Police: Mass Shooting at Austin Wal-Mart Thwarted
5/5/2008

Newsroom

Austin Police say officers possibly saved dozens of lives last week by arresting a man who left a suicide note for his wife, threatening an event what would get massive media attention.

According to Travis County court documents, police say Richard Eberle, 52, of Austin, left the note for his wife last Thursday, telling her not to call police and sell her story to the highest bidder after what he was about to do.

“This is again an illustration of day in and day out what the Austin Police Department does to keep us safe,” says Chief Art Acevedo. “We are one call away from a tragedy.”

“He was coherent. He was very upset. He was taking prescription Methodone for an extended period of time. He was very distraught. He didn’t have insurance to pay for the prescription medication anymore,” said Det. Mason Feinartz.

Court documents say Lynn Eberle did call police and at approximately 5:00 p.m. Thursday, May 1, Richard Eberle was arrested at the entrance of the Southpark Meadows Wal-Mart, where police say he’d been fired in March for not showing up to work.

“It’s important to note that this suspect was armed with a semi-automatic handgun, fully-loaded with a round in the chamber. He had an additional magazine with him, an ammunition clip and a total of 60 rounds of ammunition,” Acevedo says.

Police say the Wal-Mart was occupied with “numerous patrons and employees” at the time.

“It was very alarming. I believe it was going to be very catastrophic to the point where many lives would be in danger as the result of his actions,” said Officer Joe Hernandez, who, with his partner, responded to Eberle’s wife’s initial call for help.

Eberle is now in the Travis County jail, charged with making a terrorist threat, unlawfully carrying a weapon on a licensed premise, and attempted deadly

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