shooting at Texas party
A manhunt is underway for a gunman who appeared to target the first of his two victims, and then open fire randomly on a crowd of 750 partygoers, injuring 14, in Texas – but police say that witnesses are not helping them find the man responsible.
The gunman opened fire just before midnight on Saturday at The Party Venue, an event space located on a sparsely populated stretch of Highway 380.
The party, which was organized by a group called Good Fellows, was meant to be a joint Halloween and homecoming celebration. While some of the group’s members were students at Texas A&M University-Commerce, it was not a sanctioned school event.
Shortly after the shooting, shocking footage of the harrowing aftermath emerged, which shows bodies lying on the ground, people screaming, and others walking around dazed.
The shooting took place around midnight on Saturday in what Meeks described as Halloween and a welcome party for Texas A&M University-Commerce. Meeks described the “complete chaos” after the shots were fired, with hundreds of people fleeing, including the gunman. “When the shots were fired, it was complete chaos when people fled for security and the agents tried to locate the shooter,” Meeks said. He added that the police believed, based on testimonies and witness evidence, that the gunman entered through the back door of the party. Initial investigation suggests that the shooter was not partying. Meeks added that it seemed that the shooter aimed at his first victim before randomly opening fire with his gun. While searching for evidence, police found bullets on the floor, but most appeared to be in a Halloween costume. Among the injured were four people who did not have gunshot wounds but were injured in close combat, he said. Ten of the injured were shot. The two people killed were men, Meeks said, but he didn’t know if they were A&M-Commerce students. He said he believed that four or five students could have been among the injured and estimated that most of the people at the party were in their teens and early 20s. Some of the party-goers wore costumes, he said.
Photographs were taken in the wake of the shooting show emergency services removing a body from the venue.
The shooting began around 15 minutes after deputies arrived outside the venue, responding to reports of illegal parking.
Deputies heard gunshots coming from the back of the building but could not tell whether the shots were fired from inside or outside, Oxford said.
Officers found the two people who had been killed inside the building and 14 others sought treatment of were hospitalized for various injuries.
Hunt County Police said three air ambulances took victims to a local trauma hospital and other victims were taken to three other hospitals nearby.
According to initial reports, there are up to 20 gunshot victims, including multiple fatalities and serious injuries.
Police responded to reports of a mass shooting at 3.15 am local time.
CBS 11 News reporter J.D Miles also tweeted: ‘Reports from Greenville of a mass shooting at a party venue with several casualties.
‘Multiple first responders on the scene. I’m told it was a homecoming party and there are fatalities.’
Graphic video shared online shows bodies strewn on the floor in a pool of blood and at least one person receiving CPR as people can be heard screaming the background.
A police scanner reported at least one person was shot in the neck.
University officials said that the party was not an officially sanctioned homecoming event.
Investigators with the sheriff’s department told WFAA that the party may have been linked to a campus fraternity.
‘Nothing happened on campus,’ Texas A&M Commerce said in a statement.
‘The shooting happened at a non-sanctioned homecoming party in Greenville.
‘We have not confirmed that any students were injured in the shooting.’
The FBI and the state Texas Rangers have joined in the investigation.
Initial reports indicate that witnesses at the scene are so far not cooperating with law enforcement.
Originally from the U.K., Darryl Hinton is a journalist and web content specialist who now lives and writes in Trending Topics of United States, United Kingdom and Australia. Hinton’s work has appeared in a wide range of publications in print and online, including The Guardian, The Daily Beast, Pacific Standard magazine, The Independent, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and many other outlets.