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Guitarist Shot After Robbery During SXSW

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Austin has a reputation for being a fairly laid back, artist-friendly town, but at this year’s SXSW Festival, Löwin guitarist Michael Sanders has had a decidedly different experience.

The Austin Chronicle reports that Sanders, who lives in town, headed out to watch A Giant Dog’s SXSW performance on March 10, and was walking home alone when he was accosted by armed robbers who jumped out from some bushes and demanded his money and cellphone. After handing the items over, Sanders kept walking home — unfortunately in the same direction his assailants were running as they headed to their car. “One the men turned around,” reads the Chronicle, “and, without hesitation, fired his handgun at Sanders.”

Fortunately, the shot — which hit Sanders in the shoulder — wasn’t anywhere near as serious as it could have been. Calling the whole ordeal more surreal than frightening, he told the paper, “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.”

Sanders ultimately managed to get to his house, trip the alarm, and call the police from a neighbor’s home. He was held overnight in a local hospital, but escaped critical injury — the bullet didn’t puncture any arteries, and although he ended up with a fractured humerus, he knows it could have been far worse. “As far as getting shot goes, it was a very clean shooting,” said Sanders. “I’m fortunate… because they were trying to kill me.”

Löwin posted a photo of Sanders after the robbery, assuring fans that he’s “totally on the mend and was blessed with ‘best case scenario’ conditions as far as being shot goes,” but even though it all turned out as well as could be expected, while Sanders recuperates from his injury, it seems likely he’ll be forced to sit out during the three shows the group has scheduled over the coming week.

“We’d like to advise all of you that are SXSW-ing to be careful, alert, and walk in groups at the end of the night,” concludes Löwin’s post. “Love you all. Be safe.”

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