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Four suspects arrested in post-prom mass shooting

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By Chris Edwards

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JASPER – Four suspects are now in custody in the Jasper County Jail following a mass shooting that occurred after a prom party on Sunday, April 23.

The four suspects arrested last Friday were Tracy Hickman, Cameron Hartsfield and Tyler Porter, all aged 19 and Cheston Hartsfield, 18. All suspects are from Newton, according to Jasper County Sheriff Mitchel Newman.

Cameron Hartsfield was arrested in Woodville, and according to Woodville Police Department Captain Jathan Borel, the arrest came through interagency coopration. Borel said that Hartsfield was located and arrested without incident.

Woodville Chief of Police Mike McCulley said the suspect was in Woodville, hiding out with a friend. “We were fortunate there were no retaliatory measures against this kid because he was obviously involved,” McCulley said.

Newman said in a press release that an ongoing feud is believed to be the cause and motive of the incident, in which 11 individuals were injured.

Cameron Hartsfield and Porter have both been arraigned and both have a $4 million bond set, while the other two have not been arraigned, at press time.

Both men are charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and five counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.

According to the initial report by the Jasper Police Department, investigators discovered that the incident, which occurred on Bevil Loop, on County Road 263, resulted in a home and vehicle struck by gunfire, in addition to the individuals who were injured. Investigators deduced that two or more vehicles were exchanging gunfire in a chase along the road.

“This was a senseless act of violence that turned what should have been one of the last/best nights to be a senior at Jasper High School into a horrific life altering experience,” a Jasper Police Department representative said in a statement to media.

In an open letter to the Jasper community, JISD Superintendent John Seybold wrote that additional security measures were put into place throughout the school district, beginning last Monday.

McCulley said that Cameron Hartsfield had been arrested in Woodville before the shooting on a shoplifting complaint, and it was discovered he had a stolen pistol on his person.

He was arraigned on a separate stolen firearm charge in Tyler County when he was arrested Friday, before being taken to Jasper.

McCulley added that Cameron Hartsfield was also arrested about three months before during a traffic stop, and found to be in possession of a stolen firearm.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is encouraged to contact Newman’s office at 409-384-5417.

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