Skip to main content

Wrong man: Brandon Ray Gonzales released from jail


A young man who was accused of capital murder in connection with a deadly shooting in Texas last month has been released from jail.

Brandon Ray Gonzales, 23, was arrested a day after the Oct. 27 shooting at an off-campus homecoming party for Texas A&M University-Commerce. Authorities said two people were killed and more than a dozen others were injured from either being shot or getting caught in the stampede to get out of the crowded venue in Greenville, about 50 miles northeast of Dallas.

Gonzales, who lives in Greenville and works as a mechanic, was charged with capital murder of multiple persons and was being held on $1 million bail by the Hunt County Sheriff's Office.

But on Tuesday, the sheriff announced in a statement that he had recommended prosecutors drop the charges against Gonzales and let him go, citing a "lack of cooperation from witnesses and discovery of exculpatory evidence during the course of the investigation." He did not specify what that evidence could be.

"The probable cause arrest was based on credible information and statements given to law enforcement," Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said. "Law enforcement has diligently investigated this case and in the days since the arrest, additional information has come to light. Due to the lack of cooperation from witnesses and discovery of exculpatory evidence during the course of the investigation, we have requested the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office take no action on Mr. Gonzales’ case at this time, and that he be released from custody."

The sheriff also said his office will "continue our investigative efforts into the shooting," and he urged anyone who was there that night and has not yet spoken to authorities to do so.

"Though individuals may have reasons for not wishing to come forward, we ask that they do so and tell law enforcement what you saw and heard that night no matter how small the information may be. They may not know the importance of any information they have," Meeks said. "If you were present at the Party Venue or have any information regarding this case, please contact the Hunt County Sheriff's Office at 903-408-6800, or to remain anonymous you may contact Hunt County Crime Stoppers at 903-457-2929."

Gonzales and his attorneys spoke to reporters at the Hunt County Jail after being released Tuesday evening.

"I'm out," he said. "I'm free."

The father of three said he's owed more than an apology from authorities because his name and mugshot were splashed on news articles and TV segments across the country, and he said being in jail jeopardized his livelihood and ability to provide for his family. His attorneys said they plan to file a civil lawsuit against the sheriff's office.

Gonzales had told investigators that he was at the Halloween-themed homecoming party, where he was dressed as a security guard, but that he was innocent, according to authorities.

In an exclusive jailhouse interview with Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA on Oct. 28, Gonzales said he was sitting in a car outside the venue at the time of the shooting, and he claimed there are witnesses who can corroborate his story.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

First confirmed case of COVID-19 in Canyon

The Amarillo Area Public Health has confirmed 1 case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Canyon.

"Due to sensitive information we are not able to share details regarding this case," the city said in a statement.

On Monday, Canyon Mayor Gary Hinders hosted a Facebook Live giving details of Canyon’s response to COVID-19 Status Level Red, which is aligned with the City of Amarillo and new Amarillo Public Health guidance.

Effective immediately, Amarillo Public Health has updated its coronavirus (COVID-19) Level to RED. This is the highest alert level, indicating there are widespread confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Amarillo and the surrounding area.

Hinders issued stay at home guidelines, that went into effect tonight, (March 30) at 11:59 pm and will be in place at least through Monday, April 13, 2020.

"We ask that residents stay at home except for outings essential to their own health, safety, and welfare and that of their family members," the city said.

Under these guideline…

Grocery stores impacted by COVID-19 outbreak

With the continued spread of COVID-19, many grocery stores throughout the area have been facing changes in operations as well as economic impacts.

Nancy Sharp, manager of communications and community engagement for the United “family,” which includes all Llano Logistics, RC Taylor, United Express, Amigos, Market Street and United Supermarkets, said COVID-19 has many people doing some fear-driven, panic-type buying, causing a significant increase in traffic in stores and people purchasing items.

The closure of dining establishments has also impacted sales as more people are cooking at home, which Sharp said has provided an increase to grocery stores across the country. The increase in traffic has also increased the amount of people who are working in the stores and the need for additional cleaning.

“We are cleaning multiple times a day, multiple surfaces. And so that has definitely increased the number,” Sharp said. “We're restocking several times a day; that also has increased th…

White House projects between 100,000 and 240,000 American deaths from coronavirus

President Trump's top health advisers said Tuesday that models show between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could die from the novel coronavirus even if the country keeps stringent social distancing guidelines in place.

Without any measures to mitigate the disease's spread, those projections jump to between 1.5 and 2.2 million deaths from COVID-19.

The models, which were displayed at a White House press briefing Tuesday, underpinned Trump's decision to extend social distancing guidelines to the end of April.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, explained the data, urging the public to steel for difficult weeks ahead while expressing hope that the efforts would reduce the spread of the coronavirus. 

“There’s no magic bullet, there’s no magic vaccine or therapy. It’s just behaviors,” Birx said, adding that it would be those behaviors that could change “the course of the viral pandemic.”

Second COVID-19 case confirmed in Canyon

The Amarillo Area Public Health has confirmed a second positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Canyon. Due to sensitive information the City of Canyon is not provided details on any cases.

Last week, Mayor Gary Hinders hosted a Facebook Live giving details of Canyon’s response to COVID-19 Status Level Red, which is aligned with the City of Amarillo and new Amarillo Public Health guidance.

Effective immediately, Amarillo Public Health has updated its coronavirus (COVID-19) Level to RED. This is the highest alert level, indicating there are widespread confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Amarillo and the surrounding area.

Hinders issued stay at home guidelines, that went into effect March 30 at 11:59 pm and will be in place at least through Monday, April 13, 2020.

"We ask that residents stay at home except for outings essential to their own health, safety, and welfare and that of their family members," the city said.

Under these guidelines, all businesses, except those essenti…

First COVID-19 death in Lubbock: City confirms 10 additional cases

The City of Lubbock confirmed its first COVID-19 related death in a news release on Saturday. The individual was a male in his 60s who had underlying health conditions and was a resident of Lubbock, according to the release.

As of 5 p.m. on Saturday, the City of Lubbock has confirmed 10 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in Lubbock County to 41, according to the release.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has reported additional cases of COVID-19 in the surrounding areas to Lubbock County, including seven in Hockley County, one in Terry County, one in Gaines County, one in Hale County and one in Yoakum County, according to the release.

The City of Lubbock Health Department will continue monitoring individuals to reduce the risk of the transmission of COVID-19, according to the release.