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Argument Leads to 4 Deaths at 1-Year-Old's Birthday Party

Cops say shooting left 4 dead, 1 wounded
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 15, 2018 12:33 AM CDT
A sign for Taft, Texas, 12 miles north of Corpus Christi.   (Chris Ramirez/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)

(Newser) – An argument escalated into a backyard shooting at a toddler's birthday party in South Texas, leaving 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, 12 miles 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, but said the shooting occurred in the backyard of a residence, the AP reports.

A 20-year-old man was in custody Sunday, Brandley said. The man's 37-year-old father is also a suspect, but he has not yet been arrested, Brandley said. Brandley identified those killed as 62-year-old Juan Espinoza Sr., 20-year-old Juan Sandoval III, 22-year-old Jeremy Sandoval, and 25-year-old Nicky Sandoval. He said the three younger men were Espinoza's grandsons. The wounded man, 43-year-old Juan Espinoza Jr., was airlifted to a Corpus Christi hospital. Brandley said he was expected to survive.

(Read more Texas stories.)

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