Breaking: Video Footage of SXSW Shooting Emerges

Update 2; Sun. 9:35 pm CT: Video footage has now emerged documenting a shooting in the middle of a dense crowd at SXSW early Sunday morning.

The following is a developing story, please check back for ongoing updates and information.

Video footage showing a large altercation followed by shots fired has now surfaced, with subsequent pandemonium and heavy, armed response by Austin Police following.  The video shows the beginnings of an altercation involving a large number of African-American men in the middle of Sixth Street, the main thoroughfare of SXSW activity.

Some of the participants were belligerent and engaged in heated argument, while others were attempting to neutralize the conflict.  A third group were passively observing heated arguments, which includes the person filming (most likely from a phone).

At approximately 1:39 in the following video, a pair of shots ring out.  Subsequent information from the Austin Police Department indicated that these shots were fired into the air, with no casualties.  In the immediate chaos that follows, a swarm of cops quickly emerged with weapons drawn, while working to achieve crowd control, perimeter establishment, and suspect apprehension.


The video has also been uploaded to YouTube as of Sunday, March 20th, but may be ripped down.  Other video footage may have been taken, but has yet to emerge.  The Austin Police Department indicated that no footage was recorded from traffic or intersection cameras.

Shortly after the incident, the Austin Police immediately downplayed the seriousness of the incident, even suggesting that nothing had occurred.  “The call came in at 3:55 p.m. from the 600 block of 6th Street,” APD spokeswoman Jennifer Herber stated, possibly referring to a completely different incident (note the time).  “It came in from the manager of one of the bars there who said he heard two shots outside.  Our officers were obviously really close at the scene because of SXSW.  They were there for quite a while, but were unable to find any evidence of any shooting.
“It could’ve been a car backfiring.  Thankfully, there were no injuries.”

Since that point, a suspect has been apprehended and a gun found near the intersection of Sixth Street and Trinity Avenue, where the altercation first occurred.  “APD on scene at shots fired call at 6th and Trinity,” an official tweet from the Department relayed. “Suspect fired rounds into air, no injuries. Suspect captured and gun recovered. WC 6″

At this stage, the suspect has not been named.

The shooting is now the latest in a string of violent incidents at SXSW, with massive, mob-like crowds creating an enforcement nightmare.  In 2014, an intoxicated driver in a high-speed police chase drove into a large crowd, killing and injuring more than two dozen attendees.  Several people were killed, while 23 were immediately reported injured in an aftermath that resembled a warzone.   The driver has since been handed life without parole, though serious questions related to police chase policies, especially during a crowded festival like SXSW, remain.

14 Responses

  1. todd

    SXSW is finished. Sad.

    Attendance was way down this year. Wonder why?

  2. columbus

    how can you say if they are african american? what if they are black, from England or France?

      • Paul's Conscience

        Don’t be a fool Paul. First of all, African-American is a specific group and of course not all black people in America are. You’re educated enough to know that.

        Second, and worst of all, you could just say a group of men. Or better, a group of people. And I’m not insinuating you wouldn’t have said a group of Asian men if it had been. I’m saying why use color, race, or gender in a description when it holds no value to the story. (Prejudice survives in many forms)

        • Jim

          The race of the people that caused the problem is a valid point to publish. It is valid from the standpoint that if there are going to be charges stemming from the incident, the identity of the individual or individuals responsible for causing the fight and/or shooting the gun might be established. If someone robbed you, would you tell the police that it was a person or a group of persons or would you try to be more specific and tell the police the height, weight, hair color and race or ethnicity of the person or persons who robbed you so they could catch the right person?

          On another note, it is interesting and informative to some people to know who was causing the problems at the festival and the article informs the reader that it wasn’t a majority of asians, or whites, but black people in this instance causing the problems. It is not prejudice to report a story that is true, if it was in fact a certain group that caused the problems.

          • Jim's Conscience

            Thanks for proving the point Jim. Bigotry is alive and well on DMN and a question of “who” doesn’t relate to an individual person in your mind, but a specific group of gender, race, or class.

            The video is there if the police or concerned citizens need to identify someone. There isn’t a need for a description to the sketch artist on this one. Paul simply felt it necessary to generalize the group as African-American (which we all know the more accurate term was black since we don’t know the ancestry of the group) because he sees color. Plain and simple.

            Its the new form of accepted racism that is plaguing our society. Our media as a reflection of our population can’t help themselves but to label, group, and generalize, even in cases like this story where the ethnicity of the group had no value to the story other than perpetuating prejudice.

        • Paul Resnikoff

          I’m reporting what happened in the video. And yeah, I’d probably note if it was a large group of Asian men as well.

          On the ‘African-American’ thing, sorry, but I don’t think those guys are from Papua New Guinea.

      • Columbus

        how can you tell they are part-african by looking at them?

  3. The man who can and does leave his real name

    How is it perpetuating prejudice if it was in fact black people that caused it? You are trying to hide from a true fact and using racism as the shield. It is what it is. If it were White’s or Asians or Indians causing trouble, I would want to know that too. If black people want to escape what you call “new racism”, then as a group, they could avoid being reported on by not participating in the hooligan activity that we see here. True change comes from actions and people seeing or not seeing those actions from a particular group would change that perception or “racism”.

  4. Dirty Six

    There’s a big difference between my SXSW in 2005 vs 2016, and I am speaking directly about the troublemakers that go menace & pick fights. Your rivalries or hangups have no place in a place of creativity. When you go, everyone warned me about “Dirty Six”.