Palestine police describe high school parking lot shooting

Published: Feb. 26, 2016 at 11:40 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 27, 2016 at 3:33 AM CST
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PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - One person was shot and another detained after a shooting at the Palestine High School parking lot Friday evening, according to Palestine police captain James Muniz.

Muniz released the following statement about the incident:

On February 26, 2016, at approximately 6:15 pm, Officers from the Palestine Police Department responded to the Palestine High School, located at 1600 S. Loop 256, in reference to several 911 calls of shots fired in the parking lot of the school.

Upon arrival, officers learned that two adult males were involved in an altercation. The suspect reportedly displayed a handgun and fired several shots at a 63-year-old male victim, striking him at least once in the upper arm. The suspect then assaulted a 59-year-old female victim who was accompanying the male victim, striking her in the head area with the handgun, after the gun reportedly malfunctioned. It is believed that the suspect and female victim had a prior relationship.

During the disturbance, witnesses flagged down Chief Stacy Hillhouse of Malakof ISD Police Department, who was present as a school representative for a basketball game being held on campus. Chief Hillhouse was able to defuse the initial incident and the suspect was detained.

During the investigation, it was determined that several shots were fired in the parking lot, and additional rounds struck a passenger vehicle occupied with adults and children as they were driving in the lot. No one was injured in the vehicle.

The victim was transported to Palestine Regional Medical Center, with injuries that were initially reported as being non-life threatening. He was later transported to a Tyler Hospital for additional treatment. 

Palestine Police Department patrol officers and members of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department were able to secure the scene until members of the Detective Division could arrive to process any evidence related to the incident.

The 63-year-old suspect, of Teague, TX, was taken into custody at the scene of the incident and was later transported to the Anderson County Jail. He was charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Additional charges of Deadly Conduct are likely to follow.

The names of the victims are being withheld at this time. The suspect’s name will be released after he has been arraigned.

“It was very fortunate that there were not additional injuries or victims as a result of the incident, as Palestine High School was hosting regional playoff basketball games at their facility. Our officers responded in a very timely manner. They did a great job securing the scene as well as dealing with the suspect, amid all of the chaos.”

According to the school's website, there is a playoff basketball game and baseball tournament at the school. Muniz confirmed there was an event at the school. Basketball games continued that evening.

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