R.I.P. Sgt. Gary Christenberry

Longtime Austin cop succumbed to burn wounds last week

R.I.P. Sgt. Gary Christenberry

Austin Police continue to grieve the loss of Sgt. Gary Christenberry this week. The longtime cop passed away on Friday, Sept. 29, due to complications from severe burns he sustained on his property on Sept. 12. Christenberry was burning brush in his yard when his clothes caught fire. A container of gasoline he'd been holding at the time helped spread the flames across more than a quarter of his body.

Christenberry would have celebrated 25 years with the department in January. He was commissioned in July 1993, promoted to corporal in January 2002, and then again to sergeant in July 2008. His colleagues remember him as a leader, mentor, and a guy who worked tough shifts without complaint. "He had a servant's heart, and he was a community leader – specifically a leader with our department. And we'll miss him so much," said Ken Casaday, a friend, and the president of the Austin Police Association. Police Chief Brian Manley said in a statement issued on the day of his death that "Gary will be remembered as the hero he was to many."

Christenberry's family has already raised more than $16,000 to help pay for outstanding medical bills, and Chelsea Paige Roberts, one of his daughters, wrote that the family plans to keep the fund open. Casaday said that sworn officers will deduct $25 each from their paychecks next pay period to deliver to the family in a lump sum.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 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  

More by Nina Hernandez
Council: At War on Two Wheels
Council: At War on Two Wheels
More scooters, a possible interim deal with the APA, and more from City Hall

April 20, 2018

Beside the Point: Get Off Your Butt
Beside the Point: Get Off Your Butt
Council can help the homeless big-time, and next week

April 20, 2018


Gary Christenberry

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2018

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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