5 people shot at Smith County trail ride, concert
SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Five people suffered gunshot wounds in an incident that occurred at a trail ride and concert that were held in a pasture off FM 2767 in the Winona area early Sunday morning.
According to a press release, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Operations Center got a 911 call about multiple gunshot victims at a property in the 18000 block of FM 2767 at about 12:35 a.m. Sunday.
Further investigation revealed that it was the location of an event organized by Unified Elite Trail Riderz from Marshall. The event was described as a combination trail ride, ATV ride, and horse show.
Multiple Smith County Sheriff’s Office deputies, a unit from the Smith County Fire Marshall’s Office, the Pct. 4 Constable’s Office, ad Texas Department of Public Safety troopers responded to the scene.
The responding law enforcement officers learned that five gunshot victims were taken to separate hospitals in Longview, Kilgore, and Tyler. One of the five people was airlifted to a Tyler hospital because he or she had been shot in the face, the press release stated.
“Upon arrival, the location was determined to be a large pasture with numerous individuals remaining at the scene,” the press release stated. “Smith County Criminal Investigation Division and Crime Scene Investigators responded to the scene. Investigators spoke to witnesses at the scene and have identified several persons of interest they wish to interview.”
Witnesses at the scene said a fight occurred near the concert stage, and one or more trail ride groups started shooting into the crowd, the press release stated. Private security personnel had been on hand and were collecting guns from attendees before they were allowed into the concert, witnesses told law enforcement officers.
“Witnesses related that after the initial shooting that some of the groups ran to security and took their firearms back,” the press release stated. “Subsequently, a second shooting took place in that area.”
After law enforcement arrived, a third shooting incident occurred near the rear of the property, the press release stated.
“At this time, it is believed that all injuries took place during the original shooting incident as no new victims were located at the scene by law enforcement subsequent to the third shooting,” the press release stated.
According to the press release, only one victim remained in the hospital early Sunday morning and was listed in “critical but stable condition.”
Authorities obtained a search warrant to process the crime scene and collect evidence. At this time, investigators are continuing to interview witnesses.
“If you witnessed any one of the shootings or have information pertinent to this investigation, please call our Emergency Operations Center at 903-566-6600,” the press release stated. “Investigators are also interested in talking to the promoter of the event, Unified Elite Riderz, as well as the personnel and owner of Diamond Elite Security out of Louisiana.”
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