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Suspect in SXSW Hit-and-Run Was Aspiring Rapper

Rashad Owens
Bell County Sheriff’s Office

Rashad Charjuan Owens, the young man who drove into a crowd killing three people and injuring 23 others at SXSW in Austin, Texas last week, is reportedly an aspiring rapper.

The rap upstart, whose stage name is KillingAllBeatz or K.A.B254, was set to perform at the music festival on that tragic night in Austin, Texas.

According to Austin police, Owens fled from an officer who tried to pull him over at a drunk driving checkpoint. He then drove his car past barricades and plowed through pedestrians standing outside of a club without once hitting his brakes.

Owens, who is the father of six children, remains in custody on $3 million bond. The 21-year-old Texas native was charged with two counts of capital murder for the deaths of Jamie West and Steven Craenmehr, a 35-year-old musician from the Netherlands.

Another person, Sandy Le, died on Monday (March 17) from her injuries suffered during the March 13 crash.

Owens’ brother, Lamar Wilson, told the American-Statesman, that he borrowed a car from a friend and was headed to SXSW to perform. He added that his brother was studying music production at an online college.

However, court records also indicate that Owens had previous run-ins with the law. In October 2011, he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Fairbanks, Alaska, when he was 19.

Owens also faced charges in Alaska for criminal mischief in 2012, and a warrant was issued for him after he failed to appear in court. In 2010, he was arrested by police in Killeen, Texas, for criminal trespassing and pleaded guilty. Killeen is about 70 miles north of Austin.

“I can’t grasp it. I can’t believe it,” Wilson told the Statesman. “Everything was going good. We were just there trying to perform, and it made a whole other turn.”

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