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

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Kenney to announce plan for truckers to get COVID-19 vaccinations in nearby states

Alberta is approaching 25,000 active cases of COVID-19, and there are more than 600 people in hospital with the illness

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw asked Albertans to limit travel throughout the province as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears 900 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports additional 2,211 COVID-19 cases

Photo (STAR Catholic Logo)
STAR Catholic School Division declines running pilot on K-6 draft curriculum

The Catholic school board conducted an in-depth analysis of the Education Alberta’s draft curriculum

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr speaks to chamber members over Zoom on April 27. (Screenshot)
MLA Ron Orr fields diverse questions during ‘A Business Conversation’

The Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce hosted A Business Conversation with MLA Ron Orr

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 2,271 new COVID-19 cases, Red Deer cases rise slightly

Across Alberta, there are 666 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 146 in the ICU

FILE - In this March 3, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is displayed at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine can be given to adults 30+ who can’t wait for mRNA: NACI

Panel says single shot vaccine can be especially useful for populations unable to return for second shot

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The postponement of the event was put in place to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Big truck semi trailer moves on the highway towards sunset
Alberta’s cross-border truckers to be vaccinated at Montana rest stop

2,000 Alberta truck drivers who transport goods across the border will be able to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Montana

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

A wild rabbit grazes in Nanaimo, B.C. in this Feb.2, 2018 photo. Rabbit owners in Alberta are being warned about a deadly virus that was identified in a southern Alberta household last month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dirk Meissner
‘Like a flash fire:’ Rabbit owners warned about outbreak of deadly disease in Alberta

The disease is confined to rabbits and cannot spread to humans

A lady wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

Most Read