Police ID suspect after car plowed into crowd outside Texas migrant center

George Alvarez, 34, identified as driver who struck crowd outside of migrant shelter in Brownsville, Texas

The driver suspected of ramming an SUV into a crowd of pedestrians who were waiting at a bus stop outside a migrant center in Brownsville, Texas, on Sunday has been identified.

George Alvarez, 34, was behind the wheel of the Range Rover that struck 18 people, killing eight, outside Brownsville's Ozanam Center, a shelter for migrants and homeless people in the community, Brownsville Police Chief Felix Sauceda told reporters Monday. 

Alvarez, whom police said has a long rap sheet, has been formally charged and arraigned on 8 counts of manslaughter and 10 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was already charged with reckless driving in the early stages of the investigation\

The victims were waiting at a city bus stop next to the center at roughly 8:30 a.m. Sunday, when the crash occurred.


George Alvarez mugshot

Brownsville police identified the driver who struck a crowd of people outside a migrant shelter as George Alvarez. (Brownsville Police Department)

Alvarez ran a red light and lost control of the SUV, which flipped onto its side, before slamming into the crowd of pedestrians, Sauceda said. Officials are still investigating whether the act was intentional.

Alvarez tried to flee from the crash scene, but several people held him down to prevent his escape, the chief said.

investigators at crash scene

Emergency personnel respond to a fatal collision in Brownsville, Texas, on Sunday, May 7, 2023. Several migrants were killed after they were struck by a vehicle while waiting at a bus stop near Ozanam Center, a migrant and homeless shelter.  (AP Photo/Michael Gonzalez)

Six people were killed at the scene, and two others died later, police said. Nearly a dozen others were injured and rushed to area hospitals.

Officials previously confirmed that all eight people who died in the crash were migrants from Venezuela. Sauceda told reporters that the victims were male.

Range Rover damaged

Emergency personnel take away a damaged vehicle after a fatal collision in Brownsville, Texas, on Sunday. (AP Photo/Michael Gonzalez)

Alvarez received bonds totaling $3.6 million. Officials are awaiting toxicology reports to determine whether Alvarez was intoxicated, Sauceda said

Venezuelan migrants have been surging into Brownsville over the last two weeks for unclear reasons, authorities said. 

On Thursday, 4,000 of about 6,000 migrants in Border Patrol custody in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley were Venezuelan.

This is a breaking news story; check back for updates.

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