No Indictment in Lunt Shooting

TABC explores changes within agency in wake of shooting

On Nov. 24, members of a Travis County grand jury failed to indict two Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents who shot 25-year-old Steven Lunt in August. The agents fired their guns 19 times into a car Lunt was driving, striking Lunt three times in the head. Lunt died Sept. 2.

Lunt had been spotted driving erratically Downtown – including swerving into pedestrian traffic and nearly hitting someone. Austin Police pursued Lunt but later called the pursuit off and issued a "be on the lookout" for the white truck he was driving. Three TABC officers – Michael Cronin, John Altum, and Greg Lewis (in un-marked cars) – picked up where Austin Police Department left off, following Lunt until he reached the parking lot of the Longhorn Land­ing apartments in South-east Austin. As Lunt parked and got out of the truck, Cronin and Altum approached; gun drawn, Cronin yelled, "Stop, police." Lunt jumped back in the truck, according to a press statement from Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, and tried to drive off. When it looked like the truck would hit Cronin, Altum began to fire. In all, he fired at Lunt 16 times, and Cronin fired three times.

During the course of the grand jury's investigation into the shooting, certain questions arose, Lehmberg said, including whether the TABC agents were actually pursuing "the primary mission of their agency" at the time of the shooting, whether they were acting in accordance with TABC policy by approaching the car without waiting for APD backup, and whether the agents – without "distinctly recognizable law enforcement uniforms" and while driving unmarked cars – were properly equipped to effect an arrest. TABC Chief of Field Operations Joel Moreno and agency administrator Alan Steen testified before the grand jury and are exploring "avenues of change" within the agency, Steen said in a statement.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
Will Texas Patch Up TABC Before It Bursts?
Will Texas Patch Up TABC Before It Bursts?
If ever an agency needed to be scorched by the state’s Sunset Act, it’s the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Com­mis­sion

Mike Clark-Madison, Feb. 1, 2019

How Has TABC Screwed You Lately?
How Has TABC Screwed You Lately?
Tales from the front lines of the Austin entertainment industry

Kevin Curtin, Feb. 1, 2019

More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Steven Lunt, Michael Cronin, John Altum, Greg Lewis, Rosemary Lehmberg

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle