After the shooting incident, Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez said there was no evidence suggesting immigrants shot at the hunting group. (Photo Courtesy of the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office)
*Editors note: An earlier version of the headline for this story said Michael Bryant and Walker Daugherty lied about the shooting incident in 2017. While indicted on charges, there hasn’t been a ruling in the case. We regret the error.
Last year, two hunting guides blamed immigrants who entered the country illegally for a shooting that occurred near Candelaria in Presidio County. The guides were leading a husband and wife from Florida on a hunt. The shooting left one of the guides and the husband injured. The story gained national attention, after an investigation revealed the shooting was likely the result of friendly fire.
Now, the Florida couple is suing the two hunters.
The lawsuit says Florida couple Edwin and Carol Roberts were asleep in an RV when they woke to the sound of “someone rattling the latch” of their motorhome.
After firing a warning shot near the would-be intruder, Edwin Roberts decided to drive towards their hunting guides’ camp house, where he thought they would be safer. That’s when attorney Kevin Glasheen says “shots started firing from outside the RV into the RV.”
The lawsuit says the two hunting guides — Michael Bryant and Walker Daugherty of Big Rim Outfitters — shot at the motorhome. Authorities believe the hunters may have fired at the RV, thinking an intruder was inside, attempting to kidnap the Florida couple.
The new lawsuit says the guides failed to determine who was in the motorhome before shooting.
During the gunfire, both Edwin Roberts and Daugherty were shot. The two were airlifted to El Paso where they received medical treatment.
When questioned by authorities, the guides claimed the group was shot by immigrants who entered the country illegally. However, a Presidio County investigation, which included help from U.S. Border Patrol agents, found no evidence to support that claim. Shell casings recovered at the scene belonged to shots fired by Daugherty and Bryant, including the casing from Roberts’ warning shot, according to the Florida couple’s lawsuit.
Shortly after that night, Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez told CBS 7 that Border Patrol “didn’t find no sign, no indication that there was anybody in or out of that area that night.”
Dominguez said the hunters most likely shot at each other.
While Daugherty and Bryant have been indicted on criminal charges for deadly conduct, a conviction in the case has yet to be issued. The two now face a civil lawsuit from the Roberts. The couple is suing the guides for being “negligent in discharging their firearms without identifying their target.”
“We were led to believe that we were going to be taken care of and that was not the case,” Edwin Roberts said in a press release on the lawsuit. “To this day, they have not taken responsibility for their actions.”
The couple is seeking $1 million in compensation for the physical injuries and mental anguish the couple sustained.