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A former Texas detective accused of fatally shooting his estranged wife, daughter and his daughter’s boyfriend Sunday, allegedly shot the trio while picking up his son during an arranged custody exchange, police said.
Austin Police arrived at Great Hills Trail and Rain Creek Parkway in northwest Austin Sunday to find Amanda Broderick, 34, her daughter Alyssa Marie Broderick, 17, and her daughter’s boyfriend Willie Simmons III, 18, “shot lying near two vehicles that appeared to have been involved in a crash,” Austin Police said in a statement obtained by Oxygen.com.
All three were pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators discovered that Amanda had been meeting her estranged husband Stephen Broderick for a “scheduled visit with their son” when the collision occurred and Broderick allegedly opened fire, killing the three victims before fleeing the scene, according to authorities.
“The couple’s son, who was present during the shooting, but physically unharmed, was later located away from the scene where he was turned over to APD officers,” police said.
The shooting sparked a massive manhunt for Broderick—a former Travis County Sheriff’s detective who was quickly identified as the suspect in the slaying—shutting down a busy Austin highway near a popular shopping area, local station WCAX reports.
The former detective was taken into custody the next morning around 7 a.m. after authorities received a call about a suspicious person matching Broderick's description walking along Old Kimbro Road, according to a statement from the Manor Police Department.
Manor Police officers arrived at the scene, conducted a “high risk stop” and took Stephen into custody.
Police said Broderick had a loaded pistol in his waistband when he was apprehended.
“I am incredibly grateful for all of the assistance provided by our law enforcement partners that came to our aid yesterday,” Austin Police Interim Chief Joseph Chacon said of the arrest. “This is a tragic incident that has deeply impacted our community, and I’m glad to report that the suspect has been taken into custody without incident, and with no additional loss of life.”
Chacon described the shooting in a press briefing as a “domestic incident.”
Amanda had filed for divorce from her husband shortly after he was arrested in 2020 for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old child, according to court records obtained by USA Today.
The teen told her mother about the abuse and the mother immediately reported it to authorities. A physical examination later uncovered signs of trauma, according to local station KTBC.
Amanda had also taken a protective order out against her husband after telling authorities she was afraid of him.
“I'm afraid he will try to hurt me or my children, because these allegations have come out and he may lose his career," she wrote in her application for the protective order. "Stephen has prior military experience and is SWAT trained. If he wanted to hurt someone, he would know how."
Amanda’s attorney Pedro “Peter” Lopez of Mike Morales & Associated told KTBC the divorce was still pending at the time of her death.
“[Amanda Broderick] was a kind and loving mother, a friend to everyone she met, and a highlight esteemed client of our firm,” he told the station. “The news of her death was shocking, and we are still processing the tragic events of yesterday. It is with heavy hearts that we extend our deepest condolences to her surviving son, her family, and her friends.”
As part of the protective order, Broderick — who was out on bond in the sexual assault case — was prohibited from going within 200 yards of the couple’s daughter, although he still had a once-monthly visitation with his son.
Alyssa was reportedly Amanda’s biological daughter, who Broderick later adopted, local station KTBC reports.
Alyssa and Simmons, a high school football star planning to attend the University of North Texas, had reportedly been dating for years, according to KVEO-TV.
Kristen Dark, senior public information officer with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, told Oxygen.com that Broderick resigned from his post as a deputy in the sheriff’s office in July 2020, just one month after the department arrested him for the sexual assault of a child.
He had worked with the agency since August 2013 and most recently served as a detective in the Property Crimes Unit.
After his arrest, Broderick was ordered to surrender his firearms. It’s not clear how he gained access to a weapon. The Giffords Law Center reports that according to the Giffords Law Center, a domestic violence victim is five times more likely to be killed when an abusive partner has access to a gun.
Broderick was initially ordered to wear a GPS tracker after posting bond for the child sexual assault case; however, a judge ruled in November that the device could be removed after he'd worn it for over 100 days without any substantial violations.
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