A suspected drunken driver faces capital murder charges after striking a crowd outside a downtown Austin, Texas, club used as a venue for the South By Southwest digital conference, police said.
A man and a woman died and 23 others were injured — two of them in critical condition — when the gray Toyota Civic plowed through a barricade close to The Mohawk just after 12:30 a.m. local time (1:30 a.m. ET) Wednesday.
Officials at a late morning news conference declined to identify the driver because he had not yet been charged. Aside from two counts of capital murder, he also faces multiple counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.
Police said the female deceased, who lived locally, was killed while riding on the back of a moped. The driver was in stable condition.
The male victim, who was from the Netherlands, was riding a bicycle.
Earlier reports said both victims were on the moped.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the driver was trying to evade police at the time of the crash.
Police attempted to stop the suspect for a traffic violation, but he fled the wrong way down a one-way street at high speed. The suspect then made a turn on Red River Street, which was barricaded off for the festival.
Amid the mayhem, the driver struck a cyclist, two people on a moped, a taxi and went on the sidewalk on Red River Street before hitting a van, police said.
Acevedo said the man then jumped out of his car and tried to flee, but officers shocked him with a stun gun.
Police said 23 people were taken to area hospitals. Fifteen of those victims were released Wednesday, while eight were still being treated, some with serious injuries.
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