Two men have been arrested and charged with murder as a result of a mass shooting that occurred in Fort Worth’s Como neighborhood on Monday night. The shooting took place just after midnight following ComoFest, an annual Fourth of July celebration in the southwest downtown area. Eight people were injured, and three individuals tragically lost their lives. The victims have been identified as Paul Willis, Gabriella Navarrete, and Cynthia Santos. Fort Worth Chief of Police Neil Noakes condemned the violence, stating that their lives were taken violently and senselessly.
Fort Worth Police records indicate that two men, Brandon Williams (19) and Christopher Redic (20), have been arrested and face charges of murder in connection with the case. Redic was booked into the city jail on Friday morning, followed by Williams an hour later. It remains unclear whether either of the men has obtained legal representation.
During a news conference, Chief Noakes revealed that there was an altercation prior to the shooting and that investigators believe the violence may be gang-related. The police department’s gang unit collaborated with the homicide unit to gather evidence. Noakes emphasized the need for change and urged the youth population to value their lives and seek non-violent conflict resolution methods.
Community members and leaders held a candlelight vigil outside the downtown old courthouse to remember the victims and call for change. The families of Gabriella Navarrete and Billy Smith, who died in an officer-involved shooting on Wednesday, were in attendance. Leaders emphasized the importance of communication and healing to address gun violence.
Chief Noakes acknowledged that the annual ComoFest has been a long-standing tradition but expressed the need for changes to ensure safety in the future. City leaders will work to implement measures such as limiting street parties after the event concludes. The investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
The Fort Worth community is grappling with the aftermath of a tragic mass shooting that claimed three lives and injured eight individuals. With two arrests made in connection with the case, authorities are working diligently to gather evidence and determine the motive behind the violence.