SXSW (South by Southwest) is an annual two-week festival in Austin, Texas that showcases independent film, music and conferences. Although SXSW is meant to be a fun and peaceful place where artists, industry professionals and music lovers can converge, several incidents involving gun violence took place over the course of the closing weekend. The Austin Police Department has released details of the shootings.
The most recent shooting involved a police officer and took place just before 3 a.m. on Sunday on 7th Street, which serves as the main street to the festival. Police Chief Brian Manley briefed the media on the details of the ongoing investigation a few blocks away from where the incident took place. According to him, the shooting was a result of one car crashing into another and leaving minor damage. The cars drove away but met again at a traffic light. Two individuals got out of the first car and began punching an individual inside the second car. Someone inside the second car then fired a gun and injured one. When police arrived at the scene, the injured person’s companion took out a firearm and fired at the officers. Both the vehicles fled the scene and the police have yet to locate them.
The previous shooting occurred just after midnight on 6th Street. Austin Police detained several individuals whom they believed to be involved in the shooting. Paramedics responded as one person who was present had suffered an injury. Meanwhile, three other shootings occurred on Saturday in the span of four hours near the SXSW festival. These resulted in five people being sent to the hospital.
Manley voiced his disappointment over the violence that occurred this past weekend. “This comes on the heels of what has been a violent weekend in Austin, where 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.”