Suspect and Victims in Fatal SXSW Car Crash Named

21 year old Rashad Owens has been charged with two counts of capital murder.

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The sole suspect in the fatal incident in which two people were killed and a further 23 were injured in the early hours of this morning (March 13) at SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas, has been named, as have a number of the victims, including the two fatalities.

As NME reports, Austin Police Department named Rashad Owens, 21 of Killeen, Texas - which is 67 miles north of Austin - as the suspect. Earlier today, Owens was charged with two counts of capital murder. The fatalities have been named as Steven Craenmehr, 35, from Amsterdam, who worked for the MassiveMusic music agency and local woman Jamie Ranae West, 27. Austin Police Department have also released names of most of those injured, their ages ranging from 17 to 29. A list of names can be found at the bottom of the page.

Heavy reports that Owens has a string of previous convictions, including one for underage consumption of alcohol, a driving under the influence charge as well as for driving while intoxicated and criminal trespass, adding that there was an active warrant out for his arrest at the time of the crash.

Meanwhile, a fund has been set up in order to help the victims of the tragic event. "The SXSW Cares Fund will help people affected by the tragic events of March 13, 2014," reads a statement released earlier today. "The funds will be disbursed to those most affected through a community-based process."

James Moody, the owner of Mohawk, the venue outside which the incident took place, said of the fund: "We have spent today working with SXSW and the City to create a relief fund for the victims. This is our number one priority – their care and support. We are a community here that exists far beyond the 10 days of SXSW. Our intent is to come together to help the families of each and every one of the victims."

Both venues on the block on which the crash took place re-open at 7pm tonight local time. SXSW founder Roland Swenson released a statement about the re-openings. "After talking with the Austin Police Department, we have determined that the most prudent course of action is to move forward with the SXSW shows scheduled at the Mohawk and Cheer Up Charlie's tonight. If we were to turn away potentially thousands of people who will arrive to see the shows, it would create a serious safety issue," he said. "To avoid confusion we plan to carry on in order to serve our tens of thousands of participants during this tragic time."

Those injured in the incident include:

Evan West, 29, Male
Joseph McCraney, 26, Male
Endres Mason, 18, Female
Kartisha Davis, 18, Female
Greg Cerna, 19, Male
April Martinez, 29, Female
Ryan Freeman, 20, Male
Johannes Hailu, 39, Male
Maria Belyvia, 20, Female
Carolyn Grace, 19, Female
Jeff Chenzer, 29, Male
Ashley Easley, 20, Female
Jacob Gallegos, 20, Male
Erica Hall, 19, Female
Jane Henderson, 24, Female
William Josma, 29, Male
Juan Leura, 20, MaleJaqueline Longhurst, 21, FemaleAlexis Zamarippa, 17, Female

52 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ok, so not exactly a car "Accident" then...
    Capital murder Texas...he's doneski
    If you know about the inner workings of the law, capital murder is just the initial charge. It is a shame, but capital murder will never stick. They will plea down to vehicular homicide, or manslaughter. Either way add all his other charges, as long as they give him max sentences, he will be lucky to see daylight again, so heres to hoping this scumbag stays off the street.
    I really hope they get this jerk with capital murder so he can see life without parole or death. There was literally no reason for him to do what he did
    He completely destroyed the lives of two people and their friends and families, and damaged multiple others, so he should get the death penalty. And extremely fast, so that he doesn't keep using up resources for much longer. Worthless piece of genetic waste.
    He deserves it, but that is not going to happen. By definition it will almost be impossible to stick. He was probably charged with it simply to help the prosecution work their plea agreements. Odds are he gets 2 vehicular manslaugher/homicide charges, along with his other charges, and gets sentenced to the fullest extent, which would make him lucky to see the streets again.
    So, as an Austinite who knows the area well, this is basically my perspective. It happened after midnight, but that's when major SXSW shows are happening. They were checking cars for DWIs, they go to his car, he drives off, goes through the temporary barricades blocking the streets, goes the opposite way down a one way, all the while running into people in a van, moped, and taxi. Then he crashes. All in two minutes. Then he tries to run away, but the cops taze him. One of the two killed people has a husband who was critically injured and was put into a coma. I don't know if he was drunk or not, but the reason that he ran was probably because he stole that car he was driving. He also had a criminal trespassing arrest in 2010, and a DWI arrest in 2011. He's only 21 years old, but he's already had 6 children. He was also going to play with his band yesterday for SXSW (they played his music on the television; it's awful). People are horrified that this sort of thing happened. There are people here who said that they were there and saw bodies flying in the air...This is one of the worst accidents to happen around here, and we're already trying to change the police pursuit code for the law enforcement. I'm not one to really condone this, but I really hope that this guy gets a life sentence or the death penalty. People are just trying to have a good time, and this guy commits a truly selfish act that injures and damages the lives of the innocent people around him. A message to this guy from the wonderful city Austin, with sincerity, "Fuck you."
    What a bloody bastard. If you're wasted, you don't drive, you call a taxi. It's fecking common sense!
    Being wasted and having common sense is pretty much mutually exclusive. I'm not in anyway trying to justify what he did though; it is absolutely horrible. I can't imagine what it must be like to lose a relative or significant other to something so sudden and terrible.
    Wouldn't it be ironic if someone who was there get's arrested, get's on the same cell block, and beats the dog shit out of this scum bag.
    Unless someone was arrested for a similar reason, that won't happen. Jails don't just lump together everyone who has been arrested unless they have commited crimes of a similar nature. No, he'll be hangin' with offenders just like himself.
    Yes they do..they're called holding cells. It's possible he'd be isolated because of the high profile of this case.
    This is horrible. To have something happen to people who were there to have a great time, because of an irresponsible *******, is ridiculous.
    I really hope they get this jerk with capital murder so he can see life without parole or death. There was literally no reason for him to do what he did
    Capital murder won't stick. Just a PR ploy from our piece of garbage police chief. They are going to have to prove he intended to kill those people....etc, etc. I was right there when it happened. The question that really needs to be answered is why in the hell would the cops go in hot pursuit of a vehicle through crowds of people like that. They guy was driving slow before the dumba** cops hit the lights and gunned their engines. Not trying to blame the police here, but it was just a stolen car. Now people are dead because of it.
    Rex Inclitus
    IMO, after looking at pictures of the victims, this could be racially motivated which would mean premeditation. Investigating his social media posts could corroborate the theory which I assume they will. When I see posts constantly on social media regarding the extermination of whites or " urging nurses to kill cracker babies in hospitals " ( Black Panthers ) it throws up the red flag. If the roles were reversed on this you can bet your life the media would be sounding the war trumpets. Racism is a huge issue in the US on both sides of the coin, especially with respect to music, I hear dozens of stories regarding people who would get jumped if they were listening to anything other than Rap and Hip Hop in the some areas, thats pretty f-ed up.
    The police will probably be suspended, and it will more than likely be plead down to vehicular homicide. They always pin you with the worst charges possible and then it get's knocked down in a plea agreement. I hope he does the max for the charges he receives, but the cops have to receive some kind of discipline, because by giving chase, even though not responsible for this guys actions, they helped to put people in danger. There is no way the cops didn't know of an event in the area, and part of being a cop is to be able to use good judgement, which continuing this chase clearly was not. With that said....Glad to see you made it out of there safely. I can not begin to imagine.
    Sewage Rat
    Obviously a black
    Well yeah he's black, congratulations, you can see. Does being black have anything to do with this? No, not really
    Race has nothing to do with this, a-holes are a-holes, regardless of skin colour or country of origin.
    Way to make a horrible subject even worse, Jaggoff
    you got voted down because it's only ok for blacks to hate whites.
    MaxLees666 · Mar 16, 2014 08:42 AM
    You're right! This guy shouldn't be punished at all. As a matter of fact, he should be rewarded by you giving him a blowjob every single day for the rest of his worthless life. You ****ing pussy.
    i hope you get a ban for this. i've said far tamer and have had a ban.
    Oh no! A Ban! My life is ruined!!...shut up boy. Maybe you AND MaxLeees666 can go blow the guy. Pathetic.
    My Last Words
    Isn't this vehicular manslaughter?
    From what I've just read, someone can be charged with capital murder if "the person commits the murder while escaping or attempting to escape from a penal institution." I think this would most apply due to the fact the driver was evading a traffic stop before he ran into the crowd of people.