Police arrested suspect Brandon Ray Gonzales, 23, and charged him with capital murder Monday in the Greenville, Texas, party shooting that left two people dead and 12 others injured.
The party took place Saturday night. Around midnight early Sunday, shots rang out at The Party Venue, an event space in Greenville, close to Texas A&M University-Commerce. College students and others in their late teens and early 20s were attending a homecoming and Halloween party not sanctioned by the college. Some of those injured were hurt by bullets and others by broken glass and trampling. There were about 750 people at the venue built for a maximum of 500. Police said they believe Gonzales went into the venue to target one person and fired shots into the crowd afterward.
Kevin Berry, Jr., 23 and Byron Craven, also 23, both died from gunshot wounds.
Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said at a news conference that Gonzales was arrested when he arrived at work at a local auto dealership late Monday morning. If found guilty of capital murder, Gonzales could face life in prison or the death penalty. Meeks said Gonzales was arraigned with a bond set at $1 million.
Out of the 12 victims who were injured, five still are hospitalized, according to authorities. Four are in good condition and one is in critical condition. Six of the 12 people who were injured have gunshot wounds.
Meeks said Monday he would not describe the event as a mass shooting, however, the Gun Violence Archive lists the incident as a mass shooting. Though there is not an official set definition for mass shootings, the FBI defines “mass murder” as a “multiple homicide incident in which four or more victims are murdered, within one event, and in one or more locations in close geographical proximity.” This definition refers to mass killings with any weapon and does not refer specifically to guns. The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot, regardless of if they are injured or killed.
The Gun Violence Archive lists the Greenville shooting as the 344th this year. Since Sunday, there have been four more. Authorities said Gonzales used a handgun to carry out the attack.
Officers said they do not believe the shooting in Greenville was related to the shooting that occurred later Sunday in Dallas during a vigil for Berry. No one was injured, but at least one vehicle was damaged by bullets. So far, no suspects have been arrested in connection with the second incident.
Texas A&M University-Commerce was planning to hold a community gathering Monday afternoon but decided to postpone it for reasons it did not publicly specify after discussions with students and staff. The university canceled classes Tuesday and Wednesday.
WFAA interviewed Gonzales from jail, and Gonzales says he is innocent. He has no prior criminal record.