Tyler man indicted in fatal shooting

SMITH COUNTY (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - A Smith County grand jury in the 7th District Court indicted a 25-year-old Tyler man on murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges on April 18.

Ricky Neal Jr. is accused of shooting and killing 23-year-old Chris Mass in the parking lot of the Broadway Square Mall in February. He has been held in the Smith County jail on bonds totaling $1.25 million since Feb. 9.

There was a physical altercation between Neal and another man at the mall in early February after it was discovered that Neal sent a tweet to another man's girlfriend. The two met in the Champs Sports store in the mall, where Neal had gone to buy new shoes.

Tyler Police Spokesman Don Martin said at that time the men began arguing and decided to take the confrontation outside.

"Neal returned to his vehicle and told his girlfriend to go in the mall to purchase his shoes.

As the other subjects approached Neal, he pulled out a .40-caliber handgun from his vehicle and fired several rounds at three subjects that were approaching him," Martin said.

Martin said Mass was struck twice and died from his injuries at the scene.

The other two men fled and were not injured in the shooting. When asked whether the shooting could be defined as self-defense, Martin said that it did not appear to be the case, because no other weapons were found at the scene.

A witness at the scene said Mass only was involved because he was trying to keep things fair.


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