Nine people are dead, including the suspected gunman, and a 10th is hospitalized after a gunman opened fire at an NFL watch party over the weekend in Plano, Texas, according to local police. The suspect, who was killed by the responding officer, hasn’t been identified by authorities, but the mother of one victim told a Dallas TV station that the shooter was her daughter’s ex- husband.
Plano police chief Greg Rushin said the gunman shot nine people; seven died at the scene, Rushin said. Two more were alive and taken to a local hospital, where one of them died. The condition of the remaining survivor wasn’t known by police on Monday afternoon. They also did not release any names of the victims, saying they were still reaching out to next of kin.
Debbie Lane told WFAA-TV that one of the victims was her daughter, Meredith, an Atlanta native and cook who “loved hosting friends and family.” That day, Debbie Lane said, her daughter had a watch party for the Atlanta Falcons game, followed by the Cowboys taking on the New York Giants in the Sunday Night Football matchup. Her father, Gene Lane, told the Washington Post, “All we know is that she’s gone.”
Court records obtained by the Dallas Morning News showed that Lane had been married to Spencer Hight, but they stopped living together in March of this year. She filed for divorce in July, those records showed, with “discord or conflict of personalities” cited as the reason, per the Morning News. A neighbor at a listed address for Hight said police had already visited the apartment.
Rushin would not confirm the shooter’s identity or that it was a domestic-violence homicide, but he used many of the key words that typically come up in such an investigation. Rushin said the shooter had a “relationship” with the house, had “ties to that residence,” and “he was known by the people in the residence.” Rushin later described what happened as “an isolated incident,” and said police were not looking for any other suspects. Rushin at one point mentioned that “family violence” can happen anywhere.
At the same press conference, Rushin also went into more details about what happened. He said police were responding Sunday night to a call of shots fired. The first officer at the scene saw people shot in the backyard, and decided he couldn’t wait for backup.
“The first thing he heard was shots being fired. He saw people in the backyard that were down, that were shot. So he instantly knew what was going on. He went into the house on his own,” Rushin said. “He made that decision that he couldn’t wait for backup, for another partner, to go in as we were trained and go in to stop the shooter. And that’s exactly what he did. He actually found the shooter inside and ended his shooting spree.”
One witness described to WFAA’s David Goins the fighting she heard right before the shots were fired.
While Plano police are investigating the homicide, the Texas Rangers will investigate the police officer’s shooting of the suspect.