Manhunt launched for gunman after three people fatally shot in Austin, Texas apartment complex

Law enforcement at scene of Texas shooting
Law enforcement personnel investigate at the scene of a deadly shooting at an apartment complex in Austin, Texas. Photo credit: Reuters

Police in Austin, Texas, have launched a manhunt on Sunday (local time) for a suspect, possibly a former county detective, after three people were shot dead in an apartment complex earlier in the day.

Austin Police Department said the incident was reported shortly before 12pm (local time) at an apartment complex near the Great Hills Plaza and The Arboretum shopping centres in Northwest Austin.

Three people were pronounced dead at the scene.

Austin Police Interim Chief Joseph Chacon said they have identified the suspect as Stephen Nicholas Broderick, 41, who is reportedly a former detective with the Travis County Sheriff's Office.

Broderick is considered armed and dangerous, and police are concerned he may take hostages.

According to court records, Broderick was charged with first-degree felony sexual assault of a child last year.

In a tweet, the Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) described the situation as an "active attack/shooter incident".

"All assets staged & prepared to enter into the immediate incident location," the agency tweeted. "This is still an active scene, please continue to avoid the area."

According to Austin-Travis County EMS, the victims have been tentatively identified as two Hispanic females and a Black male.

Police initially said it appeared to be an isolated domestic situation and there was no risk to the general public. However, the shooter remains at large.

"All residents are advised to shelter in place," police said on social media.

There are no reports of other injuries, EMS said on Twitter.

Police said a child involved in the incident was safely taken into custody.