EDINBURG, Texas — Three men are recovering from bullet wounds sustained during a shooting at an underground cockfighting ring near the Texas border with Mexico.
The shooting took place Friday night at a rural home in the northeastern part of Hidalgo County near the city known as Edcouch, information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s office revealed.
Authorities began to look into the case when they received notification about three shooting victims at three separate local hospitals. Sheriff’s investigators were able to learn that the three men had all been shot at a home near Edcouch. Authorities obtained a search warrant from a local state judge before going to the property. The house served as a cover for a large cockfighting arena. Because the investigation in still in the early stages, as of Saturday night, investigators were not able to release additional details about the case.
Cockfighting refers to the practice of tying blades to the spurs of roosters in order to fight them to the death. Onlookers gamble on who will be the winner. The practice is outlawed in Texas. Even being a spectator could result in a fine or charges. In Mexico, on the other hand, the practice is common and still very popular.
The underground nature of the events and the gambling practices that take place, usually lead to gang members or individuals with cartel ties taking part or attending the underground venues. In 2012, a group of gunmen carrying machine guns stormed a cockfighting event at a Texas border ranch with at least 200 people in attendance. The gunmen shot 11 people. Three of the shooting victims died in what was ruled as a drug related ongoing feud between rival groups, The Monitor reported at the time.
In March 2015, authorities in Hidalgo County busted a large underground cockfighting arena, Breitbart Texas previously reported. In that operation, authorities seized more than 100 roosters from the arena. The compound included dozens of large cages, a training arena and a large fighting arena with booths and seats for spectators.