PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Plano police formally identified Tuesday everyone who was shot and killed at a football game-watching party Sunday night.
The suspect has been identified as Spencer James Hight, 32, of Plano. He was shot and killed by a Plano Police officer at the scene.
His estranged wife, Meredith Lane was the host of the cookout that turned deadly. She filed for a divorce from Hight, and the two stopped living together in March. The couple’s sixth wedding anniversary would have been on Monday, September 11.
The deceased victims have been identified:
· Meredith Emily Hight, a 27-year-old female
· Anthony Michael Cross, a 33-year-old male
· Olivia Nicole Deffner, a 24-year-old female
· James Richard Dunlop, a 29-year-old male
· Darryl William Hawkins, a 22-year-old male
· Rion Christopher Morgan, a 31-year-old male
· Myah Sade Bass, a 28-year-old female
· Caleb Seth Edwards, a 25-year-old male
All next of kin have been notified and the investigation remains ongoing by the Plano Police Department and the Texas Rangers.
Around 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 10, officers responded to a weapons call at a home in the 1700 block of W. Spring Creek Pkwy.
As the first officer arrived, he heard gunshots coming from inside the home. Plano Police Chief Greg Rushin said the officer confronted Spencer Hight and fatally shot him.
Nine gunshot victims were discovered at the home. Seven died at the scene. One died later at the hospital. Another victim is still being treated in the hospital.
Friends and families of those that died have been gathering Tuesday to show their respects.
Kenda Grand said she had a deep connection to Tony Cross and a loss that only a mother can feel.
“It’s like losing a child. I’ve known him since he was barely speaking,” said Grand who brought flowers to the crime scene.
“I was in shock when I heard. I was in shock all day yesterday and now, I’m finally able to cry,” said Grand.
Cross was two years old when the families became neighbors in Austin. He was her son’s best friend and her son’s first friend.
“He was part of our family,” she said.
Relatives of another victim showed up to the scene and were too emotional to speak. One man in uniform broke down, comforted by silent support.
“Even if you do the right thing, it can end up in tragedy… there has to be a way to prevent this kind of violence,” said Trissi Bowlin, a friend of Meredith’s.
Bowlin said she hopes this tragedy raises awareness about domestic violence.
“I fortunately have not been a victim of it, but my mother has,” said Bowlin. “I just hope more attention can be brought to victims… to their safety. We’ve got to have some type of solution. We cannot keep having mass murders.”
CBS11 spoke with Meredith’s mother, Debbie Lane, as she drove from her home in Atlanta to Plano.
Lane said her daughter wanted a divorce because Spencer was an alcoholic and was physically abusive. In the divorce papers, Meredith had citied “discord or conflict of personalities” as one of the reasons for the broken marriage.
Lane said her daughter did not take the decision to file for divorce lightly. “After two years of trying to get him in treatment, trying to get him to stop, trying to help him… she said, enough is enough. She made every effort she could… and could leave that relationship with no regrets.”
Lane said she talked to her daughter the day before the shooting and that she was busy planning and preparing for the football watch party.
Meantime, the family of the sole survivor of the shooting, Carly Shockey, released the following statement Wednesday night.
We would like to thank everyone for their concern and prayers for our loved one, Carly. Our hearts are heavy for the families affected by this senseless tragedy.
Carly is in stable, but serious condition. This is the beginning of a very long recovery journey for both Carly and our family. We ask that you please respect our privacy as we focus all of our family’s energy on helping Carly recover.
At this time, please join us in supporting all the families and friends who have been impacted, and honoring the memory of these young lives that were tragically taken away.