The Texas man accused of gunning down two people and wounding 12 at a costumed college homecoming party was released from jail on Tuesday after authorities announced that new information had “come to light.”
Brandon Gonzales, 23, had been held since Oct. 28 on a $1 million bond for allegedly pulling gunning down students who were attending a Halloween-themed homecoming party two days earlier for Texas A&M University-Commerce, approximately 15 miles away from campus.
“Due to the lack of cooperation from witnesses and discovery of exculpatory evidence during the course of the investigation, we have requested the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office take no action on Mr. Gonzales’ case at this time and that he be released from custody," a statement released by Hunt County Sheriff’s Department read obtained by Oxygen.com.
Gonzales initially had been charged with capital murder for killing Kevin Berry Jr. and Byron Craven Jr., both 23-years-old.
Another six people were hit with gunshots and multiple others suffered injuries — some reportedly hurt while exiting out of broken windows and losing their shoes while trying to escape the rampage.
In a jailhouse interview, the father of three children admitted he went to the party dressed as a security guard and wore a bulletproof vest. But he maintained his innocence.
“Whenever the shooting was going on, I was outside in the car, and I have witnesses to that,” Gonzales said during an interview with a reporter from Dallas television station WFAA-TV.
On Tuesday evening, a freed Gonzales appeared alongside his brother and two of his attorneys. He protested being falsely accused.
"It killed me because that's not my image, that's not who I am, that’s not who I've ever been," he said.
His attorneys also pointed to evidence captured from a FaceTime call that they say proves Gonzales was indeed in his car when shots rang out.
The attorneys blame authorities for rushing to conclusions and said they may bring a civil action.
“[The] sheriff’s department did not do their due diligence in investigating,” Michael Campbell told reporters outside the Hunt County Sheriff’s Department. “They rushed to judgment when naming Brandon, an innocent man, as a suspect in this case.”
The Hunt County Sheriff's Department release defended its efforts and stated that the shooting was "diligently investigated" after Gonzales's arrest. The sheriffs also asked for witnesses who may have any information from that evening to reach out to them.
"Though individuals may have reasons for not wishing to come forward, we ask that they do so and tell law enforcement what you saw and heard that night no matter how small the information may be," according to the release. "They may not know the
importance of any information they have."
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