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Sunday
Nov102013

Two Dead, at Least 19 Injured After Texas Birthday Party Turns Deadly

iStock/Thinkstock(CYPRESS, Texas) -- An 18-year-old's "birthday party gone wild" turned deadly when gunfire erupted at her Cypress, Texas, home Saturday night, killing two and injuring nearly two dozen others who were trying to escape the crowded house, authorities said.

Harris County Sheriff's investigators responded to a call about shots fired at the home at approximately 10:50 p.m., Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said Sunday in a news conference.

Upon arriving, law enforcement officials described a chaotic scene rife with teenagers trying to escape the suburban residence, Garcia said.  More than 100 people were inside the small, two-story home when one suspect fired his gun "in apparent celebration."

"Let me describe the event last night as a birthday party gone wild," the sheriff said.

"[It was] just one of those inexplicable, crazy things when someone decides to pull a pistol and discharge it in the air, and someone else who thinks it's important to carry a pistol to a birthday party decides to pull theirs," Garcia said.

At least 18 people at the party sustained gunshot wounds in their chests, legs and even hands as a result of the shooting, Garcia said.  At least one partygoer has a broken leg from trying to escape from the house.

Two Cypress Springs High School students died -- one at the scene and another at a hospital.  Their names have not been made public, but one of the victims was a 16-year-old girl with a birthday rapidly approaching, and the other was an 18-year-old boy, Garcia said.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office announced a pair of arrests in the shooting on Monday morning. Willie Young, 21, faces deadly conduct charges. The second suspect arrested, Randy Stewart, 18, was charged with aggravated assault.

While authorities received information about several partygoers who may have been involved with local gangs, Garcia said it was not "the contributing factor" in the investigation.

The birthday celebration was being touted on social media, which Garcia said may have contributed to its violent outcome.

"Anytime that you promote a birthday party on social media, you have no control over who to expect at your door," he said.  "What it does indicate is that you're saying to the social media world, 'I don't know who you are, but you're invited.'  That's not a good practice."

Garcia said neither alcohol nor drugs appeared to be a factor in the case, but there was a bouncer checking guests at the door.

The girl's mother was at the home at the time of the party and subsequent shooting.  Garcia would not address whether criminal charges would be filed against the woman.  The investigation is ongoing, he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio