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'Senseless acts of violence' : Four people of interest identified after post-prom party shooting north of Jasper leaves 11 teens injured

Officials said eight of the victims are at home recovering and three are still in the hospital.

JASPER COUNTY, Texas — The Jasper County Sheriff's Office held a press conference surrounding the investigation into an after-prom party shooting that left 11 teens wounded early Sunday morning.

The press conference took place Tuesday at the Sheriff Mitchel Newman Communications Center at 923 Lela Street in Jasper. Sheriff Newman said four people of interest have been identified.

While at first it was believed that nine teenagers were injured, during the conference officials said 11 were injured. Two of the victims went to the hospital the day after the shooting took place, according to Newman.

Ten of the victims were injured by gunfire, and one was injured while fleeing.

The shooting happened early Sunday morning. 

Deputies believe about 250 teens from Jasper and Kirbyville were at the party north of Jasper on County Road 263 when it took place. Both schools held proms Saturday night.

"Children are the most precious and vulnerable members of our society and senseless acts of violence endangering their lives will not be tolerated in Jasper County," said Jasper County District Attorney Anne Pickle. 

Several law enforcement agencies are vowing to bring those responsible to justice.

"It's fast and furious right now. We're making a lot of headway," said Jasper County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Karli Cherry.

After three days of doing interviews and processing evidence, investigators say they're closer to figuring out what happened on County Road 263.

"We have identified at least four people of interests and are continuing to question and establish suspects and motive," Newman said. 

While investigators connect the dots, the Jasper County Crime Victims Coordinator is doing everything she can, to help with the healing.

"Even if you weren't physically hurt, you're still eligible for counseling services," Laronnia Gray said. 

Victims can call 409-384-4362 to get connected with support services.

Cherry says everybody is all hands on deck and hope to fully prosecute those responsible. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Texas Rangers are also involved in the investigation. 

Officials are asking for the community to help them look for photos and videos to show exactly what happened at the party. 

Watch the entire news conference below...

"What was supposed to be the most wonderful night of these kids' life greatly affected them, and it will be something they never forget," Cherry previously told 12News.

Eight of the victims were taken to Jasper Memorial Hospital by personal vehicles, some were transferred to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont and others arrived at a hospital a day later. All of their wounds were not life-threatening.

Several of the wounded were former and current Jasper High School students, according to Jasper ISD Superintendent John Seybold.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety will provide added security at school districts throughout Jasper County, according to the release.  

In addition to added security at the high school this week, the district is providing counselors to all students across the entire district he said in the letter. 

A second Sunday shooting that deputies feel may be connected to the first happened in Jasper on Valley Drive just off Bevil Loop, about five miles from the after-prom part shooting.

The vehicles involved in the second shooting were also at the party on County Road 263, Cherry said.  A home and a parked vehicle were hit by gunfire.

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Shana Clark told 12News they found two cars from the second shooting abandoned in Jasper County. Those vehicles are being processed.

"No one was injured in this incident and the vehicle was processed for evidence. The vehicle involved in the city shooting was seen at the party on 263. We are investigating the possible connection between the two," Newman said. 

Jasper Police investigators believe that two or more vehicles were chasing each other on Bevil Loop as the occupants exchanged gunfire. No one was injured in the second shooting.

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