“Sometimes perceptions are not always 100% accurate,” says Chief Manley
At present, 31-year-old Lawrence Parrish remains in Travis County Jail, where he's being held on a $500,000 bond and charges that he committed aggravated assault against a public servant. But the actual act that earned him such charges changed, at least to the public, on Monday. Parrish is the man shot by Austin Police Friday night after a lengthy standoff at his home on Parliament Drive in Northeast Austin. Police were responding to multiple calls about a disturbance involving a man with a gun who may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Four officers (Paul Bianchi, Jordan Wagstaff, Dane O'Neill, and Marcos Johnson) tried to get Parrish out of his home to talk, but he wouldn't comply – stepping in and out of the house sporadically, at one point with a rifle, later identified as a .40 caliber Hi-Point. Eventually, cops issued a SWAT callout, but Parrish stepped outside before the SWAT team showed up, again brandishing his rifle. Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said during an on-scene presser early Saturday morning that Parrish then fired his rifle toward the officers, who immediately returned fire for a duration between one and two seconds, hitting Parrish. He was taken to Brackenridge Hospital, where he was under the custody of the county sheriff.
On Monday, however, Manley took to a lectern at APD Headquarters to say that initial investigations revealed Parrish never fired at the four officers. "Perception in those seconds when everything's unfolding and you're in a critical incident, sometimes perceptions are not always 100% accurate," said Manley. He reiterated that aggravated assault charges remain for Parrish, because his rifle was used in a threatening manner against the officers. The officers involved have since been placed on administrative leave, and will be the subjects to the standard investigations into critical incidents, though that process will work a little differently than it used to. See "D.A. Unveils New Civil Rights Division" for more.