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Suspect in crash that killed Ventura County high school student faces more charges

Orange cones and yellow tape surround a damaged bus stop shelter.
The damaged bus stop on Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks, near Westlake High School, where a man plowed into a group of teens in April, killing 15-year-old student Wesley Welling.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
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A man arrested in connection with a fatal crash that killed one Ventura County high school student and injured several others earlier this year has been slapped with additional charges in the case, including first-degree murder and multiple counts of attempted murder, authorities said.

Austin Allen Eis, 25, was arrested on April 18 after he rammed his car into a bus stop near Westlake High, killing 15-year-old Wesley Welling and injuring three other students, after a violent crime rampage earlier in the day in which several people were stabbed and assaulted, authorities said.

The Ventura County district attorney’s office initially charged Eis with murder and four counts of assault with a deadly weapon along with several other offenses, including residential burglary, false imprisonment and brandishing a knife, associated with the earlier outburst of violence.

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But the ongoing investigation revealed new evidence in the case and prosecutors were able to identify six additional students who were in the path of Eis’ car the day of the crash, the district attorney’s office said in a news release.

As a result, the district attorney filed an amended criminal complaint against Eis last week charging him with first-degree murder, which alleges premeditation, and 19 counts of attempted murder.

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“In light of the ongoing investigation we have discovered new evidence to support additional charges and defendant’s premeditation,” Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Amber Lee said in a release. “The amended complaint reflects that evidence.”

The crash that occurred just outside of Westlake High School was the culmination of a rampage that allegedly began earlier that day when Eis entered a Walmart in Simi Valley, authorities said.

Eis pepper-sprayed and stabbed one employee, assaulted another and lunged at two additional employees with a knife, prosecutors said.

Eis allegedly fled the Walmart in his vehicle and drove to a home in Camarillo where he forced his way inside, authorities said. He eventually drove to Westlake High School, where he struck Wesley and three other students, who survived.

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Eis is being held in custody without bail.

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