The 21-year-old drunk driver who plowed his car into a group of South by Southwest revelers had been scheduled to perform a rap concert at the festival later that night.
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.
According to court records, at the time of the crash there was an active warrant out for his arrest in Alaska for failure to appear.
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.
According to reports, the aspiring rapper, who reportedly has six children, was trying to evade police, who were trying to conduct some sort of a sobriety check.
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.
The AP identified the two people fatally struck as 35-year-old Massive Music creative director Steven Craenmehr and 27-year-old Jamie Ranae West.