Missing Texas boy, 4, found safe; father arrested in connection with drive-by shooting


Editor’s Note: The above video aired prior to Crowley’s arrest.

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — A 4-year-old Texas boy, who was the subject of an Amber Alert, was found safe Monday night. Police didn’t call the incident an abduction or a kidnapping, but they wanted to find the boy because they say he was with his father at the time of a drive-by shooting. Initially, neither had been seen since the shooting.

Joshua Christopher Crowley, the boy’s 36-year-old father, was arrested in Harris County, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Crowley was wanted in connection with the drive-by shooting that took place about 70 miles east of Austin in Burton, Texas.

The missing boy nicknamed ‘Spider-Man’

The boy’s mom, Daniela Crowley, spoke to NewsNation affiliate KXAN on Monday. She said her son’s nickname is Spider-Man because of how much he loved the Marvel superhero. He often did the Spider-Man “web shooter” pose, including in two of the photos that his mom provided. One of those was taken on Picture Day at his pre-school. He was also last seen wearing a Spider-Man sweatshirt.

“I had left my son with my ex-husband to watch him and they both disappeared. At some point, [Joshua Crowley] blocked me and stopped communicating with me and I haven’t heard or seen my son since Saturday afternoon,” Crowley said. “I just hope that my son is okay. I know, I have faith, that he is going to be fine and he is going to be back home.”

Crowley spent much of the morning on the phone with both investigators and family members. She was sharing all of the details that she has, which she admits, is not much. Her level of concern grew as news broke that Joshua Crowley was involved in a drive-by shooting, a detail that wasn’t immediately shared with her by authorities.

Despite the new information, Crowley said she does not think that Joshua will hurt her son. She believes he is not violent when it comes to his son’s safety.

“My family thinks there is no way that he would hurt him. But we don’t know what is going on,” Crowley said. “I think he’s probably asking where his mommy is.”

What happened in Burton that triggered the Amber Alert

Joshua Crowley fired multiple shots from his moving car at several people near a Burton business, according to Washington County Sheriff Otto Hanak.

A 38-year-old man was shot multiple times and airlifted to a Bryan hospital with serious injuries.

A Washington County patrol deputy actually stopped Crowley in his Mazda3 earlier in the day on U.S. Highway 290 after a complaint from another driver.

The dashcam and bodycam footage from that deputy captured these images of Crowley and his car:

Sheriff Hanak says Joshua Crowley later parked his car behind the spot where the shooting took place, according to witnesses.

Hanak says the Amber Alert came as a result of a missing person’s investigation that the Austin Police Department initiated for Wyatt Crowley.

An arrest warrant has since been issued for Joshua Crowley charging him with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

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