AUSTIN – The former sheriff’s deputy suspected of killing three people in a shooting rampage near an apartment complex in Northwest Austin was taken into custody Monday without incident, police said.
Stephen Nicholas Broderick, 41, was arrested along a rural highway in nearby Manor. Police said authorities received two 911 calls around 7:30 a.m. about a man walking along the road. Manor Police Chief Ryan Phipps said Broderick had a pistol in his waistband. Manor police released video of the arrest.
The Elgin school district on Monday identified two victims as Alyssa Broderick, who left Elgin High last year, and Willie Simmons, who was a senior there.
Details of the shooting Sunday were scarce, but interim Austin Police Chief Joe Chacon described the incident as “domestic violence.” Stephen Broderick had been free on bail on charges of sexual assault of a child. That bail was revoked Sunday, and Travis County District Attorney José Garza said Monday that he will request Broderick be held without bail.
“Because Mr. Broderick committed this heinous crime after he paid a money bond to be released on charges related to sexual assault against a child, Texas law permits his detention without bail,” Garza said.
Here’s what we know about the shootings and the suspect:
Shooting reported just before noon Sunday
Police responded to a 911 call from an address near Arboretum Oaks Apartments and an upscale shopping district. Officers found three gunshot victims and an emergency medical team attempted CPR before pronouncing them dead.
The incident was initially reported as an active shooter situation, prompting the involvement of the FBI in the investigation. Authorities later said the shooting appeared to have stemmed from a domestic situation. Authorities urged people to avoid the area while they searched for Broderick. Neighbors were asked to shelter in place for hours, and people were not allowed to enter the area.
What we know about Stephen Nicholas Broderick
Austin Police Chief Joe Chacon identified Broderick as the tentative suspect. Broderick and wife Amanda Broderick, who filed for divorce after his arrest in June, have two children.
Records show Stephen Broderick is a former Travis County Sheriff’s Office detective, who started work with the department on March 16, 2008. On March 12, 2013, Broderick was one of two officers involved in shooting and critically injuring an elderly man. He was placed on administrative leave with pay pending an investigation, according to the Bastrop County sheriff’s office at the time of the incident.
Broderick, a property crimes detective, resigned after his arrest last year on child sexual assault charges, according to Travis County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Kristen Dark.
Suspect Stephen Broderick: What we know
What we know about the shooting victims
Chacon declined to release the identity of those killed in the carnage but did say Broderick knew the victims, two Hispanic women and a Black man, and that the shooting was targeted. The Elgin school district on Monday identified two victims as Alyssa Broderick and Willie Simmons.
“We are heartbroken by the news of this senseless tragedy, and we extend our deepest condolences to the families of Willie Simmons III and Alyssa Broderick,” the district said in a statement. Alyssa Broderick was a student in the school district from 2009 to October 2020.
“She was an excellent student and athlete, enrolled in our Early College High School program and played on our girls’ basketball team,” the statement said.
Simmons was a senior at Elgin High School. He was recruited to play football for the University of North Texas.
“He was an exceptional young man and leader among his peers. Strong, both academically and athletically, he represented the very best of Elgin ISD,” the district said.
Broderick’s criminal record
Records show that Broderick already is facing charges of sexual assault. Broderick was booked into jail in June and spent 16 days behind bars before posting bail. Court and public records show that Broderick’s wife filed for divorce and for a protective order after her husband’s arrest.
The protective order, agreed upon by both parties, prohibited Broderick from going within 200 yards of the couple’s daughter. Broderick still had visitation rights to the couple’s son for one weekend a month from noon to 4 p.m. Broderick was also ordered to wear a GPS tracking device.
Broderick’s wife feared for their safety
In an application for a protective order after Broderick’s arrest, wife Amanda Broderick said she worried about her safety and that of their children.
“I’m afraid he will try to hurt me or my children, because these allegations have come out and he may lose his career,” she stated. “Stephen has prior military experience and is SWAT trained. If he wanted to hurt someone, he would know how.”
Broderick required to surrender firearms
Months after his release on bail, with his case still pending, a Travis County judge on Nov. 5 ordered the removal of his tracking device. Broderick’s lawyer argued in a written motion to the court that Broderick had worn the electronic monitor for 142 days with no substantial violations and that it should be removed. State District Judge Karen Sage agreed, a decision that left Broderick largely unsupervised months after his wife said she feared for the safety of the family with Broderick out of jail. Broderick’s bail conditions required him to surrender all firearms and not obtain any new ones.
Judge defends order removing electronic monitor
In an interview with the American-Statesman on Sunday, Sage said she typically agrees to remove tracking devices when a defendant has exhibited a pattern of compliance and has not incurred any violations. Sage, who left in place Broderick’s no-contact and distancing stipulations, said she rarely keeps defendants on GPS tracking for more than 90 days if they have been compliant.
“He had been on GPS for (five) months with no violations,” Sage said. “It’s a pretty common thing for me to do, frankly.”
Bacon reported from Arlington, Va. Contributing: Matthew Odam and Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera, Austin American-Statesman; The Associated Press