Police reviewing video in deadly Magnolia shooting; no arrests y - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Police reviewing video in deadly Magnolia shooting; no arrests yet

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Brandon T. Hobdy, 23 of Garland, Texas, died Sunday morning after he was shot at a Magnolia, Arkansas VFW hall. Brandon T. Hobdy, 23 of Garland, Texas, died Sunday morning after he was shot at a Magnolia, Arkansas VFW hall.
A vigil was held in Brandon Hobdy's honor Sunday night at SAU's Wilkins Stadium. (Source: SAU) A vigil was held in Brandon Hobdy's honor Sunday night at SAU's Wilkins Stadium. (Source: SAU)
Authorities say they are still working to determine who rented the VFW hall Hwy 82 east of Magnolia for the event, which is described as a back to school party. Authorities say they are still working to determine who rented the VFW hall Hwy 82 east of Magnolia for the event, which is described as a back to school party.
MAGNOLIA, AR (KSLA) -

No arrests have been made in the deadly shooting that took the lives of two young men outside the Magnolia, AR VFW Hall early Sunday morning, but authorities said they are pursuing the investigation "very vigorously." 

At a news conference Monday afternoon, Columbia County Sheriff Mike Loe confirmed that they are reviewing video in connection with the incident.

Citing the ongoing investigation, however, Loe declined to comment on whether there are any leads in the case.

Police say Brandon T. Hobdy, 23 of Garland, Texas and Wayne A. Payton, 24 of McNeil were bystanders at the Magnolia VFW hall when a fight broke out around 1:13 a.m. Sunday. Both were killed.

Local law enforcement reported that several people were kicked out of the venue after the dispute erupted. They then got into a red vehicle, pulled out a weapon and began shooting indiscriminately at the crowd.

Hobdy, a student at SAU and a senior wide receiver on the Mulerider football team, and Payton, an SAU alumnus, were standing outside the building when they were shot, according to the Columbia County Sheriff's Department.

The two men were taken to Magnolia Regional Hospital where there were pronounced dead after hospital staff made efforts to save their lives.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hobdy and Payton families," said SAU President David Rankin. "A tragedy for one of our families is a tragedy for all of us. "All of the resources in the region are directed toward bringing the perpetrators of this event to justice.”

SAU Athletic Director Steve Browning says the mood in the football locker room is somber.

"These guys are learning how to grieve for Brandon in their own way," said Browning.

"It's still surreal to many of them. They can't believe when they walk in and see that empty locker."

Browning says the community, staff and Southern Arkansas administration is rallying around the players so they have a good support staff right now.

"Many of the players looked up to him (Hobdy) as a team leader, a brother, a mentor and a role model," said Browning.

The Muleriders play five home game this season and Hobdy's picture is on the ticket face of the Muleriders very first home game September 6th.

"All we can do is hope that players find the goodness in this and they rally around each other and support each other. I guarantee you this, there will be a different fire in those guys eyes on September 6th when that first football game is scheduled."

Authorities said they are still working to determine who rented the hall on Hwy 82 east of Magnolia for the gathering, which is described as a back-to-school party. SAU said the VFW event was private and not affiliated with the school. 

Loe indicated at Monday's news conference that investigators are running into difficulty with the level of cooperation from witnesses to the incident.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting or the fight that preceded it is asked to contact the Columbia County Sheriff's Office at 870-234-5655.

Counseling is being made available by SAU staff. Call the office of counseling and testing at 870-235-4145 for more information about grief services being offered.

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