Information from a witness pinpoints Brandon Ray Gonzales as the person who shot and killed two people early Sunday morning inside The Party Venue.
Gonzales, 23, of Greenville, was booked into the Hunt County Detention Center on Monday afternoon on a charge of capital murder of multiple persons involving the deaths of Kevin Berry, 23, of Dallas and Byron Cravens Jr. 23, of Arlington. He was being held in the jail in lieu of $1 million bond.
During a Monday afternoon press conference, Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said Gonzales, who was arrested after arriving at his job at the Donaghe Ford dealership, had “cooperated some” but had not admitted to the shootings. A motive had not been determined for the killings, Meeks said, and the 9mm handgun believed used in the incident had not yet been located Monday.
According to the probable cause affidavit filed by Texas Ranger Laura Simmons, which was used to obtain the arrest warrant for Gonzales, a source of information (SOI) voluntarily contacted the sheriff’s office with eyewitness information concerning the murders.
“The SOI was certain without doubt that Gonzales murdered Berry and Cravens,” Simmons said in the affidavit.
The individual’s name is being kept confidential, but Simmons said they were deemed as a credible witness.
Simmons said the SOI communicated with another Texas Ranger through his/her attorney, identifying Gonzales through his Facebook profile “Fml Jefe” and later met the officer in person to provide a voluntary witness statement.
The Texas Department of Public Safety’s Counter Intelligence Division reportedly positively identified Gonzales as “Fml Jefe.”
The SOI indicated they first noticed Gonzales standing in line at around 9:15 p.m., then later observed him playing dice in the restroom at around 11:30 p.m.
“Approximately 15 seconds or less after Gonzales left the restroom [Gonzales] pulled a handgun from his waist and began shooting,” the affidavit states.
The SOI estimated hearing eight shots and Simmons said seven spent 9mm shell casings were found at the scene.
The SOI said Berry fell onto them after being shot by Gonzales and provided their jacket with a large amount of blood they said came from Berry.
The SOI said there was no threat directed toward Gonzales when he began firing at people, pointing the gun at the heads of the victims.
According to the affidavit, the information provided by the source was deemed credible and reliable, “solely voluntary, corroborated by other evidence during the investigation and he/she has no criminal history.”
Gonzales is a long-time resident of Greenville and was a student in Greenville Independent School District, but eventually transferred and graduated from Phoenix Charter School, GISD Chief Communications Officer Helen Williams told the Herald-Banner.
Phoenix Charter School closed its doors after the 2014-15 school year. Former PCS school board president Dr. Maxine Thomas was contacted, but she declined to make any comments on Gonzales, as she did not remember him.
Below is the affidavit