Car Drives Into Crowd On Busy Street At SXSW: Two Dead, 23 Injured
Posted by Joseph Lee on 03.13.2014
The organizers have commented...
NME reports that a car drove into a crowd in a busy street at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Two people were killed and 23 were injured (five of them critically injured).
Austin Chief of Police Art Acevedo commented on the accident around 2:30 AM local time. The suspect is an adult black male. It happened at 12:30 AM. The suspect tried to drive away from a drunk driving checkpoint, but went the wrong way down the one way street on East 9th. He then sped up on Red River Street where he hit several people, including a male and female couple on a moped, who both died. The suspect crashed into a parked van and tried to run away but he was tasered and arrested. It all happened in the span of one minute, between 12:30 AM and 12:31 AM.
The remaining victims were taken to three local hospitals with multiple extremity injuries and internal injuries. Five were listed as critical and others were "walking wounded" with moderate injuries. Most of the people hit were pedestrians.
Acevedo told witnesses to contact the Austin Police Department. He said: "There is only one person responsible for this and that's the person who had no respect for the sanctity of life. From our perspective, he needs to go to jail."
The suspect wasn't hurt and is currently in custody. He will be charged with two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.
Red River Street is the location of several venues and bars that are part of SXSW including Mohawk and Cheer Up Charlies. The street will be closed for most of today. Acevedo added that this was the most serious incident at the festival in his seven years. Tyler the Creator had been set to play Mohawk at 1 AM. After the accident, he wrote on Twitter: "Show Isnt Happening, Something Sad Happened. I'm Bummed."
Mohawk added on Facebook: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and injured from tonight's tragedy. Please check and make sure everyone you know is home safe tonight."
South by Southwest happens in multiple venues in Austin. Red River is one of the busiest streets during the event due to its high number of venues and bars.
SXSW have released the following statement on their official website: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the tragic accident that took place last night here in Austin. We appreciate and commend the first responders, as well as the city agencies who so quickly sprung into action. We will be making schedule and venue changes for programming in the surrounding area of last night's events. All other programming will continue as previously scheduled. Please watch this website and twitter.com/sxsw for updates throughout the day."