‘Santa Claus’ opens fire at Halloween party, injuring four: Police

Texas authorities responded to an early-morning shooting Sunday at what has been been described as a Halloween party.

According to Austin police detective Lee Knouse, the suspected shooter was an acquaintance of the victims and was a guest at the private gathering, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

“There was described a white male subject that was dressed up as Santa Claus had shot a number of victims at the private residence,” he told reporters.

Before authorities arrived at the scene, Knouse said they got a tip regarding the suspect’s whereabouts.

“While en route to the call, officers received a information on a secondary location that’s just down the block,” he said.

Police arrived at the scene, in a central Austin neighborhood not known for violent crime, shortly after 6 a.m.

Four individuals at the party were injured, Fox News reported.

Three of the victims — a man in his 20s and two women in their 30s — were transported to an area hospital, including two with critical injuries.

Knouse described their condition as “fairly serious,” but said their injuries are “not thought to be life-threatening.”

It is unclear from available reports whether the fourth victim, who declined medical treatment, was shot.

Police found the suspect at the nearby residence, according to Knouse, where he was arrested “without force or without any further incident.”

In addition to Austin police, city firefighters and state authorities responded to the scene.

The suspect, who had not been identified as of this writing, also received medical treatment for unspecified injuries. Police believe he was the only individual responsible for the shooting.

Knouse said charges are likely but could not provide details, citing an ongoing investigation.

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