Cop Fires 15 Shots at Burglary Suspect
Austin, TX - A man is on trial for ramming an Austin patrol car. The Austin Police Department officer behind the wheel of that car unleashed gun fire on the man. The Travis County District Attorney's Office has released the video. In the APD dash camera video, Officer Shane Cunningham is responding to a burglary alarm at building in North Austin. Cunningham fired 15 rounds. The driver, Miguel Macias was struck five times. Bullets struck him once in the head, once in the chest, once in the jaw, one grazed his wrist and another struck his shoulder area. He has since recovered. Macias is now on trial for aggravated assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon. The weapon was his car. Officer Cunningham testified Wednesday that when Macias struck his patrol car, it forced the vehicle into a tree. Cunningham says he suffered a leg injury and bruising to his rib area. He also said his patrol shirt was ripped and his ballistic vest damaged. Police say Macias' passenger Austin Hanlon said the two committed at least 15 burglaries together including the building in which the shooting occurred. Hanlon testified in court Tuesday. "[Hanlon] said that their impulse or their instinct was to get out of there," said defense attorney Leonard Martinez. But defense attorney Leonard Martinez says their actions of ramming the patrol car were that of fight or flight, not to harm Cunningham. "What we're talking about is an interval of time that is so fast that I don't think anybody could think about what they were doing. They were just reacting and that's what this is all about," Martinez said. In August a grand jury cleared Cunningham of any criminal wrongdoing for the shooting. If convicted, Macias faces 25 years to life because he has prior felony convictions.