4 women, 2 men, and 1 juvenile hurt in mass shooting at homecoming party in Waller Co., deputies say

Authorities said the trail ride pasture gathering was being held in conjunction with a Prairie View A&M event.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023
7 injured after shots fired in Waller Co. homecoming party: Officials
One juvenile was among the injured at the trail ride pasture gathering, which was reportedly being held in conjunction with a Prairie View A&M event.

WALLER, Texas (KTRK) -- An investigation is underway after deputies said shots were fired at a homecoming party in Waller County Sunday night, injuring at least seven people.

ABC13 cameras captured ambulances and a medical helicopter not far from where the party was happening in a big pasture off FM-362 near Cameron Road. There was a large law enforcement presence at the scene.

Shortly after 10 p.m., Waller County Sheriff's Office deputies discovered four women, two men, and a juvenile had been shot at the trail ride pasture party.

The event was reportedly held in conjunction with a Prairie View A&M homecoming party.

It's believed some people at the party were arguing when a firearm was discharged several times, hitting the seven bystanders, deputies said. Deputies said all the shooting victims had non-life-threatening injuries.

Over 1,000 people attended the event, with security being provided by Waller County Pct. 3 Constables and an unknown private security agency, the sheriff's office said.

The event was granted a permit by Waller County on Oct. 26 with numerous conditions, including that there be at least 35 security personnel and half had to be licensed peace officers, requirements by the fire marshal's office had to be followed, emergency aid stations needed to be stocked with certain items, bottled water had to be available to all attendees, and it had to end by midnight.

The conditions required that all attendees were searched prior to entry.

"Everybody did get patted down that I know of, but obviously not because someone got a gun inside, but they had a whole list of rules and stuff," a senior at Prairie View A&M who only wanted to be identified by her last name, Brewer, said.

The conditions on the permit also required that certain information, such as proof of commercial liability insurance, be handed in prior to the event, as well as the number of tickets sold and the anticipated number of attendees. County Judge Trey Duhon said those things were provided to the county.

Both Duhon and the Waller County Sheriff's Office noted that several of the requirements of the permit were not met.

"None of the security protocols that were established by the permitting body and agreed to by the promoter were found to be followed at the time of the incident," the sheriff's office said in a Monday morning statement.

The man listed on the permit, Caleb Pete, told ABC13 over the phone that this is his third year to host the party. He said he believes they have taken everything they have learned in past years and applied it to this year. Pete said he thinks they "ran a tight ship" and did everything the county asked of them.

Pete said it was one or two bad apples who ruined it for everyone.

ABC13 reached out to Prairie View A&M, which provided the following response:

"PVAMU is both saddened and troubled by the senseless act of violence that occurred in Waller County last night. Although this was not an official PVAMU homecoming event and was unaffiliated with the University, our campus community is deeply concerned for those injured and all affected by this incident. The Waller County Sheriff's Office is leading the investigation."

The Waller County Sheriff's Office said on Sunday afternoon that the mass gathering in the area was approved by the county judge in a post on social media and residents were asked to avoid the area due to traffic.

Video from the scene shows Waller County sheriff's deputies at the scene. A large stage was set up beyond the crime scene tape.

It appeared there were a lot of people gathered at the pasture and a long line of cars waiting to leave the area.

At the Waller Buc-ee's, about two miles away off U.S. 290, more law enforcement was gathered. ABC13 crews saw several ambulances and a medical helicopter take off from there.

"See what you can clear up because we can't take them down there. We got - these roads are full of people," law enforcement reported on radio traffic.