Suspected gang member charged after 6 people shot at Galveston Lone Star Rally, police say

Rosie Nguyen Image
Sunday, November 5, 2023
Man charged after 6 people shot at Lone Star Rally, police say
Galveston police said the 20-year-old suspect claimed to be a gang member, leading police to believe he was targeting rivals at the motorcycle rally.

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Hitchcock man was arrested and charged after several people were shot at the Lone Star Rally on Saturday, according to police.

Galveston Police said they found a firearm on 20-year-old Peddis Ray when he was taken into custody as a person of interest.

Investigators said Ray claimed to be a gang member, leading police to believe he was targeting rivals.

Ray was charged with six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on a $600,000 bond in the Galveston County Jail.

Officers received the call shortly before 11 p.m. in the 2100 block of The Strand, a historic district of the area.

When police arrived, they said six people were found with gunshot wounds and five of the victims were taken to the hospital.

Locals and visitors described the frantic moments they experienced after the shooting.

"I saw people running. The police started pushing people back and they were getting upset because they didn't want to leave their bikes. It was real chaotic for a while," said Joe Flores, a nearby business owner.

"I heard the gunshots and then just wanted to make sure that my family was OK. Galveston Police Department told us to evacuate. I didn't know where the shooting was coming from, so that was kind of scary," said Paul, a rally attendee who only gave his first name.

"My heart is still racing right now, because it was just a scary moment for parents. My teenagers were out there and when they weren't picking up their phones, that really made me panic," said Sonia Villarreal. "I tried walking around, but they closed everything down. I eventually found them. We ran into each other and I immediately hugged them."

Chief Doug Balli was asked if something like this had ever happened at this event.

"We believe this is an isolated incident. We've never had any type of violence like this at Lone Star Rally before, and hopefully, we'll never have anything like this again," Balli said. "The suspect claims to be a member of a local gang, and we believe the investigation will show the suspect was targeting rival gang members."

A four-block section of The Strand between 21st and 23rd Streets was closed for hours.

Motorcyclists weren't able to retrieve their bikes and other belongings until after 4 a.m. on Sunday, once the investigation at the scene was complete.

The Lone Star Rally is the largest four-day motorcycle rally in North America, according to its Facebook page.

Organizers said the rally brings hundreds of thousands of people to the island.

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