Two people were killed early Thursday morning when a driver hit a crowd waiting for a show at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas. Austin Police are reporting that 23 people were also injured, five critically, and that the driver is now in custody.
The accident happened outside the Mohawk club on Red River Street around 12:30 a.m. where a line of festivalgoers were waiting to see rapper Tyler the Creator. Two people were declared dead at the scene, but police said their names will not be released until their families are notified.
UPDATE: One victim has been identified as 35-year-old Steven Craenmehr, according to a statement by music agency network MassiveMusic on Thursday.
KEYE-TV's Adam Bennett is reporting that the police chief Art Acevedo said the suspect was stopped by police for a drunk driving check and bolted.
Chief: Driver nearly hit officer, hit several people at hi speed, continued, hit more people, hit taxi, hit moped killing man & woman.— Adam Bennett (@AdamBennettTV) March 13, 2014
The suspect was subdued with a taser and will face two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle. In other words, authorities will be seeking the death penalty.
Police sealed off the street as festivalgoers filed out of other nearby shows. Tens of thousands of music fans are in Austin for the 28th annual SXSW music festival, which had hundreds of artists including Kanye West, Jay Z and Blur's Damon Albarn playing venues across Austin's downtown. Thousands were still walking the streets in the aftermath, many clearly shocked by the unfolding tragedy.
"We owe it to the victims and their families to gather the evidence we need to bring them justice," tweeted Chief Art Acevedo, asking anyone with photos or videos to please call (512) 974-5186.
SXSW's Kelly Krause released this statement: "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."
People comfort each other after the Austin incident #sxsw
Jay Janner/Austin-American Statesman pic.twitter.com/z8meXaN9EI— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) March 13, 2014
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