NBC

Greenville Shooting Suspect Pointed Guns at Targets' Heads: Witness

Protected witness identifies Brandon Ray Gonzales, says they were standing by a witness when he started shooting Saturday night

A protected witness says they saw Greenville shooting suspect Brandon Ray Gonzales leave a dice game held in the restroom of the party venue before pointing a gun at the heads of his targets and opening fire late Saturday night.

Two people were killed in the shooting, 23-year-old Kevin Berry Jr. and 23-year-old Byron Cravens Jr. Six other people suffered gunshot wounds while another six were injured trying to flee the shooting. Of the survivors, only one remains in critical condition Wednesday.

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by NBC 5, an investigator with the Texas Department of Public Safety said the unnamed witness reached out to the Texas Rangers on Monday and identified the shooter by his Facebook profile "Fml Jefe," whom investigators later determined was Gonzales.

Just over one week later, on Nov. 5, the Hunt County Sheriff's Office released Gonzales due to the discovery of "exculpatory evidence."

The witness told investigators they were "certain without doubt that Gonzales murdered Berry and Cravens" and that they first noticed Gonzales in line behind them at the front door at about 9:15 p.m.

At 11:30 p.m., the witness said they saw Gonzales in the restroom of The Party Venue playing dice with a large group of people and that within 15 seconds of leaving the restroom Gonzales pulled a handgun from his waistband and began shooting.

The witness reported hearing about eight shots; DPS investigators confirmed recovering sevens pent cartridges at the scene.

The witness told investigators that there was no visible threat directed toward Gonzales when he began firing and that Gonzales was intending to kill because he pointed the gun directly at the head of his targets.

While talking with investigators, the witness showed detectives the bloody jacket they were wearing that night and said that after being shot Berry fell onto them and they fell to the ground.

Investigators said the witness also provided a rough sketch of the venue showing how the chain of events unfolded and where Gonzales was at the time of the shooting related to the locations of the victims. Investigators said the information provided was consistent with evidence recovered at the scene.

Shortly after Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks announced Gonzales was the sole suspect in the shooting, his brother and a friend defended him in the Sheriff's Department parking lot.

"Who is he?" Gabriel Gonzales asked, talking about his older brother. "He's not that person they're making him out to be. That's not him. I know my brother. It's not him."

Gonzales' friend, Zach Bowen, said the two went to the party together and that he never saw the shooter.

"I didn't see nobody. I didn't see the guy," Bowen said. "I know for a fact it wasn't Brandon."

Both Bowen and Gonzales' brother insisted they arrested the wrong person for the shooting. Bowen said Gonzales wore a tactical vest to the party for fashion, but said it did not have bullet shielding plates in it.

"I need more facts," Gonzales' brother said holding back tears. "I need all of his friend(s) that was there with him. I need everybody. If you was there, I need you right here." 

Gonzales is being held on $1 million bond.

NBC 5's Noelle Walker contributed to this report.

Contact Us