Austin Police are investigating after a local musician was robbed and shot through the shoulder following a SXSW event in East Austin. Löwin guitarist Michael Sanders was walking home from Hotel Vegas around 1:30 a.m. Saturday when it happened.
"I'm just grateful that I'm alive and I've got good friends and people helping me out. It just kind of puts things in perspective a little bit," Sanders says.
He says he was walking past Kealing Middle School on E. 11th Street when he saw a masked man waiting in the shadows with an assault rifle. He says two more men came out with handguns.
"I actually thought it wasn't real, because I'm like, 'who walks down the street with an assault rifle?' I thought it was like a BB gun or something, but when the other two guys pulled out their guns, I knew it was real," said Sanders.
Sanders says three young males pushed him up against a car and forced him to give them his phone, cash, and credit cards. He only had about $40 with him.
"I started walking that way, because I thought it was done, and the guy turned around and shot me," Sanders says.
The bullet went all the way through his shoulder and broke his humerus bone.
The assailants drove off with his phone, so Sanders knocked on neighbors' doors to try to get help. Eventually, he went into his own home, hit the panic button on his home alarm, and ran to another neighbor's house until EMS arrived.
The Austin Police Department tells CBS Austin they do not believe that the incident was SXSW-related, but Sanders says he believes it was.
"I think it's pretty clear these guys were targeting people attending SXSW events," Sanders says, "It's no coincidence they were waiting in the dark at 1:30, when all the shows are over, so I just warn everyone to pay attention."
The band Goon was set to play at Hotel Vegas Monday night. Members of the Los Angeles group say some of their friends have already been robbed this year during the festival and that they heard about what happened to Sanders.
"I'm definitely more on edge and that kind of stuff than on any other tour," said guitarist Kenny Becker.
Sanders says he won't be able to play guitar for the rest of SXSW and that the rest of Löwin will have to go on without him.
"But at least I'm not dead, so it could have been worse," he said.