13-year-old among 5 people shot at Smith County trail ride event

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 2:31 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2022 at 10:41 AM CDT

Editor’s note: Initial reports from law enforcement said that a 13-year-old child was shot in the face and was still hospitalized. While a 13 year old was injured, they were released from medical care. A 30-year-old man was shot in the face, and remains hospitalized, according to an updated statement from the sheriff’s office.

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said five people were shot at a trail ride event in the county over the weekend.

According to a press release, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Operations Center got a 911 call about multiple gunshot victims at a property in the 18000 block of FM 2767 at about 12:35 a.m. Sunday.

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Further investigation revealed that it was the location of an event organized by Unified Elite Trail Riderz from Marshall. The event was described as a combination trail ride, ATV ride, and horse show.

Smith said the first gunshots reportedly happened near the stage area due to an argument. He also said it was reported that security on the scene took firearms away from the patrons and would give them back when they left the event.

“I’ve got some issues with that,” Smith said. “The new constitutional carry does not cover anyone who is intoxicated. You cannot carry a gun while you are intoxicated. There’s alcohol being served out there, they’re intoxicated, how many convicted felons did we hand pistols back to? So we’re gonna investigate that part of it, we’re gonna investigate the organizer of the event.”

Smith said right now, they do not have any suspects in custody, but they do have some persons of interests. They have also Identified the organizer of the event but haven’t been able to locate them and they were gone from the scene when law enforcement got there.

“We will be going after that organizer with both civil and criminal penalties,” Smith said.

Smith said a 13-year-old was injured and was treated and released.

A 30-year-old victim was shot in the face; he is still hospitalized. At the time of the shooting, he was out on bond for a murder in Marshall in November 2021.

The other four people shot were treated and released.

Smith said organizers in Smith County are required to get a permit if it becomes a mass gathering.

“Even if it’s on private property, when they take money from people to come into the event, it’s open to the public, it becomes a public event whether it’s on private property or not,” Smith said.

Smith said they also have questions about whether or not a Louisiana company providing security at the event could operate in the state of Texas.

“There could be potential charges filed there as well,” Smith said.

Smith also said it is not clear whether the people who threw the event had permission to use the property.

Smith said the number of people who were shooting is unknown. He said reports indicate that whoever was doing the shooting was haphazardly shooting into the crowd.

Anyone with any information is urged to call the Smith County Sheriff’s Office.

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