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Driver who crashed into SXSW crowd charged with capital murder

By Kyle Johnson,

The man who crashed into a crowd of people at SXSW earlier in the week has been charged with capital murder.

Early Thursday morning, Rashad Charjuan Owens, who is suspected of being drunk, drove into the Austin festival and killed two people and left over 20 others injured.

The 21-year-old ran through both a barricade and a couple on a scooter. When he attempted to flee on foot after hitting a taxi and van, police tasered him. The woman died, while the scooter driver is listed as stable. The other person who died was just walking when the car struck them.

Now, NBC News reports Owens has been charged with two counts of capital murder and several counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.

Police say that Owens was attempting to flee police when he drove into the SXSW festival. Authorities say a DUI task force tried to pull him over for a traffic violation, but Owens went the wrong direction on a one-way street in an attempt to get away.

Most injured were treated and released, but eight had to be kept at the University Medical Center Brackenridge. Emergency department director Dr. Christopher Ziebell spoke with reporters on Thursay and said, "we're going to do our best for them. These are the worst injuries that we see.

image: By Daniel Mayer (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 
 

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