Car Plows Into SXSW Crowd, Killing At Least Two People
A man trying to avoid police crashed his car into dozens of people at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas Thursday morning, killing at least two people and injuring 23 others. The vehicle drove through temporary barricades set up for the event, and plowed through people as they were leaving a club around 12:30 a.m.
Earlier, a police officer had attempted to make a traffic stop and the driver fled the scene, going the wrong way down a one-way street. He killed two people on a moped, struck a taxi and several pedestrians, then tried to escape on foot when he stopped. The motorist was Taser-ed by officers and taken into custody. He is suspected of being intoxicated at the time.
Five individuals of the 23 injured were in critical condition, according to Austin police. The driver faces two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle. Streets were filled with attendees of the five-day digital conference, drawn to venues like The Mohawk, the club concert-goers were filing out of at the time of the incident. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said there was a large crowd present, according to the Associated Press.
"I just thank God that a lot of the folks had already been pushed on the sidewalk or this could have been a lot worse," Acevedo said at a press conference.
Austin police also reached out to witnesses via social media to provide accounts, video and photos of the accident. "I've never seen nothing like it. I felt like I was at a war or something," Russ Barone said. "I was down here for the music ... we were having the best time ever. And then it turned into the worst thing I've ever seen."