Three people were killed and at least eight injured when masked gunmen ambushed a cockfight at a ranch northeast of Edinburg just after midnight Thursday morning.

As Jared Taylor and Naxi Lopez of the Monitor reported, Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño said that “several people with weapons of various caliber ambushed spectators and participants at the rooster battle and began ‘shooting indiscriminately’ behind a farm house along Jesus Flores Road, south of Mile 20.”

“It was a massacre,” Hidalgo County Justice of the Peace Homer Jasso told the Associated Press. “I haven’t seen this kind of violence in the valley here on my watch … This is the first time in my life I’ve seen something this bad.”

Jasso added that there were up to three hundred discarded beer cans in the area, and the bodies of at least twenty roosters.

According to the Monitor, people who lived near the farmhouse said the cockfights had been happening on Wednesdays for around three years, and there were also fights on Sunday, with attendance rangings from thirty to sixty people. 

Sheriff Treviño told the Monitor it was the “crime scene from hell,” as the ensuing panic of the crowd resulted in the trampling of evidence, ammunition casings, and footprints.

Treviño speculated that it was a targeted attack on the cockfighting operation, but, Taylor and Lopez wrote, “he does not suspect involvement by criminal organizations from Mexico or by any local gangs.”

But the sheriff did say that:

Cockfighting is a big problem in South Texas — not only in Hidalgo County but in all of South Texas. To them, it’s a sport. But to the state of Texas, it’s a crime.

Below, Treviño’s comments to the media, provided by Harlingen’s KGBT Action 4