Crime

Man charged after SUV plows into crowd of pedestrians, killing 8

A man with a lengthy criminal record was charged in connection to Sunday's crash in Brownsville, Texas.

Man charged after SUV plows into crowd of pedestrians, killing 8
Brian Svendsen/NewsNation/KVEO-TV via AP
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Police in Brownsville, Texas, announced that a suspect has been charged after eight people were killed and 10 others were injured when an SUV plowed into a crowd of pedestrians. 

George Alvarez has been charged with eight counts of manslaughter and 10 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Police said Alvarez was behind the wheel during Sunday’s incident.

Officials said Alvarez has a lengthy criminal record that includes driving while intoxicated, aggravated assault and burglary. 

The incident took place near the Ozanam Center, a shelter for migrants and homeless people.

Brownsville is seeing a sharp rise in the number of asylum seekers illegally crossing in from Mexico before a controversial Trump-era pandemic health order used to expel asylum seekers comes to an end on Thursday.

Authorities aren't ruling out the possibility that the crash was intentional. The crash killed six at the scene, and two died later from their injuries.

Brownsville Police Chief Felix Sauceda told reporters that the SUV ran a red light, lost control and flipped on its side. Sauceda said Alvarez attempted to flee, but was held down by several people at the scene. 

At least 7 dead, 10 injured after driver hits crowd at Texas bus stop
At least 7 dead, 10 injured after driver hits crowd at Texas bus stop

At least 7 dead, 10 injured after driver hits crowd at Texas bus stop

Police say they're looking into whether the crash was an accident or intentional and whether the driver was intoxicated.

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Sauceda said police are awaiting toxicology reports to determine if Alvarez was driving under the influence at the time of the crash. 

The director of the region's Catholic Charities — which runs programs to help shelter migrants — says the men were waiting for a bus to take them downtown after sleeping at the overnight shelter. County officials said they're doing their best to make sure migrants are safe, as most seek travel further into the U.S. from the border.

Sauceda said law enforcement has been in contact with the Venezuelan embassy, as some of the victims originated from the South American nation. He would not say exactly how many of the victims were from Venezuela. 

Officials would not go into details on the severity of the injuries of the surviving 10 victims.

Alvarez is in police custody, in the county jail on a $3.6 million bond.