TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KSHV) – The Texarkana Police Department is asking the community to help curb the violence after a recent mass shooting.
On Oct. 28, Texarkana police launched an investigation into its second mass shooting of the year. The shooting occurred during a party in the back room of a business when a fight reportedly began and at least two men pulled out rifles. In the end, three people died, and another three were injured.
A separate shooting injured four people at a home on Waterman Street in May. Police found three men inside suffering from gunshot wounds, two of them in critical condition. A fourth victim was dropped off at a nearby emergency room a short time later. All four victims survived.
While there is no universally agreed-upon definition, mass shootings are widely recognized to be when three or more people are shot in a single incident.
Shawn Vaughn, Public Information Officer for the Texarkana Texas Police Department, emphasized their commitment to stop the people responsible.
“Any homicide is a tragic event because it represents loss of life. Somebody lost their brother, sister, son, daughter, mother, father, something. We do everything within our power to be able to identify who is responsible and then, if they can get a warrant and make an arrest.”
He highlighted that these violent crimes affect families deeply, and the survivors may face lifelong challenges and emotional scars. Those who commit the crimes must live with their decisions for the rest of their lives.
Crimes like these also affect the officers responding to them. Vaughn said officers are thrust into a chaotic situation while trying to provide care to everyone involved and searching for any evidence available. But witnessing that kind of suffering can take an emotional toll.
“You deal with that. You go in there. You’ve got a job you’ve got to do. So, you pretty well have to bury emotions and everything else.”
Vaughn acknowledged that these events are often crimes of passion, making them difficult to prevent. However, he pointed out that many people who commit them often telegraph their behavior in advance. The most effective way to protect the community, he stressed, is to inform law enforcement and family members if someone exhibits threatening behavior.
“I see an awful lot of young, especially males, on social media that are posting pictures of themselves, and they’re holding guns, holding money and doing all this other kind of stuff trying to ‘look the part,'” he explained.
He urged the community to take action to prevent violent crime.
“My grandma could do that. Or their auntie or their uncle or somebody. There’s somebody in their life that could say, ‘You know what? This is stupid. You need to cut this out. You need to do something different.’ And they’ll listen to them.”
Vaughn emphasized the need for the community to unite and stand against such behavior and say, “‘This is not our values. This is not what we believe in. This is not how we want people who live in our community to behave.'” They can set a standard for the community.