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3 shot, 1 dead, at SURFSIDE BEACH, TEXAS

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Published on Apr 9, 2012

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April 8, 2012 SURFSIDE BEACH, Texas -

One person was shot to death after tens of thousands of people showed up at an illegal beach party in Surfside Beach Saturday night, police said.

Officers said 15,000 to 20,000 people, many of them teenagers, crowded the beach for the party that was advertised on the Internet. At around 9 p.m., shots were fired after several fights broke out.

"It was supposed to be a Texas beach party weekend," Surfside Police Chief Gary Phillips said. "It was in good shape till later in the evening. People started arguing."

In one incident, Derrick Milam, 25, of Houston, a bystander to a fight, was shot in the neck and killed. In another, two Lamar High School students were shot -- one in the buttocks and the other in the leg. Both were taken to Brazosport Regional Hospital. Witnesses said someone in a car drove by and fired several shots into the air.

Mary Johnson, of Fort Worth, said she and her family often vacation in Surfside Beach and that it had always been a great place to visit.

"Yesterday it didn't feel that way at all," she said. "About 4:30, 5 o'clock, that whole feeling changed so we just packed it up and left."

Johnson said her family decided to leave when crowds of teenagers began gathering. She said she felt threatened.

The Saturday party wasn't the first violent event over the Easter weekend. Several fights broke out Friday, but none turned deadly.

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