CHAPEL HILL — The Chapel Hill community is devastated by Saturday’s shooting death of 2008 alumnus and star athlete Chris Mass (pictured) at Broadway Square Mall. Several people spoke to KETK about the incident. “Chris was just at the wrong place at the wrong time; this right here wasn’t supposed to happen,” says Charlean Mosely, a family friend. “I knew Chris Mass growing up. I went to school with him, and to hear such news, it’s pretty devastating to hear that,” added 2009 alumna Jon’Kayla Smith.
Two people were arrested Saturday morning following the shooting at the Broadway Square Mall in Tyler. Around 9:15, Tyler Police were dispatched to a shooting in the parking lot of Broadway Square Mall near J.C. Penny.
Ricky Neal Jr. 25, of Henderson and his girlfriend went to the mall to buy shoes. As they entered the mall, Neal noticed a group of men, one of which he had an issue with prior about “Tweeting” his girlfriend on the popular social media site, Twitter. A confrontation ensued between Neal and another man from the group inside the mall. The confrontation continued to the parking lot. Police said, Neal then pulled out a gun and shot the victim, later identified as Chris Mass, 23, Tyler, multiple times, killing him.
The Tyler Police Department’s Public Information Officer, Don Martin said Neal remained at the scene and was cooperative with authorities. He was taken into custody and charged with 1st degree murder.
During the processing of the crime scene, a subject identified as Desmond Javon Black, 30, Tyler, went underneath the crime scene barrier tape and ran towards the victim who was protected by officers. Officer gave verbal commands for Black to stop as he charged the scene and continued to ignore officer’s commands. Officers took Black into custody and charged him with interference with public duties. During the search of Black they discovered that he was in possession of marijuana which he was also charged with.