Ventura County authorities have charged a man with multiple felonies after he allegedly drove his car into a group of Westlake High School students in Thousand Oaks, California, resulting in one fatality. The suspect, 24-year-old Austin Eis, is also wanted for crimes in Simi Valley and Camarillo.
Ventura County Deputy Wendell Campbell described incidents involving children, particularly those that seem intentional, as some of the most difficult calls authorities have to respond to. While investigators have not revealed the exact reasons behind their belief that the act was intentional, they are examining the suspect’s driving patterns, witness statements, and evidence from Eis’s vehicle.
Eis, a former Westlake High School student, now faces felony charges of murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting a police officer, and brandishing. Authorities believe he was homeless and living in his car at the time of the incident.
On Tuesday, Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene near Westlake High School, where they found a white sedan that had veered off Thousand Oaks Boulevard and overturned. Eis had allegedly driven the car into four high school students. One of the victims, 15-year-old Wesley Welling, died at the scene. The other three victims – two 15-year-old boys and a 14-year-old girl – were hospitalized.
A GoFundMe campaign was created to cover Welling’s funeral expenses. Two of the injured victims have since been released from the hospital, while one remains in critical condition. Their names have not been disclosed by the authorities.
In addition to the deadly crash, Eis was wanted in connection with a stabbing incident involving a Walmart employee on West Cochran Street in Simi Valley. The employee is currently being treated at a local hospital.
Following the alleged stabbing, Eis was also sought in connection with a domestic violence incident that involveed family members in Camarillo. This incident reportedly occurred after the stabbing.
Eis’s bail has been set at $5 million, and his arraignment is scheduled for Thursday.