Two people were killed and 23 injured when a driver plowed his car into a crowd outside a Tyler, the Creator show at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, at 12:30 a.m. on Thursday. At press time, the Austin Police Department reported that five of the injured were in critical condition.
23 individuals have been transported. Of those 5 are in critical condition, 2 deceased. #SXSW
— Austin Police Dept (@Austin_Police) March 13, 2014
In the early morning, Austin PD announced that an individual was in custody, but that the names of the deceased would not be released until proper notifications of families have been made.
Thoughts & prayers go out to the victims of tonight's tragedy & their families. Thank you to all the witnesses that stayed on scene.
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) March 13, 2014
According to the Los Angeles Times, witnesses described the car as a “grey sedan with a cracked windshield,” which drove into a crowd waiting outside the Mohawk club for a late-night set from Tyler. The car reportedly left a “trail of clubgoers in the middle of the busy intersection” of Red River and 10th Street with the “crash visible to blocks of concertgoers.”
The incident began shortly after midnight local time, when a motorist was stopped on suspicion of DUI and sped way from police, broke through a barricade and drove the wrong way down a one-way street crowded with festivalgoers. When the car slammed into the crowd it hit two people on a moped, who were killed instantly.
Reuters reported that the driver also struck a taxi and a parked van before stopping his vehicle and attempting to escape on foot.
The suspect was subdued with a stun gun and taken into custody at the scene. “There is only one person responsible for this, someone with no regard for the sanctity of life,” said Austin Police chief Art Acevedo. The unnamed suspect is facing potential capital murder and aggravated assault charges.
Tyler reached out to his fans explaining that he canceled his show because “something sad happened.”
Show Isnt Happening, Something Sad Happened. I'm Bummed
— Tyler, The Creator (@fucktyler) March 13, 2014
Among those offering their thoughts and prayers on the tragedy were Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace.
My heart goes out to all those involved in and affected by the tragedy tonight at SXSW.
— Laura Jane Grace (@LauraJaneGrace) March 13, 2014
My God, just now waking up to the news out of Austin. Hope to hear from my friends and co-workers real soon.
— carrie (@carrie_etc) March 13, 2014