hunting guide shot
Walker. Courtesy

On February 15, arrest warrants were issued for two Texas hunting guides who claimed to have been shot by illegal immigrants near the Mexican border. Michael Bryant, 59, and Walker Daugherty, 26, each face counts of deadly conduct from discharging firearms in the direction of others. The charges stem from a January 6 incident in which authorities believe the men and their clients opened fire on one another, mistakenly thinking they were being attacked and robbed.

Bryant and Daugherty were guiding a group of aoudad hunters and were camped at a ranch near Candelaria, just miles from the Rio Grande. The gunfire began when Daugherty thought undocumented immigrants were robbing an RV where two of his clients were staying. Unannounced, Daugherty tried entering the RV, at which time one of the clients, Edwin Roberts, shot and missed him. Daugherty then returned to his cabin to grab his gun and get Bryant for backup. During the shootout, Daugherty and Roberts each suffered gunshot wounds.

Authorities believe that they now know how the shootout went down, but they’re conducting ballistic tests to confirm. “By the looks of it right now, we believe that during the shooting, with all the commotion and confusion going on, we believe that [Bryant] shot [Daugherty], and [Daugherty] had shot [Roberts],” Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez told CBS7 News.

As Field & Stream reported in January, following the shootout, Daugherty’s family said that the guides were fired upon from several locations by illegal immigrants, and that the attackers intended to kill the men and their clients. After the gunfight, a number of agencies descended on the ranch, and about 30 law-enforcement officers searched the perimeter of the ranch. They were unable to find any signs of people approaching the camp and said that there was no evidence of “cross-border violence,” as Field & Stream previously noted.

Shortly after the story of the attack began to spread on social media, doubts about the validity of Bryant and Daugherty’s claims began to surface. Field & Stream reached out to the Presidio County Sheriff’s Department for comment to address these concerns but never received a reply.

After the shooting, a GoFundMe page was created for Daugherty, who was without medical insurance. More than $26,000 has been raised thus far.