AUSTIN (KXAN) – Socrates Villarreal and his brother Daniel are two journalists from Dallas in town covering the festival. They heard what happened and started filming.
“A man ran into the facility/venue and said, ‘hey is anyone a medic or is there a doctor here? We need help outside,’” Socrates said.
They quickly ran outside where they were just feet away from the crash that had just killed two people and injured nearly two dozen more.
“People were running, crying,” he said. “Somebody told us a car has just driven through the crowd.”
“The further we got down the street we saw people’s faces streaked with blood,” said Daniel Villarreal. “Eventually one woman who’s hand was grasping another…she had a pool of blood underneath her, and nearby EMT’s were doing CPR on another person.”
Using his iPhone, Socrates started capturing the aftermath; even interviewing other witnesses on the street.
“The more bodies I saw the more I was overcome by fear and the grossness of the event,” Socrates said. “Not SXSW, but the incident.”
“I think we both felt an urgency to really do what we do best which is report,” Daniel said, “and get the information out there so people get it right.”
WARNING: While the video is not graphic, it is very dramatic — considering it was captured moments after the car plowed through the crowded street. (Video courtesy: Socrates Villarreal)
Police say the suspect Rashad Charjuan Owens, 21, sped away from officers after being stopped on suspicion of DWI.
The driver almost hit a police officer with the car while trying to get away, according to police. The suspect then went the wrong way on Ninth Street, plowed through a barricade on Red River Street, and hit the people in the crowd.
The suspect then went through 10th and 11th streets , hitting pedestrians, a cyclist, two people on a moped and a cab before striking a van and coming to a stop. That’s when police say the driver jumped out of the car and began to run, but police managed to use a Taser and arrest the suspect.
Police have set up a specific number for people to call if they have pictures, video or information about this situation.
Police posted on Facebook, “If you witnessed, have video/photos of the incident @ Red River call (512) 974-5186. Do not tie this line up for any other reason.”