The tragedy outside the Mohawk, a popular bar and live music venue, cast a pall over downtown Austin as the Texas city plays host to the annual South By Southwest festival. SXSW draws tens of thousands of people for its program of films, music and interactive technology.
Acevedo called the rampage an "intentional act" and said the driver faces two counts of capital murder and other charges. KVUE, citing two sources, identified the suspect is Rashad Charjuan Owens, 22, of Killeen, Texas.
Acevedo said he encouraged organizers to push on with the nine-day festival, which is expected to draw 70,000 people to music, film technology and education programs.
"This is an individual who showed no regard for the human beings he plowed through," Acevedo said at a press conference. "We can't let one individual ruin this great event."
Officers initially tried to pull over the driver at a gas station on an Interstate 35 service road around 12:30 a.m. CT Thursday, March 13, 2014. The driver fled the wrong way down a one-way street and turned onto a street that had been closed after a concert. The Toyota sedan hit pedestrians at a "high rate of speed."
Acevedo said the driver then hit a man and a woman on a moped, then a taxi and a van, before stopping the vehicle and fleeing on foot. The driver was pursued, shocked with a stun gun and taken into custody.
A local woman on the moped and a bicyclist from the Netherlands were killed. Two of the injured remain in critical condition, Acevedo said.
The bicyclist was a 35-year-old Dutch musician and music agency employee.