SMITH COUNTY, Texas — Smith County officials are searching for a suspect in connection with a shooting that left two people dead and one person injured early Monday morning.
According to Smith County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) Public Information Officer Sgt. Larry Christian, on Monday morning around 12:35 a.m., officials were called to the 5300 block of Texas Highway 110 (Van Highway), between Scott Valley Lane and Twin Pines.
When officials arrived on scene, they found two Hispanic men in the front yard of a residence with apparent gunshot wounds. The men, identified as Justino Rosales-Betancourt, 32, and Jose Manuel Betancourt, 35, were pronounced dead at the scene. Autopsies were ordered for both victims and their bodies were sent to Forensic Medical in Tyler.
The SCSO says the scene was immediately secured and additional law enforcement agencies were notified.
Authorities say it was later learned that a third Hispanic man, identified as Saul Morado, 20, was taken to a Tyler hospital by private vehicle. He underwent surgery and is stable. His injuries are not life-threatening.
Investigators identified Ramiro Ortiz, 34, as the suspect. Judge Taylor Heaton issued a warrant for his arrest with bond set at $1.5 million. Ortiz remains at-large, and officials say he should be considered armed and dangerous.
Those with information on the whereabouts of Ortiz should call the SCSO at (903) 566-6600.