AUSTIN (KXAN) – On Friday, the Austin Police Department identified a man accused of shooting one person and seriously injuring another at the Teapioca Lounge in The Arboretum outdoor shopping mall on Thursday.
Police identified the suspect as Tang-Kang Dave Chiang, 38, and identified the victim who died on the scene as Laura Jauregui, 64.
It’s still not known what the relationship between Chiang, Jauregui and the other shooting victim was, per a Friday APD press release.
Teapioca, the boba tea business, was closed Friday afternoon with one of its windows boarded up.
Teapioca Lounge posted to its Facebook Friday about the shooting.
“It is with heavy hearts that Teapioca Lounge, a dedicated member of the Arboretum in Austin, Texas, expresses its deepest condolences to the victims, families, and communities affected by the recent tragedy that took place,” the business wrote in a Facebook post.
“We will continue to stand by the Arboretum as we work towards a future of healing and hope. Together, we can rebuild and strengthen our community, demonstrating that love and empathy can triumph over hate and violence,” the post continued.
Police arrived seven minutes after the first call, the interim police chief said. Chiang, Jauregui and and another woman were found on the ground with gunshot wounds inside the Teapicoa Lounge, APD said. Another woman, who was not identified Friday, was also found on the ground with gunshot wounds. She was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, according to police.
“We are deeply saddened by this senseless act. The safety of our guests, retailers and employees is our top priority. We are working closely with the Austin Police Department as they investigate this isolated incident. Please contact the Austin Police Department at (512) 974-5000 for more information,” a spokesperson for WPG, the owner of The Arboretum, said in a statement to KXAN Friday.
Henderson said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire and Explosives (ATF) and APD bomb squad responded to the scene because some people reported hearing what they believed to be an explosion. There were no explosives found on the scene, she said.
Anyone with any information about the suspect should contact APD’s Homicide Unit at (512) 974-TIPS. You may submit your tip anonymously through the Capital Area Crime Stoppers Program by visiting austincrimestoppers.org or calling (512) 472-8477.
This is now being investigated as Austin’s 42nd homicide in 2023, according to police.
KXAN spoke with a woman who was shopping in the area when the shooting happened. Crystal told KXAN’s Grace Reader she got a text from her mom that alerted her to the news. She said she stopped what she was doing and left.
“It’s terrifying. My dad lives in this area. I live in this area. My son goes to school in this area. It’s just scary to know that we were just a couple of businesses away from where this happened,” Crystal said.
Back to business
By Friday, most businesses at The Arboretum outdoor shopping mall had reopened. KXAN spoke to nearly a dozen employees who had been working when the shots rang out– many said they were still shaken by the incident.
“[On Friday,] all of a sudden, one of my employees said he saw a bunch of people running out of the area,” said Andrew Goforth, who manages a Five Guys a couple of doors down from Teapioca. “Most of us didn’t even realize anything happened until the cops and ambulances started coming into the parking lot.”
Goforth, who has been working in restaurant injury for 15 years, said this isn’t the first time an incident involving a firearm has happened while he was working.
“I’m more worried about my crew and my employees,” he said. “Just making sure they still have a positive outlook and just doing what we can.”
“We’re all just trying to do the best we can. So, when you find out something like that happened, especially to other people who were just trying to have a good day–it’s hard,” Goforth continued.
Melissa Huffman frequently shops at the Arboretum with her daughter. She said she heard there was an incident somewhere in the area but was shocked to find the Teapioca Lounge closed Friday morning.
“This is a very jarring moment where you realize that things like this can happen anywhere, anytime, and to anyone,” Huffman said.
“What is normal anymore when we hear about so many things like this every day? I think our new normal is just vigilance… and educating our children about how to stay safe and watching their environment,” she said.