“At one point he retrieves it, has his finger on the trigger and it goes off, shooting the person in front of him,” Gilliland said. Firearms are prohibited at the sprawling venue, which serves alcohol and on weekends turns into a dance hall popular with families.
Around 7 p.m., a witness reported seeing someone with a gun at the same time a shot rang out, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters Sunday. A 30-year-old man was shot in the thigh with a pass-through wound. Six others were injured after the brass bullet hit the concrete floor and fragmented: two women, ages 26 and 43 and four men, ranging from ages 26 to 33, were taken to the hospital in good condition, Gilliland said.
The sheriff said Guerrero-Reyes, the suspect, had been drinking.
“We don’t know if he was fumbling around with the pistol, being irresponsible about it, or if he was actually intending to shoot somebody,” Gonzalez said. He said Guerrero-Reyes’s initial claims of having his hand in his pocket when the gun went off didn’t match up with the evidence.
“Guns and alcohol aren’t a good mix, especially when he’s not supposed to have a gun in this establishment,” Gonzalez said.
There’s no connection between Guerrero-Reyes and the man who was shot in the leg, police said.
Gonzalez said children were among the attendees and called it a “miracle” that more people weren’t injured. He praised the officers who helped apply tourniquets to stabilize those injured, but lamented that “we’re getting too much practice, to be quite honest.”
Gonzalez questioned why someone would bring a gun to the market to begin with: There are signs clearly posted prohibiting guns, and the area had a strong police presence of 10 officers from different agencies and 15 security guards, Gonzalez said.
Unintentional shootings account for about 18 percent of all gun-related injuries, according to data analyzed by Giffords, a nonprofit anti-gun violence group.