AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A man fired several shots into the air while standing on the Texas Capitol's south steps today beforethrowing down his handgun as state troopers closed in and tackled him, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.
Nobody was wounded in the shooting, department spokesman Tom Vinger said. Authorities arrested Fausto Cardenas, 24, who faces felony charges of deadly conduct and was being held in the Travis County Jail, the department said.
The shots rang out just after noon, and officers with rifles quickly swarmed the scene. More than a half dozen DPS cars quickly appeared, and troopers quickly surrounded the building. The Capitol was on lockdown as officials searched as a precaution.
Gov. Rick Perry was not in the building at the time, and many lawmakers were away from Austin because the Legislature was not in session. Some lawmakers were inside the Capitol, though. House Speaker Joe Straus' office said he was stuck in the building while it was on lockdown. Sen. Leticia Van De Putte (PYOOT) wrote on her Twitter page that she was also inside. Republican Sen. Dan Patrick said on his Twitter page that he wasn't in the office but his staff called security.
Gov. Perry released this statement Thursday afternoon regarding the incident:
"I commend the Texas Department of Public Safety troopers who responded swiftly to a shooter on the South Steps of the State Capitol. Thanks to their efforts no one was injured and the shooter was apprehended immediately and taken in to custody."