Airman 1st Class Austin R. Burroughs, 22, was killed in front of his wife during a robbery Jan. 20 in Cedar Park, a suburb of Austin, according to police.
Burroughs was found with a gunshot wound to the neck when police arrived at the scene. An initial investigation reported that Burroughs was killed after parking at his apartment complex and exiting his personal vehicle at about 9:15 p.m.
Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix said during a press conference Monday that Burroughs' life was taken by the “senseless and cowardly actions of a group of armed robbers.”
Although police attempted to apply life-saving measures when they found Burroughs, he was pronounced dead at the scene, Mannix said.
Burroughs “had a promising career in front of him," Mannix added. “His life was taken by a group that appears to have gone out with the sole purpose of robbing people at gunpoint that night."
Three people, Cornelius Martin, Darius Burdett-Hornsby and Elanna Wilkes, were arrested and charged with murder Thursday and Friday.
The three are also allegedly connected to two other armed robberies in Austin the day after Burroughs was killed. Mannix said that while those robberies were conducted at gunpoint, there were no injuries associated.
Mannix could not say whether anything was taken from Burroughs' vehicle, due to the ongoing investigation to gather evidence.
Video surveillance obtained from a nearby business was used to identify a vehicle that police determined was used in connection with the murder of Burroughs, based on its entrance and rapid exit of the parking lot where he was killed. The white, four-door vehicle was registered to Wilkes.
Forensic evidence and other witnesses still need to be examined, Mannix said.
Burroughs was a student assigned to the 316th Training Squadron at Goodfellow AFB. He was on temporary duty assignment from the 311th Training Squadron at the Presidio of Monterey, California, Stars and Stripes previously reported.
“We grieve for the loss of an airman from the 17th Training Wing Team,” Col. Ricky L. Mills, 17th Training Wing commander, said in a statement provided to Air Force Times. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the family, friends, and fellow students of Airman 1st Class Burroughs at this difficult time.”
Burroughs was a cryptologic language analyst who had joined the Air Force in May 2017, according to Stars and Stripes.
He was a recent graduate of the Defense Language Institute, in Monterey, according to records from the Air Force Personnel Center.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq. Follow on Twitter @Kyle_Rempfer