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Suspect In Greenville Mass Shooting Is Released From Jail & Sheriff Requests Charges Be Dropped

GREENVILLE, Texas (AP) _ The suspect in the shooting at an off-campus college Halloween party in East Texas that killed two people and injured a dozen more has been released and the dismissal of the charge against him has been requested.

Brandon Ray Gonzales was released from jail Tuesday after investigators said “additional information has come to light” that undermines the evidence against him. Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks says he is asking the county district attorney to take no further action on the case “at this time.”

Gonzales was jailed Oct. 28 on a capital murder charge after an arrest affidavit said a confidential informant told the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office that Gonzales had opened fire Oct. 26 at a party hall outside Greenville, Texas.

Meeks said in a statement Tuesday evening that additional information undermined the case and witnesses have refused to cooperate with investigators.

October 28th, 2019 update:

GREENVILLE, Texas (AP) _ The Latest on the shooting at an off-campus college party in Texas that left two dead (all times local):

3:25 p.m.

A man suspected of opening fire at an off-campus college party in Texas, killing two people and injuring 12 others, has been arrested.

Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks says 23-year-old Brandon Ray Gonzales was arrested Monday morning, less than 48 hours after the shooting outside Greenville, 15 miles (24 kilometers) southwest of a satellite campus of the Texas A&M University System.

Gonzales is jailed on a $1 million bond on a capital murder charge.

Authorities had said the shooter may have been targeting just one person at the party where about 750 people were gathered around midnight Saturday. The gunman escaped in the ensuing chaos.

Meeks has described the gathering as a Halloween and homecoming party for Texas A&M University-Commerce, though officials said it wasn’t a school-sanctioned event.

Authorities have said that of the 12 injured, six were shot and six were trampled or hurt by glass.

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10:10 a.m.

Authorities are releasing the identities of the two men who were killed when a gunman opened fire at an off-campus college party in Texas.

The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that the two men killed were 23-year-old Kevin Berry Jr. of Dallas and 23-year-old Byron Craven Jr. of Arlington.

The suspected gunman, who hasn’t been identified, remains on the loose after the shooting around midnight Saturday. Authorities believe the shooter may have been targeting just one person at the party of about 750 people outside Greenville, 15 miles (24 kilometers) southwest of a satellite campus of the Texas A&M University System.

Authorities said the gathering was a Halloween and homecoming party for Texas A&M University-Commerce, though officials said it was not a school-sanctioned event.

Authorities said that of the 12 people injured, six were shot and six were trampled or hurt by glass.

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6:50 a.m.

A suspected gunman remains on the loose after opening fire at an off-campus college party in Texas, leaving two people dead and 12 others injured.

The search continued Monday for the unidentified shooter that authorities believe may have been targeting just one person at the party of about 750 people outside Greenville, 15 miles (24 kilometers) southwest of a satellite campus of the Texas A&M University System. They say others may have been shot at random.

The shooting happened about midnight Saturday at what Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks described as a Halloween and homecoming party for Texas A&M University-Commerce. Officials said it was not a school-sanctioned event.

Authorities believe there was one male shooter who entered the venue through the back door and began firing with a handgun.

Sunday update:

GREENVILLE, Texas (AP) — A gunman opened fire at an off-campus college party in Texas, leaving two people dead and 12 others injured before he escaped in the ensuing chaos, authorities said Sunday.

Authorities believe the shooter may have been targeting just one person at the party of about 750 people outside Greenville, 15 miles (24 kilometers) southwest of a satellite campus of the Texas A&M University System, and that others may have been shot at random, Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said. Authorities were still looking for the suspect, Meeks said, and had not yet identified him.

The shooting took place around midnight Saturday at what Meeks described as a Halloween and homecoming party for Texas A&M University-Commerce, though officials have said it was not a school-sanctioned event. Authorities believe there was one male shooter who entered the venue through the back door and began firing with a handgun, Meeks said.

Meeks described “complete chaos” after the shots rang out, with hundreds of people fleeing, including the gunman. Authorities initially had said 14 people were injured, but they later revised that figure.

The 12 injured included six people who were trampled or hurt by glass in the melee, according to Sgt. Jeff Haines, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department. Six others were injured by gunfire. Four of them were in critical condition and one was in good condition Sunday afternoon, he said. He did not know the condition of the sixth person.

The two people killed were both males, Meeks said. Family members identified one of the victims to local media as Kevin Berry Jr., 23, of Dallas.

After a vigil for Berry on Sunday night at a Dallas park, at least one person opened fire. Mourners and reporters on hand for the event took cover and at least one vehicle was struck by bullets, according to local media reports. Multiple gunshots can be heard in a video posted by one reporter. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

University President and CEO Mark Rudin, in a statement on the school’s Facebook page, said four of its students were treated and released from area hospitals. The students were not identified.

Rudin said there is “a tremendous amount of misinformation” about the shooting and that counseling services are available to all our students at the university’s counseling center.

Authorities do not believe the gunman was wearing a mask or costume, Hunt County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Buddy Oxford. He added that the shooter was dressed in a blue hoodie.

Authorities have not found the gun that was used, Oxford said.

The shooting came as Texas A&M University-Commerce, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northeast of Dallas, celebrated homecoming weekend. According to its website, it is the second-largest university in the Texas A&M University System.

Word of the violence spread online overnight, with many sharing on social media graphic video purported to show seriously wounded victims lying on the ground as crying and screaming could be heard in the background.

“I just briefly saw one that was a very graphic video,” Meeks said. “I don’t know that’s going to help anything at all.”

Meeks said the party was held at a facility called The Party Venue and that the owner was cooperating with authorities. The venue sits along a highway in a rural area some 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from the Greenville city limits. Meeks said he was not aware of any surveillance video in the area.

Outside the venue Sunday, a few Halloween masks and other debris were strewn about. Pools of blood could be seen on the ground.

Kimberly Wilson, 46, was waiting for a tow truck to get her daughter’s car out of a muddy field nearby. She said her 19-year-old daughter had traveled to the party from Dallas. She said her daughter ran when she heard gunshots and that she called a sibling to come pick her up.

“She’s angry, hurt, upset. She’s going through that whole emotional thing,” said Wilson, who is retired from the Army and served in Afghanistan. “When you’ve not been trained to deal with something like that — it just throws you off.”

A patrol sergeant and deputy were at the venue when the shooting happened, having been called there for complaints about illegal parking, Meeks said. An off-duty Farmersville police officer was also there, working as security for the party.

Authorities were questioning someone who appeared to be intoxicated when they heard gunshots from the back of the building, Meeks said.

Meeks praised the patrol sergeant and deputy, saying the sergeant quickly determined that one of gunshot victims had life-threatening injuries and transported that person to a hospital, while the deputy triaged others until paramedics arrived.

Texas A&M University-Commerce was founded in 1889 and was known by several names, including East Texas State University, before joining the Texas A&M system in 1996. The university has around 6,000 undergraduate students and 4,000 graduate students.

GREENVILLE, Texas (AP) — The Latest on a shooting at an off-campus Texas A&M University-Commerce party (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

The president and CEO of a northeastern Texas university says four of its students were treated and released from area hospitals following an overnight shooting in which two people were killed and 12 others were injured when a gunman opened fire at an off-campus college party.

Texas A&M University-Commerce President Mark Rudin posted a statement on the university’s Facebook page Sunday that says the university is reaching out to the four injured students.

Rudin says there is “a tremendous amount of misinformation” about the shooting that occurred at a party venue attended by about 750 people outside Greenville, some 15 miles (24 kilometers) southwest of Commerce.

Rudin says counseling services are available to all our students at the university’s counseling center.

Google Map showing the 20 mile distance between the Texas A&M-Commerce and the location of the off campus shooting from https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Texas+A%26M+University-Commerce,+2200+Campbell+St,+Commerce,+TX+75428/The+Party+Venue,+US-380,+Greenville,+TX+75401/@33.1809081,-96.0155482,12.35z/data=!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x864bc625c1962233:0x41cdb5cb25cca9e4!2m2!1d-95.9104149!2d33.2406645!1m5!1m1!1s0x864bef1701b62971:0x2df802106d3bde28!2m2!1d-96.1767591!2d33.1368921

Screen shot of statement from Texas A&M Commerce president Mark Rudin from https://new.tamuc.edu/

___

3:55 p.m.

Authorities say two people were killed and 12 others injured when a gunman opened fire at an off-campus college party in Texas.

Authorities are searching for the gunman in the shooting that happened around midnight Saturday. They believe he may have been targeting just one person at the party of about 750 people outside Greenville, some 15 miles from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Authorities had originally said two people were killed and 14 others were injured, but later revised that figure.

A spokesman for the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office says the injured included six people who were trampled or hurt by glass in the melee.

Sgt. Jeff Haines said six others were injured by gunfire. He said four of them were in critical condition and one was in good condition Sunday. He did not know the condition of the sixth person.

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12:25 p.m.

A sheriff says a gunman opened fire at an off-campus college party in Texas, leaving two people dead and 14 injured before he escaped in the ensuing chaos.

Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks says authorities believe the shooter may have been targeting just one person at the party of about 750 people and that others may have been shot at random.

Authorities are still searching for the gunman and haven’t identified him

The shooting took place around midnight Saturday at what Meeks described as a Halloween and homecoming party for Texas A&M University-Commerce, though officials have said it was not a school-sanctioned event. The party was outside Greenville, 15 miles (24 kilometers) southwest of the school.

Authorities have not found the gun that was used, but Meeks said it was a handgun.

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8:45 a.m.

A sheriff says a man opened fire with a handgun at an off-campus Texas A&M University-Commerce party, leaving two people dead and 14 injured.

The shooting took place around midnight Saturday in Greenville, 15 miles (24 kilometers) southwest of the Commerce campus.

Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said Sunday that authorities believe there was one shooter and that he may have been targeting someone at the party of 750 people. He says authorities believe others may have just began randomly shot.

Meeks says the gunman escaped in the chaos. Authorities are still looking for the gunman.

Meeks says the injured included four people who did not have gunshot wounds but were hurt in the melee.

He says some of the partygoers in Halloween costumes.

Officials say the event was a homecoming party but was not a sanctioned school event.

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5:20 a.m.

A sheriff’s official says two people have been killed in a shooting at an off-campus Texas A&M University-Commerce party that also left at least 14 others injured.

Hunt County Chief Deputy Buddy Oxford says the shooting took place just before midnight Saturday in Greenville, around 15 miles (24 kilometers) southwest of the Commerce campus. Oxford says the shooter remains at large.

The shooting came as the university east of Dallas celebrated homecoming weekend.

Oxford did not have information on the severity of injuries.

Oxford and university officials said the event was a homecoming party but was not a sanctioned school event.

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4:40 a.m.

A Texas A&M University-Commerce spokesman has confirmed reports of a shooting at an off-campus party as the school east of Dallas celebrated homecoming weekend.

Local television stations and reporters at the scene cited unnamed officials in reporting multiple injuries at a party in Greenville. Greenville is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southwest of the Commerce campus.

University spokesman Michael Johnson confirmed a shooting to WFAA-TV, but said the school hasn’t confirmed whether any students were injured.

University police tweeted that there was an event outside Greenville “that may or may not have involved students at this time.”

University and Greenville police referred The Associated Press to the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office dispatch wouldn’t comment, and a spokesman did not immediately return multiple phone calls.

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Posted by on Nov 5 2019. Filed under Featured Stories, News.
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