Jury hears final testimony before sentencing in Sixth Street mass shooting

AUSTIN (KXAN) – ”Everything came crashing down,” Adriana Salazar said through tears while describing the Sixth Street mass shooting event June 12, 2021. 

Salazar was out with a friend in a different portion of Austin’s downtown. She told the court that she was passing through Sixth Street when she heard gunshots. 

“Next thing I know, I stopped moving. I just fell to the ground,” Salazar said. “It went through my whole right leg.” 

Police body camera footage showed her screaming in pain moments after being shot. Salazar’s femur shattered, and it took eight months before she could walk again. She told the court she has physically healed from her injuries but not emotionally. 

After a jury found De’Ondre White, 21, guilty Wednesday of the murder of Douglas Kantor in the Sixth Street mass shooting incident on June 12, 2021, the jury returned for the punishment portion of the trial. 

The jury will choose how long White must serve in prison—anywhere from five to 99 years. Whatever the jury decides, he won’t be eligible for parole until he’s served half the sentence or at least 30 years in prison. 

State prosecutors asked the jury to take into account the whole picture when deciding – the murder of Kantor and the 14 others shot that night. The state attorneys said they think White should serve at least 40 years in prison. 

Conversely, White’s Defense team asked the jury to recognize that White is not evil but a good kid. They said the jury should consider sentencing White to five years and no more than 20. 

The state called several witnesses whose lives have been impacted by White’s actions, many of whom had been shot that night. 

Daniel Peterson told the court that he had been shot in the ankle but still ran two blocks because he wasn’t sure if there was still an active shooter in the area. Peterson said that he still does not have full range of motion in his ankle and that he won’t return to Sixth Street “because it is not safe,” he said. 

Juan Miguel Soto was on Sixth Street celebrating his birthday. He was leaving a bar when shots rang out. He told the court that he was hit and started to lose a lot of blood. Worried he was going to lose his life, he tried to call his 5-year-old son. Soto told the court that the wound is mostly healed now but that he is still living with the emotional trauma from that night.

Jessica Ramirez was also shot and is paralyzed. Ramirez was supposed to testify today but had a “seizure[-like]” event after hearing the verdict on Wednesday night. Her mother spoke on her behalf.

“She said she’d prefer to be dead than to be the way she is – paralyzed,” Ramirez’s mother said through tears.

White’s defense team called up people who swore they would be able to look after White when he eventually was released from prison. 

Ruth Collins, White’s aunt whom White has lived with for over a decade, said she reached out to the Kantor family the week she heard that White may be involved. 

“I am so sorry this all happened, he shouldn’t have been there,” Collins said. “He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“Is he a bad person? No, he is not a bad person,” Collins said.

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