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Our Opinion: Police kept Austin safe during standoff

Published 9:54am Monday, January 20, 2014

The Austin Police Department tested its resolve last week in a dangerous standoff in northwest Austin. Though they only recovered one of the two alleged carjackers — and now, potential robbers — they peacefully ended what was a tense situation with no one seriously injured. For that, we commend Austin police for doing a good job.

No one could have anticipated a nine-hour standoff when police were tipped off to an armed carjacking that took place early Tuesday morning. Police had a cordon around where 23-year-old Thomas Kendricks III and his alleged 17-year-old accomplice were staying within minutes of discovering their whereabouts inside a rental home at Eighth Street Northwest. From there, police took precautions against a shootout and potentially dangerous situation for the residents inside that home.

Though it may have taken nine hours to finish the standoff, we are impressed with the police’s efficiency in the matter. We do not deny that an armored Humvee and SWAT-like uniforms are a scary sight to see in Austin, but we are glad officers took their time to negotiate with and eventually coerce the criminals involved to leave the building on their own — with a 9-year-old who had been trapped inside the home safe as well.

Every resident inside that home left it safe and sound Tuesday, and officers who were called to action went home to their families. Police found a gun in the home’s basement, which could have proven catastrophic if one of the alleged carjackers tried to use it against officers.

But it wasn’t used against police or other residents, and for that we are relieved. Though Kendricks may still be on the loose, we commend Austin officers for protecting us from what could have turned into a tragic day for our community.

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