The drunk driver who drove into a crowd of SXSW delegates in Austin, Tx early Thursday morning has been charged with two counts of Capital Murder and now face the death penalty under Texas law.
Texas has the highest tally of executions in the United States. 1,265 people have been executed in Texas since 1976.
The driver of the grey Toyota plowed into delegates of the SXSW music conference along Red River St near 10th. Two people were killed. He has now been charged with Capital Murder, defined as two or more murders during the same criminal act. The crime is punishable under Texan law by death.
“We have had two individuals that were pronounced dead on the scene,” Police Chief Art Acevdeo told media at the scene of the crime. “A male adult and a female adult. We also have an additional 23 victims and of those 23 victims five are considered critical and the rest are walking wounded to moderate”.
“This suspect will be charged with two counts of capital murder. In the state of Texas when you murder somebody in one event and there is two or more people it is a capital offence and we will be filing for two counts of capital murder. He will also be charged with 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle,” he confirmed.
Chief Acevedo has also urged anyone with footage of the accident to not put it on social media. “I remind those people who have video that we have had tow individuals that have lost their lives and 23 others that have been impacted by this person’s criminal offence and I urge you to respect the integrity of the investigation. We want to bring justice to the victims of this crime. I would urge you to not be putting everything on YouTube. I would ask that on behalf of the families of the two deceased and on behalf of the families of the 23 other folks.”
The incident happened outside the Mohawk nightclub. In a tweet, the owners of the Mohawk posted, ““Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and injured from tonight’s tragedy. Please check and make sure everyone you know is home safe tonight.”
Red River between 9th and 12th will remain closed this morning pending further police investigation.