Report: Multiple Shootings at SXSW Make for ‘Violent Weekend’ in Austin
Five separate shootings that occurred in that last two days of South by Southwest have police in Austin, Texas, calling it a "violent weekend" for patrons of the annual music and film event that hosted its 32nd festival this year.
As reported by Billboard, an early morning shooting along the fest's main passage of 6th Street resulted in at least one injury and arrests on Sunday (March 17). Deadline published a photo that showed a suspect being detained.
"There was loud pop that I heard," one festival attendee described of the melee. "There was a pause of a second or two, then the people in the crowd started shouting 'a shooting,' and everybody started running."
Another shooting — involving two parties in a vehicle that fled the scene — took place only hours later on 7th Street. Shortly thereafter, Austin police chief Brian Manley gave a statement to the media, noting that police response to the first shooting hindered the department's ability in responding to the one that followed.
"I want to point out here that as a result of the shooting that occurred last night, we had shifted our resources, and we had approximately 50 officers working this intersection between 6th Street and 7th Street," he said.
"This comes on the heels of what has been a violent weekend in Austin," he continued, "We have seen multiple shootings — and this is unacceptable. We are not going to let our entertainment district be turned into a place where shootings become a common occurrence."
On Saturday (March 16), an additional three shootings within a four-hour span sent five people to the hospital, according to the Austin American-Statesmen. (South by Southwest 2019 ran from Friday, March 8, through Sunday, March 17.)
At last year's festival, safety concerns were raised when reports of bomb scares and explosions put a damper on the annual event.
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