Löwin guitarist and Austin resident, Michael Sanders was robbed and shot while walking home from A Giant Dog’s performance Friday night at Hotel Vegas during the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. The SXSW festival is known by all to be a welcoming place where artistic minded people can come together in a creative atmosphere and let loose, putting the evils of the rest of the world behind them. It is unfortunate to report that this refuge was infiltrated by the very evils it was meant to deter.
Sanders encountered three masked men – two armed with handguns, one with an AR-15 rifle – when they leaped out of some bushes near his house on Leona Street, as reported by The Chronicle. The three men pushed Sanders against a car and stole all of his money and his cell phone. The men would later ditch the phone, which they possibly just took to prevent him from calling the cops. The shooting happened after the robbers were making their escape and Sanders began to walk toward his house, not in pursuit of them. One of the men with the handgun turned, without hesitation, and fired at Sanders catching him in his shoulder.
“It wasn’t as scary as it was matter of fact and surreal,” said Sanders to The Chronicle. “My first thought to myself was ‘Oh my god, he shot me.’ My second thought was realizing that it didn’t hurt as bad as I would have expected.”
The lack of pain that he explains is most likely due to the nature of the wound and the gun shot lottery that he unknowingly hit. The bullet went straight through his shoulder, fracturing his humerus but missing any major arteries or direct bone, and was later recovered from the radiator of his neighbor’s car.
“As far as getting shot goes, it was a very clean shooting,” Sanders said to The Chronicle. “I’m fortunate… because they were trying to kill me.”
No arrests have been made by the Austin Police Department as of yet that Sanders knows about, as he wasn’t able to provide any specifics on the assailants’ vehicle. They were also unable to be traced via his phone because they ditched it prior. Sanders did say that he saw APD patrolling the area that the shooting occurred.
Löwin is slotted to perform for three shows at the SXSW festival but they will most likely have to perform with out their lead guitarist due to his limited range of motion in his picking arm. Considering everything that occurred, however, this was the best outcome that the group could have asked for.
The band took to their Facebook page to reach out to fans in regard to the shooting, seen below. They used this incident to remind festival goers that there is always a chance that this could happen to them and to encourage using caution while attending shows.