UPDATE: New suspect named after felony charges against Abilene man accused of injuring two children in shooting dropped
ABILENE, Texas - Felony charges against the Abilene man accused of injuring two children in a shooting on North 9th street Aug. 6 have been dropped. Police said Monday they have a new suspect.
Christopher Mack, 22, was arrested and charged with two counts of felony injury to a child Aug. 7. At the time, police said he allegedly shot at an SUV that was fleeing the scene of a drug deal gone wrong the day before. An 8-year-old and 12-year-old boy, who were in the backseat of the vehicle driven by family members, were injured.
Police said the 8-year-old's injuries were likely from shattered car glass. He was treated and released from the hospital the day of the shooting. 12-year-old Zachary McDaniel, who was shot in the head, is still undergoing treatment and is slowly recovering.
"All the initial evidence we had pointed toward Mack. It was based on some eyewitness statements we got, along with forensic evidence gathered at the scene," Sgt. Lynn Beard said Monday.
After more eye-witnesses came forward and an extensive forensic analysis of the victims' car was completed, Beard said the Abilene Police Department had to drop the child injury charges against Mack and add a new charge Sept. 13.
"It became clear that Mack was directly involved--he wasn't the one that actually pulled the trigger," Beard said. "The charges were altered appropriately to tampering with evidence in his assistance to covering the crime up."
Beard said Mack could face a two to 10-year sentence for the third degree felony charge of tampering with evidence.
Police said they have now identified the alleged gunman as 17-year-old Keegan Clark. Beard said Clark was one of several temporarily detained the day of the shooting.
Clark was charged with first degree felony injury to a child Sept. 11. He was already in custody as of Sept. 3 due to other charges police said are not related to the shooting. As of Monday, Clark had not posted bail for the child injury charge or for the other charges against him. His bond for the child injury charge is $100,000. His total bond is $103,450.
Police said they expect more arrests to be made in relation to the shooting but they cannot release the names of other individuals who are being investigated until the "appropriate charges have been filed."