The City Attorney's office in Wichita Falls has decided not to fight the Attorney General on the release of Ross Muehlberger's GPS data. Newschannel 6 now has that information and we are sorting through the data to understand where Ross Muehlberger was in the hours leading up to the shooting on April 20th.
From 7 p.m. until almost 8 p.m. on April 20th, Muehlberger was at the Northwest Texas Field and Stream Association, home of a rifle, handgun, and archery ranges.
His last stop before heading to Hasting's was at Southern Oaks Apartments. He stayed there for over an hour. After shooting four females at Hasting's, Muehlberger took a
surprising detour; he actually headed the opposite direction from Toby's.
According to GPS, Muehlberger then came to the curve in the road where Royal Oak turns into Amherst. He was only there for about two minutes before he left and headed for Toby's.
He followed Maplewood north to Toby's where he shot and killed Tim Donley. The GPS map indicates that his time there was brief; the green arrow didn't even stop.
Muehlberger's final destination was at his sister's home on Victory Avenue. It was there police say he shot and killed himself.
Newschannel 6 spoke with an attorney involved in Muehlberger's cases. You'll remember 78th District Court Judge Barney Fudge signed off on a bond reduction for Muehlberger on April 15th. That was just five days before the shooting. One of the restrictions that came with that bond reduction was that Muehlberger wear an ankle monitor for 90 days.
According to the attorney, on Monday April 19th -- just over 24 hours before the multiple shootings at Hastings and Toby's -- Muehlberger was fitted with the ankle monitor. The device was set up by a company out of Dallas. The attorney says the GPS manufacturer is responsible for tracking a defendant's movements. He says the main two purposes of the device are to make sure the person doesn't enter specified off-limits areas, as determined by the court, and to make sure the person doesn't leave the area of jurisdiction -- in Muehlberger's case, Wichita county.
Because Muehlberger didn't violate either of those two conditions, the device would not have set off an alarm, even when he spent an hour at a gun range shortly before heading to Hastings and Toby's.
Ross Muehlberger, mug shots
In a letter to the Attorney General, the Wichita Falls Police Department stated it was actively investigating other suspects connected to the Shooting Rampage in the Falls.
Since the night of the shooting, Wichita Fall police has told Newschannel 6 Ross Muehlberger was the sole shooter and that he acted alone on that night.
In a letter to the Attorney General--in an attempt to block a request from Newschannel 6 from obtaining surveillance video from Hastings--Wichita Falls police told the Attorney General the release of the video would interfere with the detection, investigation and prosecution of crime.
Wichita Falls P.D. wrote in that letter to the Attorney General the following:
"the department is actively investigating other potential criminal actors in connection with this incident."
For that reason, the Attorney General is allowing the City of Wichita Falls to withhold the release of surveillance video from Hastings on the night of April 20th.
Despite that letter written by the chief of police to the Attorney General, in our questions to Wichita Falls PD, Sergeant Joe Snyder told Newschannel 6 the department does not think someone else is involved. Snyder explained the discrepancy to Newschannel 6, saying that at the time it sent that response to the Attorney General, the department was still looking at the possibility more people could be connected to the attack. Wichita Falls PD says it is now "confident" no one else was involved in the shooting rampage.
The department will keep the case open until ballistics come back. That will allow them to determine, without question, that all shots fired came from the weapons Muehlberger was carrying. They don't know when ballistics could be back. They have been sent to Lubbock for testing. Lubbock processes ballistics for 26 counties.
We asked police that since it did not believe anyone else was connected with the shooting if it would now release the surveillance video. WFPD referred us to the City Attorney's office. The City Attorney's office said it would not comment. Newschannel 6 has now issued another letter to the Attorney General for a review of that ruling, since Wichita Falls PD now says it is "confident" Muehlberger was the only shooter.
The Attorney General did rule the City of Wichita Falls must release information taken from Ross Muehlberger's ankle monitoring device from April 16th through April 20th. The City of Wichita Falls had argued to the Attorney General against a Newschannel 6 request for that information, but the Attorney General ruled the City of Wichita Falls did not make a compelling argument for that information to be withheld and also cited the City of Wichita Falls for failing to respond to the Newschannel 6 request and the Attorney General in a timely manner. Newschannel 6 now has GPS data from April 20th. Muehlberger was outfitted with the GPS monitor on the 19th.
Newschannel 6 had requested both the GPS information and the surveillance video to help provide the public with a greater understanding of the events that unfolded that night as well as the police response to that event.
22-year-old Ross Muehlberger opened fire at Hastings the night of April 20th, shooting four women. All of them survived following medical treatment. Following the shooting at Hastings, Muehlberger drove to Toby's and shot and killed 23-year-old Tim Donley. Muehlberger than drove to his sister's house, where he shot and killed himself.
Photos from the scene at Toby's, a memorial to Tim Donley
Below is the letter from the Texas Attorney General in its entirety.