Two people were killed early Thursday morning after a suspected drunk driver crashed into a crowd during the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Twenty-three people were injured, police said.
The man and woman killed were riding light motorcycles, according to Art Acevedo, chief of the Austin Police Department. The suspect tried to flee the scene before an officer used a stun gun and took him into custody. He faces two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault by vehicle.
The suspect's identity has not yet been made public; the victims' names are also being withheld.
"We had a large crowd," Acevedo told reporters in a press conference Thursday. "I just thank God that a lot of the folks had already been pushed on the sidewalk or this could have been a lot worse."
"There is only one person responsible for this, someone with no regard for the sanctity of life," he added. "Our focus is on gathering evidence and seeking justice for the people who lost their lives."
A man who was directing traffic at an intersection when the accident occurred told NBC affiliate KXAN that he jumped out of the way when he saw the gray Toyota sedan plowing down the street near The Mohawk. "As I was running, it just didn't kick into me. It didn't seem so real until I had to step over the bodies," he said. "And all you could hear was people yelling and screaming, 'He's hit! She's hit!'"
Tyler, The Creator was scheduled to perform at the Vans Showcase when the accident occurred. Seemingly unaware of what transpired, the 23-year-old "Yonkers" rapper tweeted Thursday, "Show Isnt Happening, Something Sad Happened. I'm Bummed."
Update: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the tragic accident that took place last night here in Austin," a rep for SXSW told E! News in a statement Thursday. "We appreciate and commend the first responders as well as the city agencies who so quickly sprung into action." Schedule and venue changes will be forthcoming; announcements will be made on its website and Twitter.
(Originally posted on Thurs., March 13, 2014, at 7:35 a.m. PT)