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Driver in deadly South by Southwest crash 'intentionally' drove car into crowd, report says

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The Austin Police Department told MyFoxAustin.com that Rashsad Charjuan Owens, seen here in 2012, was the driver of the silver Honda Civic that ran through multiple barriers and into a crowd of South by Southwest gatherers on Red River Street.MyFoxAustin.com

Austin police said a rapper with a criminal history “intentionally” drove into a crowd Thursday morning at the South by Southwest festival, killing two people, MyFoxDFW.com reported.

Rashad Owens, 21, who police say was behind the wheel, was charged with capital murder Friday, and other charges may follow. A district judge Friday set bail for Rashad Charjuan Owens at $3 million. He remains jailed.

Police are waiting on blood tests to determine his blood alcohol level.

"For me from his actions, from what I've seen this is an individual that showed no regard for human beings. He plowed through in his attempt to get away," Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said, calling Owens' actions intentional. 

Owens, who was supposed to perform later that night, reportedly has a lengthy criminal history. It includes a 2010 arrest for criminal trespassing in Killeen, a 2011 conviction for DUI in Alaska and in 2012 he was arrested in Fairbanks for criminal mischief. The Honda Civic he was driving at the time of the deadly crash had been reported stolen out of Killeen, the report said.

Austin police said officers tried to pull Owens over at a gas station near Interstate 35 for suspected drunken driving, but he drove off. He crashed through festival barricades and mowed down more than two dozen people on Red River Street.

He allegedly killed 35-year-old Steven Craenmehr, an employee of Massive Music and native of the Netherlands. Austin resident Jamie Ranea also died in the crash. Several other victims have critical injuries and may not survive.

Police said Owens tried to make a run for it after hitting a taxi and parked van. Officers stopped him with a stun gun.

 

 

 

 

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