Two men who were shot in Texas last month and had blamed immigrants crossing the border with Mexico were actually shot by members of their own hunting party, according to an indictment issued last week.
Walker Daugherty and Edwin Roberts were wounded in the incident on January 6, The Associated Press reported.
Daugherty and his fiancee told police they were shot by undocumented immigrants from Mexico, per CBS 7 in Odessa, Texas. However, the station said police now believe Daugherty actually shot Roberts and another member of the party, Michael Bryant, shot Daugherty.
“There were no bullet casings or projectiles from weapons other than those belonging to the individuals hunting on the ranch nor in the RV belonging to the hunting party,” the sheriff’s department told Big Bend Now last month.
The incident took place near Candelaria, about 250 miles southeast of El Paso.
Bryant and Daugherty, both hunting guides with Redwing Outfitters, were indicted last Wednesday on charges of deadly conduct by discharging firearms in the direction of others, local radio station KTSA reported.
A message on Redwing’s Facebook page claimed the two were shot “ambush style,” but thirty investigators searched the area and found no evidence of anyone approaching the camp, AP reported. Police believe the hunters fired on each other by mistake.
“I mean border patrol are experts in tracking in this area, we trust what they say because that’s all they do on a daily basis, and they didn’t find no sign, no indication that there was anybody in or out of that area that night,” Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez told CBS 7.
Daugherty, who is uninsured, raised $26,300 on GoFundMe to pay for his care.
The story of the shooting was widely shared on social media, with some politicizing the incident:
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller cited the shooting as “proof” that the border wall proposed by President Donald Trump was needed.
When confronted about previous inaccurate Facebook messages, Miller said his social media posts shouldn’t be held to the same standard as those of a news organization ― but then cited a news organization in defense of himself.
“It’s like Fox News,” Miller told KUT radio. “I report and you decide if it’s true or not.”