An individual is in custody after a car plowed through a crowd outside a venue at SXSW late Wednesday night into Thursday morning, killing two and sending 23 to the hospital.
According to Austin police chief Art Acevedo, who spoke at a 2:30 am news conference, a suspected drunk driver in a silver Toyota sedan had been swerving in between cars to avoid police, then sped off in the wrong direction down a one-lane road; the car slammed through a barricade and plowed into the crowd waiting outside the Mohawk at 9th and Red River.
The driver continued on, hitting and killing a couple on a moped, before crashing into a taxi. The individual tried to flee the scene, but was taken down by a police officer’s stun gun.
Acevedo reported that five of those transported were in critical condition as of early Thursday morning after the incident. The driver faces two charges of capital murder and 23 charges of aggravated assault with a vehicle.
The Vans Showcase, featuring rapper Tyler the Creator, was taking place inside the venue as one of the closing events of the annual SXSW music and film festival.
“We had a large crowd,” Acevedo said told journalists. “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.
The names of the deceased were not immediately made available, pending notification of next of kin.