Austin police have named a suspect in this incident, 21-year-old Rashad Charjuan Owens who, according to Spin, was supposed to be performing at the festival. He’s a rapper and producer who, a man who says he’s Owens’ relative, goes by the name KillingAllBeatz or K.A.B254. That same relative also said Owens has six children.
Owens is originally from Killeen, TX and has a record of arrests in that state as well as in Alaska. He faces two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle. If convicted, he could face the death penalty. Since he hasn’t been formally charged, we’ll refrain from posting up pictures, but, as you can see with a quick search, a number of sites have already posted images of Owens from his Facebook page.
Organizers for SXSW say the festival’s program is moving forward as planned despite the tragedy.
First update and original story March 13, 2013
A drunk driver who was trying to elude the police last night barreled his car into a group of SXSW conference-goers, killing two people and injuring 23 others. Five of the injured are in critical condition. Fifteen of the injured have been treated and released from the hospital.
Police attempted to stop the driver at around 12:30am when the driver hit the gas, continuing his drive the wrong way down a one-way street. The driver smashed through a barricade, killed two people on a moped, drove into a taxi and hit a van, mowing down nearly two dozen people in the process. After the car came to a stop, authorities say the driver tried to run away from the scene. A Taser was used to subdue the man and place him under arrest.
The incident happened outside Austin’s Mohawk where Tyler the Creator was scheduled to perform.
Officials will hold a news conference today at 11:30am ET about the crash. The driver will be charged with two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle. The driver will not be identified until he’s formally charged.