Nine people are reported to be injured and undergoing treatment following a shooting that occurred just after midnight on Sunday morning, just north of Jasper.
Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Karli Cherry says that fortunately, none of the injuries are life threatening. The ages range from 15 to 19.
Jasper County Sheriff Mitchel Newman said deputies were called to a home on County Road 263, about three miles north of Jasper and to the east of Highway 96, at 12:20, when it was reported that shots had been fired at a party.
Newman said that he and others are still trying to sort out the details, but he confirmed that all involved were teenagers from the Jasper and Newton Area.He said all of the injured were taken to Jasper Memorial Hospital, where they were treated. Jasper Police Lieutenant Garrett Foster said that while officers were inside the emergency room, they heard what they believed to be gunshots being fired outside of the hospital. However, Foster said the officers never found any evidence of gunfire.
Sheriff's deputies say fortunately none of the injuries appeared to be life threatening.
KJAS News has confirmed that at least one of the victims, a nineteen year female from Jasper was transferred to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont, where she was treated for two gunshot wounds to her hand, before being transferred to a hospital in Houston for additional treatment.
Word is that another student is still undergoing treatment for injuries to his leg.
Shortly after the shooting north of Jasper, another similar incident was reported to have occurred at the intersection of Bevil Loop Road and Valley Drive on the southeast side of Jasper. in that case, 15 or more shots reportedly rang out between 12:30 and 1:00, with some homes and vehicles being hit by gunfire. However, Jasper Police said no injuries resulted from the incident.
A short time later, shortly before 2:00, a State Trooper reportedly spotted a vehicle on Highway 190 East at the Jasper-Newton County line, which had been shot numerous times. Newman said Sunday afternoon that the occupants of the vehicle were being questioned and that the car was at the Jasper County Sheriff's Department, where deputies were searching it as part of the ongoing investigation. Newman also said there were reports that the vehicle had been seen in and around the area where the shooting occurred earlier north of Jasper, leaving numerous people injured.
Newman said officers were continuing to investigate both incidents and taking statements, but that so far, no arrests had been made.
What sparked the shootings is still unknown. The incidents occurred following the Jasper High School Prom and deputies say that many of those at the party had attended the prom. In fact some students say that as many as 250 people might have been present.
The superintendent of the Jasper Independent School District, John Seybold, said there was no incident at the prom and that even though the event was scheduled to last until midnight, almost all of those who attended had left by 9:00 pm.
Seybold later released the following statement:
"We first want to say our prayers are with those injured early Sunday morning in the shooting that took place north of town. Jasper ISD working with law enforcement in any way we can to aide in their investigation to bring these perpetrators to justice. There will be a much larger law enforcement presence this week to ensure student safety, as well as counselors on hand for any students who need their assistance."
The shooting on Valley Drive was just a block from where a shooting occurred just over a week ago leaving Elvin Land with injuries he is still being treated for. Land who lived at 109 Parker Drive at the intersection of Bevil Loop Road was shot as he looked out the window in the early hours. However, it is not known if the incidents are connected in any way.
Newman said a motive still has not been established.