Shooting at South Texas cockfight leaves 3 dead, 8 wounded, sheriff says

Several people are dead following a shooting reported north of the rural Hidalgo County community of La Blanca.
Hidalgo County, Texas officials responding to the scene early Thursday, April 19, after shooting erupted at an illegal cockfight, leaving three people dead and wounding eight others.

(CBS/AP) LA BLANCA, Texas - Masked gunmen opened fire during an illegal cockfight at a Texas ranch near the border with Mexico early Thursday, leaving three people dead and eight wounded, authorities said.

People attending the cockfight ran into the brush when shots rang out shortly after midnight at the rural property near La Blanca, about 15 miles northeast of McAllen. Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino said officers are hunting for the gunmen.

Trevino told CBS affiliate KGBT that the cockfighting site was "pretty elaborate," with several small arenas and a concession stand.

Sheriff's dispatcher Gloria Felix said investigators do not know what prompted the shootings. Felix had no details on conditions of the wounded or on how many people were at the cockfight.

Cockfights showcase battles between birds that have been fitted with sharp metal blades or curved spikes on their legs. Spectators gamble on which bird will be victorious in the sometimes hour-long fights that end when one or both of the birds are dead or maimed. The last state to ban cockfighting was Louisiana, in 1998.