First birthday party shooting leaves four dead

South Texas celebration descends into chaos as argument escalates into gun battle

Dallas: An argument at a toddler’s birthday party in South Texas escalated into a shooting that left four men dead and a fifth man wounded, authorities said Sunday.


The shooting happened at a child’s first birthday party Saturday afternoon in Taft, 19 kilometres north of Corpus Christi, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. Sgt. Nathan Brandley said those involved were distant relatives. Authorities did not say what the men were arguing about.

A 20-year-old man was in custody Sunday, Brandley said. The man’s 37-year-old father was also a suspect, but he had not yet been arrested, Brandley said.

He identified those killed as 62-year-old Juan Espinoza Senior; 20-year-old Juan Sandoval III; 22-year-old Jeremy Sandoval; and 25-year-old Nicky Sandoval. He said the three younger men are grandsons to Juan Espinoza Sr.

The wounded man, 43-year-old Juan Espinoza Junior, was airlifted to a Corpus Christi hospital. Brandley said he’s expected to survive.

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