Couple From North Texas Files Lawsuit Against Man Who Shot Their Sleeping Son Through Apartment Wall

The parents of 20-year-old Austin Salyer, who was killed while sleeping in his apartment in 2021, are suing a guy from San Marcos.

Rodney and Bonnie Salyer, who live in Flower Mound, Texas, are fighting Gabriel Nathaniel Brown, Brown’s father, Gregory Keith Brown, and Brown’s ex-girlfriend, Chantel Monique Veal, because they are accused of causing Austin’s death.

Austin Salyer grew up in Flower Mound. In September 2021, he had just joined the Army after going to Texas State University. He was shot while sleeping in his off-campus room at The Lyndon apartments early on September 16, 2021.

Austin Salyer and Veal lived in the same building. The case filed May 10 in Bell County District Court says that Gabriel Brown killed Salyer when he carelessly fired a gun inside Veal’s apartment.

The claim said Gabriel FaceTimed his dad Gregory to “show off his semi-automatic pistol and the micro conversion kit.” The suit says that a tiny conversion kit can be used to turn a semi-automatic pistol into an assault rifle.

The claim says that Gabriel Brown fired his gun while installing the micro conversion kit while on the phone with his father. He told the cops that it was a mistake.

Gabriel Brown told the police that he saw the bullet make a hole in the wall but thought it didn’t go all the way through. He told the police that he sent Austin Salyer a message on Snapchat to see if he was okay.

The claim says that the bullet actually went through the wall and hit Salyer close up. The bullet went into his arm, went through his chest, and came out of his other arm.

The tweet below says Convicted shooter receives 90 day sentence for the 2021 killing of 20-year-old Austin Salye”

“Austin managed to get himself up out of bed. In what must have been a terrifying and horrific nightmare, Austin stumbled around his bedroom, injured and bleeding profusely. Austin Salyer managed to exit his bedroom into the kitchen and living room area of his apartment and finally collapsed on the ground where he succumbed to his injuries. Austin was not discovered until the late morning of September 16, 2021,” the lawsuit said.

“Even though Defendant Gabriel Nathaniel Brown knew that Austin Salyer lived next door and that a bullet had gone through the wall between their apartments, he did not call the police, apartment management, 911, or any other emergency service to report the discharge or to ask someone to check on Austin Salyer,” the lawsuit says.

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Gabriel Brown Said It Was an Accident

After the shot was fired, Veal did not call 911 or any other emergency service. Gregory Brown was talking to Gabriel Brown on the phone when the shot was fired, but he also didn’t call the police.

According to police records and the lawsuit, Gabriel Brown didn’t turn himself into the San Marcos Police Department until “much later” that same day, around 12 p.m. The next morning, Austin Salyer’s friends found him dead in his room.

Gabriel Brown told the cops that he did not do anything wrong when he turned himself in. He said it was an accident.

Rodney and Bonnie Salyer want more than $1 million in money and damages for the pain and suffering they went through when their only child died and for the physical and mental pain, Austin Salyer went through before he died.

“Each of the Defendants cruelly disregarded the massive danger that they inflicted on Austin Salyer, and as a result of being shot at close range by Defendant Gabriel Brown, 20-year-old Austin Salyer died by homicide on September 16, 2021. Defendant Gabriel Nathaniel Brown subsequently pleaded guilty to and was convicted of criminally negligent homicide,” the case says.

For criminally negligent murder in Texas, the worst punishment is two years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The suit says that the minimum term should have been 180 days, but a judge cut Gabriel Brown’s sentence to 90 days, to be served in nine-day chunks over five years.

The lawsuit says, “Even though Gabriel Nathaniel Brown killed another person with a gun and didn’t tell anyone about it until long after there was still a chance to save Austin Salyer’s life, elected officials in Hays County just gave him a slap on the wrist.”

The criminal courts have done nothing to help Austin Salyer’s real parents, the Plaintiffs, get any kind of justice. Plaintiffs now file this lawsuit to get full and fair compensation for the death of their son, which was caused by the grossly negligent acts and errors of all Defendants.

Click on the following links for more news from the California Examiner:

According to the lawsuit, Gabriel Brown, Gregory Brown, and Veal didn’t make sure the gun wasn’t loaded before using it in a home. They also didn’t get training on how to handle and use a gun safely, didn’t take care to avoid hurting Austin, and didn’t help him after the round went off. The case was brought in Bell County, which is where the Browns live now.

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