Family of Texas woman killed says shooting was a hate crime

Jun 7, 2023, 2:50 PM

CEDAR PARK, Texas (AP) — A man police say gunned down a woman outside an Austin-area gas station last week has been charged with murder, and the woman’s family says the killing should be investigated as a hate crime as she was targeted because she was gay.

Akira Ross, 24, was fatally shot Friday night while she pumped gas in Cedar Park, 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Austin, according to the Cedar Park police. She died at the gas station, and the shooter fled in a vehicle.

Cedar Park police identified Bradley Stanford, 23, as the suspected shooter. He was arrested Sunday in Inglewood, Texas, near Corpus Christi, more than 200 miles (322 kilometers) away from where the shooting happened.

Stanford was being held in the San Patricio County Jail on one count of murder before he was transferred Wednesday to Williamson County, officials confirmed. The San Patricio County Sheriff’s Office said an attorney is not yet listed for Stanford.

Police have not said what might have led to the shooting, and a spokeswoman for Cedar Park police declined comment Wednesday.

But Ross’ partner and her father both told the Austin American-Statesman that Stanford yelled gay slurs before opening fire. Ross’ partner said she recorded part of the confrontation on her phone and that she gave her phone to Cedar Park police.

Anthony Hill, Ross’ father, told the American-Statesman that what witnesses who saw the killing told him makes him believe bigotry was the motivation and that “it was a hate crime.”

Cedar Park police have said only that Stanford and Ross exchanged words before the shooting.

“Our initial investigation revealed Stanford and Ross did not know each other,” Cedar Park police said in a statement.

United States News

Republican presidential candidates, from left, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former New Jers...

Associated Press

3rd Republican presidential debate is set for Nov. 8 in Miami, with the strictest qualifications yet

The third Republican presidential debate will be held in Miami on Nov. 8, a day after several states hold off-year elections.

2 hours ago

During the equinox, the Earth’s axis and its orbit line up so that both hemispheres get an equal ...

Associated Press

The fall equinox is here. What does that mean?

The equinox arrives on Saturday, marking the start of the fall season for the Northern Hemisphere. But what does that actually mean?

3 hours ago

(AP Photo/Moises Castillo, File)...

Associated Press

As migrants overwhelm a Texas border city, others wait in Mexico for appointments to enter the US

Some migrants who arrive at the border stop in Texas only stop for a quick meal before crossing the Rio Grande.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Seattle police officer put on leave after newspaper reports alleged off-duty racist comments

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer has been placed on administrative leave after Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said Friday he listened to an audio recording including comments by the officer that led to the filing of a bias/hate complaint. “As I have said from the beginning of my tenure as Chief of Police, […]

4 hours ago

Kouri Richins, left, a Utah mother of three who authorities say fatally poisoned her husband, Eric ...

Associated Press

Jailhouse letter adds wrinkle in case of mom accused of killing husband, then writing kids’ book

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Jailhouse writings by a Utah mother accused of killing her husband, then writing a children’s book about death, have led prosecutors to accuse her of trying to tamper with witnesses, an allegation that her attorneys say is baseless. A relative of Kouri Richins meanwhile went public in an interview Friday […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Jury convicts ex-NFL draft prospect of fatally shooting man at Mississippi casino

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — A former NFL draft prospect has been found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for shooting a man to death on the floor of a casino on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. Jurors deliberated for only 46 minutes Thursday before reaching a guilty verdict in the trial of Jereme […]

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Home moving relocation in Arizona 2023...

BMS Moving

Tips for making your move in Arizona easier

If you're moving to a new home in Arizona, use this to-do list to alleviate some stress and ensure a smoother transition to your new home.



When most diets fail, re:vitalize makes a difference that shows

Staying healthy and losing weight are things many people in Arizona are conscious of, especially during the summer.


Mayo Clinic

Game on! Expert sports physicals focused on you

With tryouts quickly approaching, now is the time for parents to schedule physicals for their student-athlete. The Arizona Interscholastic Association requires that all student-athletes must have a physical exam completed before participating in team practices or competition.

Family of Texas woman killed says shooting was a hate crime