The suspect who killed two people and critically injured five others by driving through a barricade has been identified by the police today.
We reported on the horrific news yesterday that a drunk driver at SXSW ran into a barricade outside of where Tyler, The Creator was supposed to perform, and proceeded to run over innocent pedestrians. In all, he killed two people, injured twenty-three, and critically injured five.
Yesterday we did not have the suspect's name who was the cause of this unfortunate incident, but today the police have revealed just that. In addition, South By Southwest have released an official statement concerning what happened.
The suspect identified is 21-year old Rashad Charjuan Owens, reports say. Owens happens to be an aspiring rapper, who adopted the moniker KillingAllBeatz or K.A.B254, and was actually slated to perform at SXSW on Thursday at 1 A.M. at the East Austin club. Owens is the father of six children. His brother, Lamar Wilson, said that Owens had borrowed a friend's car, Andrew Bramwell. However, Bramwell apparently reported the car stolen on Thursday morning.
Wilson was shocked by the news, saying of his brother, "He’s a real good dude, he was in college and making music, and was trying to live regular." Owen's grandmother echoed these sentiments, saying, "He is good. He is so good. …Whatever happened was out of his control, I am sure."
Austin police say that Owens will be charged with two counts of capital murder. Read SXSW's full statement on the matter below.
The SXSW staff is stunned and deeply moved by the events of last night.
Dozens of us were on the scene when the incident occurred and we worked closely with APD to create a perimeter around the area, turning back all the visitors spilling out of the clubs who headed north on Red River Street.
To avoid confusion we plan to carry on with our scheduled daytime events at the Austin Convention Center in order to serve our tens of thousands of participants during this tragic time.
All of the SXSW staff and volunteers reported for their regular duties this morning and will continue working today on the event.
We are contacting all of the venues to find out if they have made any decisions about their operations that might impact our visitors.
Despite all of our preparations for dealing with a major incident during SXSW, nothing could really prepare us for how this feels. As much as we would like to go home and spend time absorbing the shock of this horrific event, we feel our best use is to continue to operate today.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured and with the families of the fatalities.