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Plano Texas NFL fans 'shot dead at Dallas Cowboys party'

  • Eight people killed in Sunday’s shooting in Plano, Texas, have been named
  • Meredith Lane, 27, was hosting an NFL viewing party when her estranged husband stormed in and opened fire
  • Spencer Hight shot nine guests before he was killed by a police officer
  • Seven victims died on scene, one died in hospital; a second is still hospitalized 
  • Victims are: Rion Morgan, 31; Anthony ‘Tony’ Cross, 33; Olivia Deffner, 24; James Dunlop, 29; Darryl William Hawkins, 22; Myah Bass, 28; and Caleb Edwards, 25
  • Lane had filed divorce proceedings but didn’t file a restraining order
  • Monday would have been the couple’s sixth wedding anniversary

Mary Kekatos

and
James Wilkinson

and
Regina F. Graham For Dailymail.com


and
Daily Mail Online Reporter

Eight people who were shot dead during a football party in Plano, Texas, have been identified.

Police say Spencer High, 32, burst into the home of his estranged wife, 27-year-old Meredith Lane, while she was hosting a group of friends to watch the NFL on Sunday and opened fire.

Seven people were pronounced dead at the scene, one died a short time later in hospital, while a ninth, who hasn’t been named, is still being treated for their injuries.

Hight was shot dead by a cop shortly after the attack, which unfolded just hours before what would have been his sixth wedding anniversary. 

In a state of fury, Hight turned the gun on some of his own friends, such 31-year-old Rion Morgan, who was a groomsman at his wedding to Lane.

The other victims are: Anthony ‘Tony’ Cross, 33; Olivia Deffner, 24; James Dunlop, 29; Darryl William Hawkins, 22; Myah Bass, 28; and Caleb Edwards, 25.

Lane filed for divorce from Hight, citing ‘discord or conflict of personalities,’ earlier in the year.

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Meredith Lane (left), 27, was killed when her estranged Spencer Hight (right) opened fire on her and several friends as they watched the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday

Meredith Lane (left), 27, was killed when her estranged Spencer Hight (right) opened fire on her and several friends as they watched the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday

Meredith Lane (left), 27, was killed when her estranged Spencer Hight (right) opened fire on her and several friends as they watched the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday

One victim was identified as Darryl Hawkins, who a friend said liked to bring people together

One victim was identified as Darryl Hawkins, who a friend said liked to bring people together

Anthony 'Tony' Cross was also killed. His friend said he 'had nothing but love in his heart'

Anthony 'Tony' Cross was also killed. His friend said he 'had nothing but love in his heart'

Two victims have been identified as Darryl Hawkins (left), who a friend said liked to bring people together, and Anthony ‘Tony’ Cross (right), who ‘had nothing but love in his heart’

In a state of fury, Hight turned the gun on some of his own friends, including James Dunlop, 29 (left) and 31-year-old Rion Morgan (Right), who was a groomsman when Hight and Lane were married

In a state of fury, Hight turned the gun on some of his own friends, including James Dunlop, 29 (left) and 31-year-old Rion Morgan (Right), who was a groomsman when Hight and Lane were married

In a state of fury, Hight turned the gun on some of his own friends, including James Dunlop, 29 (left) and 31-year-old Rion Morgan (Right), who was a groomsman when Hight and Lane were married

The pair stopped living together in March.

Lane’s mom, Debbie Lane, told WFAA 8 that her daughter ‘was a cook, and a quite fine one, and she loved hosting friends and families.

‘This was her first opportunity to do it after the divorce and he didn’t take it well.’ 

One of Lane’s guests was Darryl Hawkins, his friend Zully Romo said. Romo, who was spotted by CBS DFW near the taped-off crime scene on Monday, had noted that Hawkins hadn’t turned up for work on Monday.

‘Little by little I started connecting pieces and unfortunately, it led me here,’ she said. ‘It led me here to find out that he’s not with us anymore.’

Hawkins, who worked at a local Acura dealership as a sales consultant, brought people together with his ‘positive vibe,’ Romo said.

Hawkins’ family members also visited the scene on Monday, but declined to comment; so, too, did the family of another man, Tony Cross.

Carmen Carola, who said Cross was her boyfriend’s best friend, described the slain motion caption animator as cheerful and loving.

‘He was just full of love. He had nothing but love in his heart,’ she said. ‘He was an amazing person, inside and out.’ 

She and seven others died on the scene; an eighth died in hospital. One more person is still hospitalized. Police have not officially identified any of the victims or the killer

She and seven others died on the scene; an eighth died in hospital. One more person is still hospitalized. Police have not officially identified any of the victims or the killer

She and seven others died on the scene; an eighth died in hospital. One more person is still hospitalized. Police have not officially identified any of the victims or the killer

Lane loved to cook and host parties, her mother said

Lane loved to cook and host parties, her mother said

She had filed for divorce from Hight earlier in the year and the couple stopped living together in March

She had filed for divorce from Hight earlier in the year and the couple stopped living together in March

Lane loved to cook and host parties, her mother said. She had filed for divorce from Hight earlier in the year and the couple stopped living together in March

Investigators are also working on a motive for the killer, who was shot dead by a police officer responding to a call of gunfire in the home at around 8pm Sunday.

Plano PD Chief Gregory Rushin said the officer saw bodies in the yard and raced into the house, located on the 1700 block of West Spring Creek Parkway, before backup could arrive.

‘When something like this occurs, you can’t wait, you have to go in, ’cause seconds matter,’ Rushin said.

Lane, a native of Georgia, had arranged the party to watch the Atlanta Falcons game; they were viewing the subsequent Cowboys game when the killer entered.

Denton resident Genevieve Morrissy, a friend of Lane’s, said the slain woman was a ‘beam of sunshine’ but had a sharp tongue around her husband – and vice versa.

‘I always felt that their arguing got kind of ugly sometimes,’ Morrissy said.

‘He would say something to her and I would think, “Wow, if my husband ever spoke to me like that – I can’t believe he does that.” And then she’d turn around and give it right back to him.’

Hight was shot dead by a cop responding to reports of gunfire; police are still determining his motive

Hight was shot dead by a cop responding to reports of gunfire; police are still determining his motive

Hight and Lane would have been married six years as of Monday

Hight and Lane would have been married six years as of Monday

Hight was shot dead by a cop responding to reports of gunfire; police are still determining his motive. Hight and Lane would have been married six years as of Monday

Police are seen here outside Lane's home on Sunday. She had not filed a restraining order when she demanded the divorce. A neighbor heard shouting before shots were fired

Police are seen here outside Lane's home on Sunday. She had not filed a restraining order when she demanded the divorce. A neighbor heard shouting before shots were fired

Police are seen here outside Lane’s home on Sunday. She had not filed a restraining order when she demanded the divorce. A neighbor heard shouting before shots were fired

All of those injured or killed are believed to be in their 20s or 30s. No officers from the north Dallas suburb were injured. 

Neighbor Stacey Glover told The Dallas Morning News that the party had started early in the afternoon and that she had seen people laughing and grilling outside. 

She says she then heard the shots around 8pm. She opened her door and smelled gunpowder. She heard police who arrived yell ‘hands up’ before more shots rang out. 

Officers broke down the door of Spencer Hight’s apartment on on Ohio Drive Monday morning. The search warrant information hasn’t yet been made public. 

‘I’ve been here all my life,’ Officer David Tilley, a police spokesman, told the Dallas Morning News. ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this.’ 

A friend said Meredith and her husband used shocking language when they argued. Witnesses said that 30-40 shots were fired during the incident. Pictured is another officer at the home

A friend said Meredith and her husband used shocking language when they argued. Witnesses said that 30-40 shots were fired during the incident. Pictured is another officer at the home

A friend said Meredith and her husband used shocking language when they argued. Witnesses said that 30-40 shots were fired during the incident. Pictured is another officer at the home

Lane is seen here with friends in a happier time. There is no indication that either of these women were involved in the shooting

Lane is seen here with friends in a happier time. There is no indication that either of these women were involved in the shooting

Lane is seen here with friends in a happier time. There is no indication that either of these women were involved in the shooting

Witness Crystal Sugg, who works nearby the scene, described to Fox 4 what she saw outside the home before shooting started.

Sugg said she saw a man arguing with a woman, but couldn’t really hear what the disagreement was about.

‘And as they were arguing, the woman was trying to go back in,’ Sugg said. ‘As she was going back in the house, you see the man pull out his gun and started releasing.

‘So as he released, I ran back in because I didn’t want to get hit by nothing.’ 

Steven Featherland said he heard between 30 to 40 rounds go off at the scene of the shooting.  

‘I pulled up and cops were already positioning themselves,’ he said. 

Another neighbor, Lauryn Nichols, said she had a friend who was in the house, but is not sure if her friend made it out or not.

‘I’m worried,’ Nichols told the newspaper. ‘It’s like one big family here in Plano.’  

The Texas Rangers are assisting the investigation because a Plano officer was involved, according to the newspaper.

The officer involved in the shooting has been put on paid administrative leave, per standard protocol.

Texas Rangers are investigating the case as it was an officer-involved shooting. The officer is now on paid leave, per standard protocol

Texas Rangers are investigating the case as it was an officer-involved shooting. The officer is now on paid leave, per standard protocol

Texas Rangers are investigating the case as it was an officer-involved shooting. The officer is now on paid leave, per standard protocol

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