Police say Rashad Charjuan Owens had previous DUI offenses and now faces capital murder and aggravated assault charges for killing two people and injuring 23 others when he rammed his car past two wooden barriers and into a large group of people.
Court records show Owens was arrested in 2011 in Alaska for driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, and a probation violation. That same year he was also charged with criminal trespass in an unrelated offense.
Austin police chief Art Acevedo said the state is filing capital murder charges—which allow prosecutors to ask for the death penalty—because Owens intentionally plowed into the crowd. One of the first people hit, musician Scott Jakota, said Owens "gunned" the car at him.
Owens was asked to pull over at a sobriety check point and instead allegedly sped away from a police car. He smashed through a police barricade and then plowed down people, some of them lined up outside the Mohawk club, over a span of two blocks.
Witnesses said victims were flying in the air after being struck.
Owens then tried to flee the scene on foot before he was shot by a police officer with a stun gun and arrested. He suffered only minor injuries in the crash.