anything other than random," Manley said.

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Neither the suspect nor the victim were immediately identified. No other injuries were reported.

The shootout was preceded by another police shooting in a North Austin neighborhood involving a different suspect, officials said.

Just before 4 a.m., police were called to the area after reports of a suicidal man there. They ultimately confronted him in his home and observed a gun tucked into his waistline. After refusing to comply with police, officials said, he reached for his weapon and was shot.

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