The man wrongly arrested and accused of a mass shooting in Hunt County is planning to sue. Two people were killed and a dozen more were hurt in the Oct. 26 shooting at a party at the Party Venue in Greenville.
In an exclusive interview with NBC Local X's Clark Fouraker, Brandon Gonzales says he knew his life would never be the same the moment police cars showed up at his work.
"They pulled out with the guns and I had my hands in my pocket, in my hoodie, and I'm like, 'whoa, what's going on?' He told me to put my hands down and get on my knees and I was like 'what's going on? I was lost,'" Gonzales said.
Over the next nine days, Brandon Gonzales was labeled a killer and charged with capital murder. Then, without much explanation sheriff's investigators let him go.
Gonzales says he received hundreds of encouraging social media posts from people he didn't know, but it wasn't enough to get rid of the shadow of the arrest.
"They told me, 'you should move to Florida because somebody's trying to set you up.' That's all they said," he said.
Gonzales says after the accusations he couldn't find steady work, so he moved to Florida and now lives with his mother.
But he still has big questions -- like how did his name get tied up in the shooting?
"I don't understand, how me? That's the question I keep asking, 'how me? How did I get the blame.' Nobody can … nobody there could answer that for me," Gonzales said. "I would like for them to reach out to me and really give me the rundown. Why? How it was me?"
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Gonzales says he left a lot in Texas, including his girlfriend and three kids. He says finding work in Orlando is still hard, because people Google his name.
"I thought I was going to be leaving all the people coming up to me, I didn't. People come up to me here and are like 'hey I know you,' or 'I've seen you from the news,'" Gonzales said. "I'm hanging on. I've been hanging on since day one. I knew what the outcome was going to be."
NBC reached out repeatedly to the Hunt County Sheriff's Office to ask for more information about the 'exculpatory evidence' that was discovered and led to Gonzales' release, but received no response.
Hunt County authorities have not made any arrests.
The Hunt County Sheriff's Office asked anyone who was at the Party Venue Oct. 26 or has information in relation to the shooting to contact them at 903-408-6800. If a caller wishes to stay anonymous, they can call Hunt County Crime Stoppers at 903-457-2929.
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