California driver accused of intentionally mowing down teens

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — A man accused of intentionally ramming his car into a group of California high school students, killing one and injuring three others, was charged Thursday with murder and other counts in a series of alleged crimes earlier this week.

Austin Eis, 24, of Camarillo, appeared in a Ventura County courtroom but didn’t enter a plea. His attorney asked that his arraignment be postponed, and Eis was ordered held without bail until his court hearing next month, the county district attorney’s office said in a statement.

Eis is accused of committing a string of crimes in Ventura County on Tuesday.

Prosecutors allege that he entered a Simi Valley Walmart where he used pepper spray and stabbed a worker, “physically assaulted and attempted to drag a second employee and lunged at two additional employees with a knife,” according to the DA’s office statement.

He then left and forced his way inside a home in neighboring Camarillo, where he argued with some members of his family, and finally drove to Thousand Oaks, where he purposely rammed his car into the students as they waited at a bus stop outside Westlake High School, authorities contend.

Wesley Welling, 15, of Thousand Oaks, was killed. A 15-year-old boy and two girls ages 14 and 16 were treated for injuries.

Eis was arrested at the scene. He is a former Westlake High student without any known criminal record, and it wasn’t immediately clear whether he knew the victims, sheriff’s Deputy Wendell Campbell said after the arrest.

Investigators haven’t released a possible motive for the attacks.

Eis is charged with a dozen felony and misdemeanor counts, including murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

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