West Campus standoff suspect charged with 5 cases of aggravated assault

Hope Unger, News Reporter

Austin Police officers responded to reports of a non-UT student pointing a gun at a student on the 2400 block of Pearl Street at around 2:18 a.m. on June 17, which later led to a standoff with police at a West Campus apartment complex. No serious injuries were reported. 

Christian Prieto Jr. was arrested and charged with one second-degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and four first-degree felonies of aggravated assault against a public servant, according to the Travis County Sheriff’s office.  

UTPD tweeted about the incident at 9:34 a.m. on June 17. According to the tweet thread, two subjects were taken into custody, but the arrest affidavit for Prieto does not mention another subject being detained.

According to the affidavit, APD officers first responded to a 911 call at 2:13 a.m. regarding someone trying to get into the Texas RHO house, located at 2414 Pearl St.

A witness said the subject was yelling at the residents of Texas RHO and calling them “rapists and other profanities,” according to the affidavit. 

APD told the residents to go inside and then left the scene, the affidavit said. When the officers left, the witness said the subject held the gate to Texas RHO open. The witness told the subject that he needed to leave the premises. 

The subject then reached into his left pants pocket and pulled out what the witness believed to be a revolver, according to the affidavit. The witness claimed the subject pointed the gun at him and then he “heard a click.” The affidavit did not say if the weapon was discharged. The witness then reported watching the subject run away into an apartment complex located at 2501 Pearl St., which prompted the witness to call 911. 

According to the affidavit, five APD officers arrived at the scene at about 2:24 a.m. and found the subject on a balcony of 2501 Pearl St. “yelling and cursing” while pointing an object with a flashlight toward the officers. One of the responding officers said he looked through an Aimpoint red dot sight and determined the object to be a handgun with a flashlight positioned underneath. 

The suspect repeatedly entered the apartment and then came back out onto the balcony. An APD helicopter was deployed and pinpointed the subject’s location as room 605, the affidavit said.  

The affidavit said officers set a perimeter around apartment 605 and checked the floor above when they found two subjects appearing out of the stairwell coming down from the seventh floor. One of the subjects was identified as Christian Prieto Jr., who matched the police’s description of the subject with the gun. APD later confirmed with apartment management that Prieto resides in apartment 605. 

The affidavit said the witness from Texas RHO identified Prieto to be the same subject that attempted to enter the house and pointed a gun at the witness. 

Later that day, a search warrant was filed for Prieto’s apartment, which led the officers to find a rifle, ammunition for a Glock and multiple gun magazines, according to the affidavit. However, the officers did not find the revolver the witness described, or the semi-automatic handgun. The affidavit said Prieto could have concealed it outside of his apartment before he was detained.

According to the Travis County Sheriff’s office, Prieto was booked into jail at 10:41 a.m. on June 17.