Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks is aware of the demonstration being planned Saturday night in support of Brandon Ray Gonzales, but he is urging those attending to make it a peaceful protest.
Meeks issued a statement Friday afternoon, commenting on the event scheduled at 7 p.m. Saturday outside of the Hunt County Criminal Justice Center, 2801 Stuart St. in Greenville.
Meeks said he and “everyone at the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office respects the public’s First Amendment to right to free speech and encourages those that attend the event to do so peacefully.”
Meeks added there will be zero tolerance for criminal activity at the event.
“The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office is working with local and state authorities to make sure that this is a safe environment for everyone but there will be no hesitation to make arrests if needed,” according to the statement.
Gonzales, 23, of Greenville is being held in the Hunt County Detention Center in lieu of $1 million bond on a charge of capital murder of multiple persons involving the shooting deaths of Kevin Berry, 23, of Dallas and Byron Cravens Jr., 23, of Arlington early Sunday morning at The Party Venue, 2275 U.S. Highway 380, just west of the Greenville city limits.
According to an account from the sheriff’s office, the dispatch was notified at around 11:30 p.m. Oct. 27 of a large party and potential traffic hazard because of overflow parking at the business. Deputies arrived 11 minutes later and were investigating a possible intoxicated party goer at the front of the club when the shots fired call came in. Within five minutes the deputies contacted dispatch to report there were multiple victims.
A witness who claimed to be at the scene provided authorities with an affidavit claiming Gonzales was the shooter, but as of Friday no motive for the shooting had been raised and the 9mm handgun believed used in the shooting had not been located.
Gonzales had hired an attorney, Andrew Wilkerson, whose office of Wilkerson & Campbell, PLLC posted a message on the company’s Facebook page, asking “anyone with useful information regarding the innocence of Brandon Gonzales that was turned down by the Greenville PD or the Hunt County Sheriff’s Dept.” to contact the agency at email@example.com.
Meeks said again Friday his office was still searching for statements from anyone who may have information in the case.
“I have spoken to one of the attorneys with the law firm and told them that we are still asking for statements from people and he understood,” Meeks said. “This investigation is moving forward and every bit of information no matter how small or large is important to investigators so please get in contact with us and tell what you know.”
The Rev. Jeff Hood of Denton, an author and activist has scheduled the “Free Brandon Gonzales” protest.
An area has also been set aside for news media covering the event, less than a block from where the demonstration has been scheduled to take place.