Members of the Austin community and local pastors joined the family of Freddie Wilson, who was fatally shot by police Oct. 13, for a morning press conference last Wednesday.
Wilson, 24, a rapper and community activist, say friends and family, was shot around 10:30 late last Tuesday night during a traffic stop near Madison and Lorel, according to news reports. During the stop, three or four officers opened fire on Wilson, who was sitting in a beige Cadillac, a spokesperson for the Independent Police Review Authority, formerly the Office of Professional Standards, said.
Various witnesses reported hearing eight gunshots while others said they heard as many as 20. According to news reports, an unidentified witness said police officers on foot and in vehicles were chasing two men down an alley near the scene and mistook Wilson for one of the assailants. Witnesses said it wasn’t a traffic stop and that Wilson was simply getting into his parked car.
Family said that Wilson, who had a prior police record, was getting his life together, was a rap artist who wrote positive songs, was employed, and has a daughter.
Last Wednesday, family members joined pastors Ira Acree, of Greater St. John Bible Church, and Marshall Hatch, of New Mt. Pilgrim Church to dispute police accounts of the shooting.
On Saturday, family and clergy leaders hosted a march in Austin to highlight the shooting.
A police spokesperson said a gun was found outside of Wilson’s car, but declined to say if the gun was pointed at officers. Police also did not confirmed if Wilson was directed to get out of the car or if he was shot while sitting inside the car.
Wilson attended Dunbar Vocational Career Center, and he was currently working at a silk-screening company near where he was shot.
The spokesperson said the police investigation could take months to complete.