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Additional Charge Issued Against Chris Mass’ Alleged Shooter at Tyler Mall [UPDATE]

Ricky Neal Jr. (Smith County Jail)

An additional charge was added Monday to the suspect charged with a fatal weekend shooting at the Broadway Square Mall in Tyler in what police say was over a tweet.

25-year-old Ricky Neal Jr. is now charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and first degree murder for the shooting death of 23-year-old Christopher Mass of Tyler.

Police investigators determined Neal also fired a shot at, and missed 29-year-old Jonathon Lamone Dews of Tyler. Neal is jailed with bonds totaling 1.25 million dollars.

Chris Mass (SFA)

According to police reports, Mass was caught in the middle of an altercation between a man he was with and Neal about a Twitter conversation involving Neal and the other man’s girlfriend.

The altercation started at Champ’s in the mall and made its way outside. It was then Neal pulled out a gun, and the other two tried to put a stop to the situation, but Neal started firing.

Neal struck Mass twice, and he was pronounced dead on the scene. Neal was arrested on the scene — he did not flee — and was charged with homicide. He is currently being held in Smith County Jail on bonds totaling $1.25 million.

People were at the mall unusually early for a Saturday — it was the first day Michael Jordan’s “Air Jordan” shoes went on sale, and Champ’s opened early for the sale.

Chris Mass played quarterback on Chapel Hill’s football team and was the star player for the Bulldogs’ basketball team. He helped lead Chapel Hill to the state basketball tournament in 2007, where the Bulldogs lost to Hardin-Jefferson in the state semifinals.

Mass went to Stephen F. Austin State University to play football after high school.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

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