The man charged with capital murder in connection with a shooting that left two dead and 14 injured near Greenville, Texas, last month has been released after further investigation.
The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office requested Brandon Gonzales be released “due to the lack of cooperation from witnesses and discovery of exculpatory evidence during the course of the investigation,” according to a statement released by the sheriff’s office. It also asked that the district attorney’s office take no action on the man’s case.
Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said “the probable cause arrest was based on credible information and statements given to law enforcement.
“Law enforcement has diligently investigated this case and in the days since the arrest, additional information has come to light,” Meeks said in the statement.
Gonzales, 23, was charged October 28 and was being held on $1 million bond, Meeks had said. Authorities previously said he was responsible for a shooting October 27 at an off-campus homecoming party.
Speaking to reporters after his release Tuesday night, Gonzales said things will never be the same because of how “the sheriff’s office made me look.”
“When I heard … people … coming through when I was in my cell (saying) ‘that’s the shooter,’ it killed me cause that’s not my image, that’s not who I am, that’s not who I’ve ever been,” Gonzales said, according to CNN affiliate KTVT. “It messed me up.”
CNN is reaching out to Gonzales and trying to determine if he has an attorney.
Meeks said authorities will continue to investigate the shooting.
“We know there are many people who were present at the party venue … who have not spoken with law enforcement. 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,” the sheriff said.
“They may not know the importance of any information they have.”
‘Many different descriptions’ of shooter
Authorities had struggled to find the person responsible for the shooting. Their efforts were complicated by witnesses’ reticence, Meeks had said.
“It appalls me that, as many folks that were there, (they) have not been able to give us a better description of this shooter,” the sheriff told reporters.
The owner of the venue where the shooting took place told CNN that a Texas A&M University-Commerce fraternity had rented the space.
Initial investigations suggested the shooter was not a partygoer but that he likely got to the party before deputies arrived in response to an unrelated complaint, the sheriff had said.
Police interviewed at least 20 witnesses, and “none of them (has) given us a good description of the shooter or who they think he may be,” Meeks had said at the time. There are no surveillance cameras at the venue, either, he said.