Shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday morning Ricky Neal Jr. who had went to Tyler Broadway Square Mall with his girlfriend to buy a pair of shoes, ended up confronting another male over a problem with Neal tweeting the man’s girlfriend. This confrontation led to the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Chris Mass of Tyler.
While in Champ’s Shoe Store, Neal confronted one of the men and told him that he had heard he had a problem with him (Neal) tweeting the man’s girlfriend. A verbal altercation broke out in the store between Neal and several other men. Neal suggested they take the altercation outside. Mass and the other man agreed, walking into the parking area directly in front of J. C. Penny’s.
Mass and the other male expected the altercation to end with a verbal or physical fight. They didn't expect it to end with a death.
Once in the parking area, Neal pulled out a gun and fatally shot Chris Mass numerous times.
After the investigation, police claim the shooting was not a case of self-defense as previously thought, but one of murder.
At the scene police arrested two individuals, Neal and 30 year-old Desmond Javon Black. Black, who claimed to be a relative of Mass, was arrested for interfering with public duties and possession of marijuana.
When Black saw what had happened with Mass he crossed the crime scene in order to get to him. Black was tackled by multiple police officers and arrested.
Chris Mass was a junior at Stephen F. Austin of Nacogdoches. He was well known throughout East Texas for his capability as a football player.
In High School Chris led the bulldogs to bi-district championship in 2007. He also led Chapel Hill High School to 3A state basketball tournament in 2007. Chris ranked number 19 as a recruit in East Texas area by Smoaky.com. He was also a first-team All-District quarter back and defensive back.
Chris Mass made a great impression on all he met. He will be dearly missed.
We extend our prayers and condolences to his family and friends.