Shooting suspect released due to lack of evidence

GREENVILLE, Texas -- The man suspected of opening fire at an off-campus college party in north Texas has been released from custody, authorities said.

Brandon Ray Gonzales, 23, of Greenville, Texas, was taken into custody less than 48 hours after the shooting, which happened on October 27.

Hunt County officials said a lack of evidence and witness cooperation led to Gonzales' release.

The shooting killed two people and left 12 others injured at a Halloween and homecoming party for Texas A&M University-Commerce at a facility called The Party Venue, according to Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks. Officials said it was not a school-sanctioned event.

RELATED: Suspect may have shot off-campus party victims at random: Sheriff

Meeks said Gonzales, who was arrested at the auto dealership where he worked, was originally booked into the Hunt County jail on a charge of capital murder of multiple persons. Bond had been set at $1 million.

Kevin Berry Jr. of Dallas and Byron Craven Jr. of Arlington, both 23, were killed.

Authorities believe the shooter entered the venue, which sits along a highway in a rural area some 2.5 miles from the Greenville city limits, through the back door and began firing with a handgun, Meeks said. It was "complete chaos" after the shots rang out, with hundreds of people including the gunman fleeing, the sheriff said.

Of the 12 people injured, six were shot and six were trampled or hurt by glass, authorities said. Five remained in the hospital - one in critical condition and four in good condition - on Monday, Meeks said.

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

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, Meeks has said.
Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.