Witness to fatal firework shooting: 'He pointed a gun straight to my forehead'
As of Thursday evening, no one has been arrested in the deadly shooting that killed a teenager after an argument with another man over fireworks.
Candles, balloons and pictures of 19-year-old Devonte Ortiz have been laid in the parking lot where witnesses say he was shot and killed in the early morning hours of July 4th.
Boris Vindou, a teammate and witness to the shooting, said he and three others, including Ortiz, were popping fireworks in the parking lot of the Pleasant Hill apartment complex. Vindou said a man came out of his home complaining about the fireworks.
“He’s really, really racist when he comes up,” said Vindou. The man used racial slurs when talking to some of the boys according to Vindou.
Austin Police said Ortiz and the man involved in the shooting were previously acquainted with each other. Vindou said both parties have a history of bad blood.
APD said the argument stopped temporarily then continued again and escalated.
“(The man) had his army boots, army pants, he had a holster, a gun with him. He came out like he was ready to fight,” said Vindou.
Police said both drew weapons. Vindou said he doesn’t remember Ortiz having a gun but the man wasn’t afraid to use his.
“He pointed it straight to my forehead and said, 'if you move, I’ll f****** shoot you, you black son of a b****,' so we of course backed up,” said Vindou.
Vindou showed us video of the altercation. Ortiz’s family asked for the video not to be aired. The video shows pushing and screaming before the man pulls a gun on the teens. A single shot can be heard out of frame of the camera.
“Detectives were able to obtain video that shows a portion of the incident,” according to a released from APD.
Austin Police said multiple firearms were recovered at the complex.
“It should have brought justice as soon as police got the video,” said Vindou.
On Friday at 6 p.m., a vigil will be held at Travis High School. Ortiz’s teammates say the 19-year-old was a talented athlete.
“We want the community to be out there, to spread awareness, to get justice for him,” said Charles Gurley, a friend and teammate to Ortiz.
Austin Police said the case will go to the county district attorney and possibly presented to a grand jury.