Every summer in East Texas, thousands of locals and visitors visit our area for weekend "Trail Rides" which are supposed to be outdoor fun featuring horses, dancing, ATV's and concerts. Unfortunately, these events have been suffering from a rise in violence in recent years and the Smith County Sheriff's Office is reporting details about a violence incident at a trail ride over the weekend.

On Sunday, June 26, 2022, at approximately 12:35 am, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Operations Center received a call related to multiple gunshot victims in the 18000 block of FM 2767 in eastern Smith County.

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Brian Jackson
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Smith County Criminal Investigation Division and Crime Scene Investigators responded to the scene. Upon arrival, the location was determined to be a large pasture with numerous individuals remaining at the scene.

Upon further investigation it was determined this was at the location of an event organized by Unified Elite Riderz from Marshall, Texas.

Smith County Sheriffs Office
Smith County Sheriffs Office
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The event was described as being a trail ride, ATV ride and horse show. Investigators spoke to witnesses at the scene and have identified several persons of interest they wish to interview. According to witnesses at the scene, an altercation took place near the concert stage which resulted in one or more trail ride groups shooting into the crowd.

Five gunshot victims were taken to separate hospitals in Longview, Kilgore and Tyler.

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One victim was airlifted to a Tyler hospital in critical condition as a result of being shot in the face. Witnesses also advised that private security was onsite and was collecting firearms from attendees prior to their entry into the concert. Witnesses related that after the initial shooting that some of the groups ran to security and took their firearms back. Subsequently, a second shooting took place in that area.

After the arrival of law enforcement, a third shooting occurred at the rear of the property.

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According to the report, it is believed that all injuries took place during the original shooting incident as no new victims were located at the scene by law enforcement subsequent to the third shooting. Only one victim remained in the hospital early this morning and is listed in critical but stable condition.

Investigators are interested in talking to the promoter of the event, Unified Elite Riderz, as well as the personnel and owner of Diamond Elite Security out of Louisiana.

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A search warrant was obtained for the property for the purpose of processing the crime scene and collecting evidence. Investigators are continuing to interview witnesses. If you witnessed any one of the shootings or have information pertinent to this investigation, please call our Emergency Operations Center at 903-566-6600.

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