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)

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

Uplands Park Elementary School. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported at Uplands Park, McGirr, Dover Bay schools

Contact tracing completed by Island Health, says Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools

Team Canada supporters watch a men’s hockey game on a TV screen at Diana Krall Plaza in February 2010. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Hopefully B.C. hosts Olympics again someday

Letter writer reminisces about 2010 Winter Games and the spirit they brought to the city

The Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce has asked Nanaimo city council to consider a commercial property tax freeze to help offset negative financial impacts of COVID-19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo council asks for report on potential one-year commercial property tax freeze

Report based on chamber of commerce proposal to ease COVID-19 stress on business community

Literacy Central Vancouver Island’s IPALS program – parents as literacy supporters in immigrant communities – recently secured another five years of funding from senior levels of government. (Photo submitted)
Literacy program working for immigrant families in Nanaimo

Literacy Central Vancouver Island’s IPALS program sees funding extended another five years

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen to field COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: B.C. teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Ella Donovan with mom Tina outside Fuller Lake Arena before heading onto the ice for practice. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Young Ladysmith skater watches and waits in battle against cancer

Ella Donovan’s tumour began a tumultuous time, but community support eased the burden

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Most Read