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An 18-year-old arrested in connection to a deadly mass shooting in Austin, Texas, has been released back onto the streets while he awaits trial without having to pay any bail.
Jeremiah Tabb, 18, was indicted on a charge of tampering with evidence by disposing of an illegal gun involved in a shooting that killed one person and injured 14 in Austin in June 2021 and was released on a personal bond on January 20, according to KVUE.
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While Tabb was not required to put down any money in order to be released, the judge did attach a $150,000 condition on his release meaning he would have to pay if he does not attend his future court hearings.
Tabb, a gang member who allegedly instigated the shooting and fired at a rival gang member, was indicted in December 2021 for allegedly disposing of the weapon that shooting suspect De’Ondre Jermirris White used in the mass shooting in downtown Austin that killed 25-year-old Douglas Kantor, a Ford Motor Co. employee from Michigan who was in Austin to celebrate earning his master’s degree, and left 14 people injured. Sixth Street is the heart of Austin’s live music and entertainment scene.
Tabb was initially arrested and charged for aggravated assault before those charges were dropped when White was identified as the shooter who killed Kantor.
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A different judge previously denied a lower bond for Tabb on January 13 before the new judge allowed him to be released on January 20.
Tabb’s release comes as progressive Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza has faced criticism since taking office last year for releasing violent criminals back onto the streets and declining to prosecute certain crimes.
Douglas Kantor’s brother, Nicholas, tells Fox News that he was “shocked” when he learned Tabb would be free to walk the streets and that Garza’s office should be held accountable for fighting the family “every step of the way.”
“You know what you’re doing is wrong,” Kantor said about Garza. “We know it. Whether you get yours in this life or God punishes you, you’re going to get justly punished and the lack of justice we’re going to get, you’re going to have to answer for someday.”
Kantor added that the family felt blindsided by Tabb’s release after the first judge had decided not to lower his bond and believes that the prosecution, defense, and the judge “conspired” to let him free with only a last-minute notice to the family.
Additionally, Kantor says that Garza’s office told his family that they should not be surprised if a motion to approve the removal of Tabb’s ankle bracelet is approved along with the removal of his house arrest order to allow Tabb to find employment.
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Kantor says that he is not optimistic that White will face serious jail time on his murder charge, saying that the prosecution will likely offer a plea deal and “doesn’t seem to even want to make any real arguments for him to be prosecuted to the fullest extent.”
Kantor tells Fox News that he hopes his brother is remembered as a “sweetheart of a kid” who always saw the good in people and tried to include everyone.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Kantor family with legal expenses.
The Austin mass shooting homicide was one of 89 homicides in the Texas capital in 2021 which shattered the previous record of 59 homicides that was set in 1984. The Austin City Council voted to strip the Austin Police Department of 30% of its funding in 2020 which contributed to a record-breaking surge in officers leaving the force and low morale which has resulted in massive staffing shortages that has left citizens to fend for themselves. While funding for APD has been restored, the department remains short dozens of officers.
“Where we’re at now is we want to give back to the police in any way we can to help refund them and keep them safe and also get Garza out of office in any way that we can because I hold him accountable just as much as the murderers, if not more, because ultimately he set the stage for all this by taking the police presence and preventative measures away,” Kantor told Fox News.
Garza’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.