Argument over fireworks leads to deadly shooting
A 19-year-old Austin man is dead after an argument over fireworks led to a shooting. Police say it happened around 1:30 a.m. on July 4 at the Pleasant Hill Apartments on Pleasant Valley Road.
Austin Police identified the victim as Devonte Ortiz of Austin. Friends say Ortiz was a former running back at Travis High school and graduated in 2017.
“There was a neighborhood dispute that started over the use of fireworks,” explained Austin Police Officer John Majefski.
“It's just crazy because I saw him a couple days ago, actually,” says Britney Rivera a childhood friend of Ortiz.
Rivera said she and Ortiz had grown apart in recent years but were still longtime neighbors.
“He was a great guy, a great athlete, like.. he was really smart. He was great,” Rivera says. She recalls hearing the fireworks and gunshots early Wednesday morning but never thought a dispute over setting off fireworks in the apartment complex parking lot would end with Ortiz dead.
“It's so stupid. Over some fireworks. It's just so stupid,” she says.
Now, her heart aches for Ortiz's family who is spending their holiday grieving instead of celebrating. “It's the Fourth of July. It's supposed to be a good day, but I’m... it’s... they're devastated,” she says.
Police did take a 41-year-old man into custody at the scene. However no one has been officially charged with a crime. Austin Police say during the argument both men displayed firearms and multiple firearms were recovered at the scene. APD says the two men were previously acquainted with each other.