Authorities work the scene after a deadly shooting in Greenville, Texas, on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. A gunman opened fire at an off-campus Texas A&M University-Commerce party, which left over a dozen injured before he escaped in the ensuing chaos, a sheriff said Sunday. (Ryan Michalesko/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

2 dead, 14 injured in shooting at college party in Texas

Shooting took place around midnight Saturday at a Halloween and homecoming party for Texas A&M University-Commerce

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, a sheriff 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 kilometres) 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 had not yet identified the suspect and were still looking for him, Meeks said.

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. The injured included four people who did not have gunshot wounds but who were hurt in the melee, he said.

The two people killed were both males, Meeks said, but he did not know if they were A&M-Commerce students. He said he believed four or five students may have been among those injured and estimated that most of the people at the party were in their late teens and early 20s. Some of the partygoers were wearing costumes, he said.

Authorities do not believe the gunman was wearing a mask or costume, Hunts 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 kilometres) 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 co-operating with authorities. The venue sits along a highway in a rural area some 2.5 miles (4 kilometres) 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.

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.

___

Associated Press writer Mallika Sen in New York contributed to this report.

Jamie Stengle, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local Skeena candidates for the Oct. 24 snap election

Current BC Liberal MLA Ellis Ross will be running again, as will Nicole Halbauer for BC NDP

BC Timber Sales’ operations on the North Island and Central Coast to be audited

The Forest Practices Board randomly chose the region to check for compliance to legislation

Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre reopening October 5

The pool facility will have COVID-19 restrictions and protocols in place for patrons

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

In Our Valley: Adam Ferreira

Adam Ferreira is moving up in the hockey world, and he’s excited to see where it leads

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

VIDEO: Tickets now available for the Second Annual Northern View Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

Four great locations in Prince Rupert and Port Edward to buy your tickets

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

Most Read