AUSTIN (KXAN) — The family of Douglas Kantor, a 25-year-old Michigan resident killed in the June 2021 Sixth Street mass shooting, flew in from out of town to attend a hearing on the accused shooter.
“It brings it all back to the surface, and everything is like the first day again,” said his mother, Julia.
Kantor’s family spoke to KXAN about their hopes for a trial while donning Doug’s badges.
“I think we are all brought back by what we hope is that the outcome of this ordeal will give us all a push to move on to the next phase of our grief,” said his brother Niklaus.
According to the protocol of the court, the trial of the suspect is scheduled for February 28.
Former downtown council member Kathy Towo launched the Safer Sixth Street Initiative in response to the shooting, calling for ways to diversify the space and contain the violence.
Now it is up to the newly elected Zo Qadri to continue this mission.
“I think it’s about learning everything we can to make people feel safe,” he said.
Sixth Street continues to be a hotspot of downtown violence.
“We have scheduled meetings not only with people related to this, but also with people who live in the area. We have been contacted by many business owners,” said Qadri, who officially took office about a week ago.
While the Kantor family lives out of state, Doug’s mother and brother have expressed a desire to see stronger prosecutions of violent criminals, enhanced police force, and a way to keep guns and underage children out of the restricted area of the entertainment district.
“Whoever fires a gun in there, you can’t miss a human body because you are so stuffed,” Nicklaus said.
The family knows this can’t bring Doug back, but said it could help someone else’s family avoid the grief they’re currently struggling with.
“Children, brothers, husbands, wives, they die,” Julia said.