SXSW Crash Suspect Was About to Perform at Festival

Rashad Owens is aspiring rapper

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 14, 2014 10:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – At 12:30am Thursday, Rashad Owens was an aspiring rapper heading to perform at an Austin club during the South by Southwest festival. By 1am, he was in custody on charges that could bring the death penalty. The 21-year-old accused of driving his car into a crowd of people while fleeing police, killing two bystanders, raps under the names KillingAllBeatz and K.A.B254, reports the Austin American-Statesman. Owens was on his way to pick up his two brothers, who were waiting for him at another Austin club, when the police chase began, one of his brothers tells the newspaper.

“I can’t grasp it. I can’t believe it,” says Lamar Wilson. “Everything was going good. We were just there trying to perform, and it made a whole other turn.” Police say Owens deliberately drove into the crowd to avoid capture, hence the capital murder charges. The Killeen resident has six children between the ages of 2 months and 5 years. The second person killed has been identified as 27-year-old Jamie Ranae West, reports the Houston Chronicle. She was on a moped with her husband, one of six people who remains hospitalized. The other victim, Dutch citizen Steven Gerardus Craenmehr, was identified yesterday.

Flowers are placed against a utility pole near the scene.
Flowers are placed against a utility pole near the scene.   (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Rodolfo Gonzalez)
Rashad Owens' police mugshot.
Rashad Owens' police mugshot.   (Bell County Sheriff's Office)
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