SXSW ‘Stunned’ by Hit-and-Run Crash that Kills 2, Injures 23

The South by Southwest (SXSW) entertainment and technology conference in Austin, Texas was hit by tragedy early Thursday when an allegedly drunken driver barreled down a one-way street in the wrong direction and slammed into a crowd. Two people were killed and 23 others were injured.

The incident took place outside Mohawk, a popular live-music bar. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo described it as an "intentional act." The driver, according to local station KVUE-TV, is 21-year-old Rashad Charjuan Owens, and he was driving a stolen car. Charges against him include two counts of capital murder, as well as 23 counts of aggravated assault.

Police said they had tried to pull the driver over at a gas station after they saw him going the wrong way down a one-way street, but then he sped away and down a street that had been closed for a concert. The driver hit a moped carrying a woman and man, pedestrians, a bicycle, a taxi and a van. One bystander told CNN that the driver appeared to be swerving toward victims. He then ran on foot and was followed by police, who stopped him with a Taser and then arrested him.

'Obligation to the People'

The dead victims were the woman on the moped and a bicyclist from the Netherlands who has been identified as Steven Craenmehr, creative director of a global music agency. Two of the 23 injured were reported in critical condition.

Chief Acevedo said at a news conference that "we can't let one individual ruin this great event." Roland Swenson, director of SXSW, told news media that his organization was "stunned," but said most events still would take place because of "an obligation to the people who have traveled here from all around the world."

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell said at a news conference that "this is the...

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