Mass shooting in Plano home leaves 9 dead, including gunman
(Pictured: Darryl Hawkins, Meredith Hight and Tony Cross)
PLANO, Texas - Nine people are dead, including the gunman, after a mass shooting at a Dallas Cowboys watch party at a Plano home on Sunday night.
The gunfire broke out during about 8 p.m. at a house in the 1700 block of W. Spring Creek Parkway. Records show Meredith Hight lived at the home, where she was hosting a watch party for the Cowboys vs. Giants game.
Witnesses say her estranged husband, Spencer Hight, showed up to the party and got into an argument with her out front. He then went inside with her and opened fire on the party.
A woman who works near the home said she heard a very loud argument between a man and a woman and then saw the man start shooting.
“We have never had a shooting of this magnitude,” said Plano Police Chief Gregory Rushin. “We’ve never seen this many victims before.”
Court records show Spencer was recently going through a divorce with Meredith. There had been no indications of violence or concern about violence based on court records and police have no record they could provide of answering calls at the home. Monday would have been the couple’s sixth wedding anniversary.
Plano police said a responding officer arrived on scene and found bodies in the backyard. That officer, realizing what was happening, opted to engage with the gunman unassisted in the back of the home and fatally shot him. The gunman had multiple weapons on him, police said.
“That man is a hero and may peace be with him to have to walk into such a scenario and neutralize the suspect,” said Plano Police Chief Gregory Rushin.
Police said all of the victims were adults, believed to be in their 20s and 30s. The initial death toll was eight, including the gunman. But one of the two people taken to the hospital died from their injuries on Monday. The other person remains in critical condition.
No names have officially been released by police, but friends and family have already identified some of the victims.
One woman, who did not want her named used, says she was friends with Tony Cross, who was killed in the shooting.
"He was just full of love. He had nothing but love in his heart,” she said. “He was just an amazing person inside and out."
Zully Romo was heartbroken hearing the breaking news Sunday night that her coworker, 22-year-old Darryl Hawking, was killed. Her parents visited the crime scene on Monday.
“You go to work the next morning and you see one of your people not there,” she said. “It's devastating. It honestly is because he was such a good, positive person."
It's not yet clear how many rounds were fired but neighbors said there were many. A woman who lives in a house right behind the home described what she heard.
“We were watching the Cowboys game and we heard gunfire. And my son was out on the patio. I jumped up, went outside, smelled the gun smoke or the residue from the gunfire. I told the boys to come back in and heard another round of gunfire. It was really scary,” she said. “We just came in. You know, we just didn’t know if there was still another shooter and we could see the cops looking up and down the alley. So I just wanted to make sure all the doors were locked and that somebody wouldn’t run to our house and try to come in.”
A man, who asked to remain anonymous, said Hight turned up at a nearby bar just hours before the shooting. He said Hight was irate and going off about his estranged wife. Hight claimed Meredith was cheating and placed a gun and a knife on the bar.
The Texas Rangers are helping the Plano Police Department with the investigation. The officer who shot the gunman dead is on paid leave, which is required anytime an officer fires their weapon.