Shooting suspect sentenced

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Man believed to have fired assault rifle during scuffle to serve probation, community service

A man arrested after a fight and gunshots at the Austin Public Library on Aug. 10 received a stayed prison sentence Tuesday in Mower County Court.



Alex Patrick Hernandez, 26, was sentenced to five years’ probation and 40 hours’ community service in exchange for an 18-month prison sentence. Hernandez was convicted of felony terroristic threats; in September, he accepted a plea deal, in which felonies for second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, endangering others by intentionally firing a dangerous weapon and reckless discharge of a firearm were dismissed.

Investigators believed Hernandez fired an assault rifle after a scuffle near the Austin Public Library at about 3 a.m. Aug. 10. Multiple witnesses reported gunshots after that morning, though nobody was shot.

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Police arrested Hernandez after executing a search warrant on a vehicle on Aug. 19. According to the court complaint, an officer found six 7.62×39 mm cartridges in the car, the same size of bullets that matched three shell casings found at the scene and commonly used in an SKS assault rifle. The officer also found an extended magazine for those bullets in the trunk.

Officers interviewed several witnesses who tried to flee the scene after gunshots that night and were eventually led to Hernandez. Witnesses said someone fired shots after a fight near a taco stand.

Hernandez was also resentenced on a probation violation for fifth-degree drug possession on Tuesday, for which he will continue to serve his current sentence. Police reportedly found Hernandez hiding in a crawl space behind a child’s bed, where they reportedly found marijuana plants, reflectors, lights and a heat source. Police also found hydrocodone and another controlled substance, according to the complaint.