8 dead after SUV runs into pedestrians in Brownsville, Texas

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (NBC) – An SUV plowed into a group of people outside a migrant shelter in Brownsville, Texas, killing eight people and injuring several others Sunday morning.

Law enforcement officials are looking into whether the driver rammed into the crowd intentionally.

Authorities here in Brownsville, Texas, have charged the driver of that SUV with eight counts of manslaughter. They identify him as George Alvarez, they say that he has an extensive criminal record.

And they say that early Sunday morning, he ran a red light in Brownsville in front of a migrant shelter and lost control of his vehicle, slamming into a group of migrants, mostly men from Venezuela, and eight of those migrants were killed, and ten others were injured.

That suspect has again been arrested. Police said he tried to flee the scene before he was apprehended by some of the onlookers. He’s now charged with eight counts of manslaughter. But, authorities have not ruled out whether this might have been intentional. That’s something they’re looking at.

NBC News spoke with one migrant at the scene who says that he witnessed the driver yell anti-immigrant slurs as he was trying to flee the scene and then he appeared drunk. Authorities have not substantiated that. They say they’re awaiting the toxicology report but it’s all part of the ongoing investigation.

Of course, this comes just days before the COVID border restriction known as Title 42 is set to be lifted and authorities here at the border expect that it will prompt yet another migrant influx here at the border.

The city of Brownsville is one of those communities across the border that has already been seeing an uptick in migrants over the last several weeks. And so there are questions about how the lifting of Title 42 will play out in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Brownsville community is in shock. The makeshift memorial is growing.

George Alvarez is being held on $3.6 million bail.

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