A 23-year-old man who was charged with capital murder in connection with a mass shooting at a homecoming party in Texas last month was released from jail on Tuesday after the authorities said new evidence undermined the case against him, according to jail records and local news reports.
The man, Brandon Ray Gonzales, 23, was arrested the day after the Oct. 27 shooting, which left two people dead and at least 14 others injured at a crowded party hall near Greenville, about 50 miles northeast of Dallas.
Mr. Gonzales had been held with bail set at $1 million.
On Tuesday, Sheriff Randy Meeks of the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office told The Dallas Morning News in a statement that he had recommended that prosecutors drop the charges against Mr. Gonzales, citing “lack of cooperation from witnesses and discovery of exculpatory evidence during the course of the investigation.”
The Hunt County Sheriff’s Department and district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday evening. Lawyers for Mr. Gonzales also did not immediately respond.
It’s unclear whether there were any other suspects in the shooting.
After his release from jail on Tuesday, Mr. Gonzales spoke at an evening news conference outside the sheriff’s office, saying he was sitting in a car when the shooting occurred. He said being in jail had killed his “whole personality.”
“I heard people come through as I was in my cell, saying ‘Hey, that’s the shooter, that’s the shooter,’” he said. “It killed me because that’s not who I am. That’s not who I’ve ever been.”
The shooting at the hall — called the Party Venue — took place a little after midnight on Oct. 27 during a Texas A&M University-Commerce homecoming party that had not been sanctioned by the school, officials said.
Sheriff’s deputies were already responding to a complaint about attendees at the party parking their cars illegally on the shoulder of Highway 380 when a gunman opened fire on partygoers, the authorities had said.
The victims killed in the attack were Kevin Berry Jr. of Dallas, and Byron Craven Jr. of Arlington, Tex., both 23, according to a spokesman for the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office.
After a manhunt that lasted nearly 24 hours, Mr. Gonzales was arrested at his workplace, a local auto dealership.
Mr. Gonzales’s family and other activists had protested his arrest and claimed Mr. Gonzales was innocent.
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