Tarrant County Sheriff on Possible Thwarted Shooting Plan: ‘Everything Went Right'

Investigators acting on a tip found an "AR pistol and a 60-round magazine" inside the vehicle

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn is hailing a tipster and a quick-thinking deputy for helping thwart a possible mass shooting during a high school football game.

During a press availability, Waybourn said this was a situation where "everything went right" and a possible tragedy was avoided.

“It would’ve been a nightmare of a mass shooting down there possibly with multiple people seriously injured or killed,” he said.

Waybourn released new details in the investigation on Monday afternoon.

The sheriff’s office says Brandon Gipson, 18, and Isaac Cooper who turned 18 on Monday face several felony charges for allegedly planning to carry out a shooting during the Everman High School homecoming football game Friday night.

Everman Police
Booking photos for Isaac Cooper, left, and Brandon Gipson, right, Sept. 19, 2022.

Waybourn says off-duty deputy Sgt. Chris Salone received a tip from a credible source about the threat and acted quickly, alerting authorities that flooded the school’s stadium.

Approximately 1,500 people were in attendance, said Waybourn.

Within 43 minutes, law enforcement was able to find and stop the suspect’s car as it neared the stadium’s east gate entrance.

Deputies detained three people inside, Gipson, Cooper and a 14-year-old who was later released to his parents.

Authorities say they found an AR 15 platform pistol inside the vehicle as well as a fully loaded 60-round magazine.

Tarrant County Sheriff's Office

“The ammo on closer examination, by the way, is a ‘green tip’ which means it’s a full metal jacket steel core round,” said Waybourn. “That ammo has been taken off the market because it is at a level not necessarily armor-piercing but in that same neighborhood where it will go through a lot of stuff.”

Everman Police Chief Craig Spencer previously explained their decision not to cancel the game or alert the crowd of the possible danger.

“This threat was addressed and limited within minutes,” said Spencer. “We have over 3,000 people in a consolidated area, there was no reason to incite panic and there was no reason to stop the activities that were occurring knowing that we had the threat under control.”

According to the sheriff's office, one of the suspects — believed to be Gipson — was a student at Everman High School.

The district’s spokeswoman confirmed to NBC 5 that one of the suspects arrested was a student who last attended school in February 2020.

Everman police previously said the suspect(s) were targeting a number of people at the game but did not know why.

Authorities are still determining what led up to the alleged plot.

They did not find a ‘manifesto’ during the investigation, Waybourn revealed.

Gipson told police he bought the gun "on the street" Friday "for protection," according to Waybourn.

The sheriff praised the sergeant, describing him as “a guy of the community” who has worked to build trust in the community.

“When the community comes together, trusts law enforcement with information and we’re able to act on it quickly we were able to stop what could have been a horrible circumstance,” said Waybourn.

Federal charges are possible.

The ATF is tracking the gun’s history and the FBI is focusing on the suspects’ "behavioral issues," he said.

Both men are still in jail on $1,000 bond.

The bond amount is expected to be increased given the three felony charges, according to the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office.

Contact Us