Bystanders tend to a man who was struck by a vehicle during
the SXSW festival in downtown Austin,Texas. REUTERS/Jay
A motorist suspected of ploughing into a crowd outside a
Texas nightclub, killing two people and injuring nearly two
dozen near the South by Southwest festival, has been charged
The motorist, identified as Rashad Charjuan Owens, 21, told
police he fled from a traffic stop because he had outstanding
arrest warrants and feared prison time, a local newspaper
said. He was subdued by an officer using a stun gun after the
incident near SXSW in Austin.
SXSW, running from March 7 to March 16, began as a music
event in 1987. It features technology conferences, a film
festival and music shows that draw tens of thousands of
people to the Texas capital annually.
Owens faces one count of capital murder and is being held on
$3 million bond, the Austin Police Department said on its
website. Police have said he faces additional charges.
Owens was asked to pull over at a sobriety check point and
instead sped away from a police car. He smashed through a
police barricade and then plowed down people, some of them
lined up outside a nightclub, over a span of two blocks.
Witnesses said victims were flying in the air after being
Owens told police he saw police lights in his mirror and "got
scared because he has warrants" and did not want to go to
prison, the Austin American-Statesman newspaper reported,
citing an arrest affidavit.
The "kidnapping warrants" were related to a custody battle
over one of his children, the newspaper said. He had a blood
alcohol level over the legal limit, breath test results