'A complete fabrication'

Police say brothers faked home invasion, shot each other; two arrested so far

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK, News-Telegram Managing Editor

August 22, 2008 - Sulphur Springs police believe they have solved a bizarre report of double-shooting Tuesday morning, which they said turned out to be staged, with two brothers shooting each other -- on purpose.

"They fabricated the whole thing," Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk said this morning. "It was a very bizarre plan, and when you get down to it, it almost cost one person their life."

The girlfriend of one of the men who was shot was arrested early Friday morning on a felony charge.

Cayla Deneece Ray, 17, was charged with felony tampering with evidence. She was taken to the county jail, where she remained this morning. Another person has been arrested on a misdemeanor charge.

The two men who were shot, brothers in their late teens or early 20s, are expected to recover from their injuries. One has been released from the hospital, while the other remains in stable condition.

Their names have not yet been released.

Police were sent to apartment #3 at 513 Church St. about 1 a.m. Tuesday after dispatchers fielded a report of a shooting at the location. Officers found the two gunshot victims, both males in their late teens to 20s. Police were then told three armed and masked men were responsible for the attack, but have since learned that was a lie.

"I'm glad we can tell people here were no masked intruders," Bayuk said.

Det.-Sgt. David Gilmore, the lead investigator, said a team of detectives -- including three Texas Rangers and three Hopkins County sheriff's investigators -- have put in 48 hours over the last three days trying to solve the case.

They finally got a break Thursday night when someone told them the shooting was planned in advance.

"It was an attempt to gain an advantage in an upcoming legal proceeding," Gilmore said.

Bayuk said one of the brothers is involved in a child custody dispute with the mother of his child. The police chief said the staged shooting was apparently an attempt to both gain sympathy and to blame the mother of the child for instigating the attack.

Gilmore said more arrests are expected to be made in the near future, although he did not elaborate on how many people might be arrested.

"There could possibly be organized criminal activity or conspiracy charges,"?Gilmore said.

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