EDINBURG:Three people in Texas were arrested and charged with operating a cockfighting ring, a local sheriff said on Friday, a day after masked gunmen shot three people during a match.
Investigators have not identified the gunmen who shot the spectators Thursday morning in a remote area about 20 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino said.
Police arrested a man and woman who owned the land where an elaborate cockfighting ring operated for years, and the proprietor who rented the location, Trevino said.
Operating a cockfighting ring, where participants attach spurs to roosters' claws in a fight to the death, is a felony in Texas and illegal across the United States.
Three men were slain when masked gunmen ambushed the cockfighting ring shortly after midnight Thursday, the sheriff said.
Investigators believe brothers Ramiro Macias Garcia, 49, and Juan Santos Macias Garcia, 53, were the gunmen's primary target. Another man, Arturo Buentello Garza, 41, is believed to have been a bystander killed in the spray of bullets, Trevino said.
The Garcia brothers may have been involved in a drive-by shooting in the area and the shooting may have been an act of revenge, Trevino said.
Asked if the gunmen had ties to a Mexican drug cartel, Trevino said: "We have no evidence this came out of Mexico."