Estranged husband killed eight, injured one during football watch party

1 week ago
Ruth Varghese
News Editor

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated since its original publication. The original version of the article is included below.

UTD alumni were killed in a home shooting last week, leaving nine dead and one injured.


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On Sept. 10, former student Spencer Hight killed Rion Morgan, an alumnus and employee at the Office of Information and Technology, and alumni Meredith Hight, Olivia Deffner, Anthony Cross and James Dunlop, along with four others at a house in the 1700 block of West Spring Creek Parkway in Plano.

“Without a doubt, this is the worst mass-casualty incident that we’ve had in the history of Plano,” said David Tilley, Plano Police Department’s public information officer.

Nick Disiere, an OIT student worker, recalled the words OIT managers used when they delivered the news about Rion Morgan the day after the shooting — “he’s not coming back.”

“You almost didn’t believe it because, how could something like that happen to someone who was that good of a person? It doesn’t make sense. It still doesn’t feel real,” Disiere said.

Morgan, a 2008 business administration alumnus, was a manager at OIT. The university released a statement about his death on Tuesday.


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Rion Morgan. Photo courtesy of UT Dallas.

“Rion Morgan’s passing is a tremendous loss to the university community. Rion has been a member of the UTD family since 2006; first as a student and then after he graduated, as a full-time employee in the Office of Information Technology. He was an exceptional employee and a warm, kind, generous colleague and friend. He will be dearly missed,” said John Walls, interim vice president for communications in a press release.

Plano police say the suspect in the shooting is former student Spencer Hight, estranged husband of alumna Meredith Hight. Meredith was hosting a football watch party at her house, and at approximately 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, shots were reported.

An officer arrived at the scene, killing Spencer Hight. Spencer murdered seven people, including his estranged wife, and injured two others, one of whom later died in the hospital. Carly Shockey, the sole survivor, is still being treated at the hospital.

Backup officers, Texas Rangers and Plano Fire Rescue arrived at the scene shortly after the officer killed the suspect.

Collin County court records show that Spencer and Meredith were married on Sept. 9, 2011 and that Meredith filed for divorce in July 2017. The shooting occurred the day after the couple’s sixth wedding anniversary.

Plano police secure Meredith Hight’s home for investigation after responding to reports of gunshots fired around 8 p.m. on Sept. 10. Photo by Saher Aqeel | Photo Editor.

Texas Rangers are investigating the officer-involved shooting and Plano PD is investigating the homicides.

President Richard Benson sent a statement about the incident in an email to faculty and students on Thursday regarding the incident.

“This has been a painful and difficult week for the community. Many lives are touched by this news,” he said. “As Comets, we unite in extending our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims.”

Original Article – 9/13/2017

Editor’s Note: This article was updated to reflect Spencer Hight’s student status.

UTD alumni were killed in a home shooting earlier this week, leaving nine dead and one injured.

Rion Morgan, an alumnus and employee at the Office of Information and Technology, and alumni Meredith Hight, Olivia Deffner, Anthony Cross and James Dunlop were killed on Sept. 10 along with four others at a house in the 1700 block of West Spring Creek Parkway in Plano, according to a press release from the Plano Police Department released on Tuesday.

Rion Morgan, one of the victims in the shooting, worked as a manager at OIT.

“Rion Morgan’s passing is a tremendous loss to the University community. Rion has been a member of the UTD family since 2006; first as a student and then after he graduated, as a full-time employee in the Office of Information Technology. He was an exceptional employee and a warm, kind, generous colleague and friend. He will be dearly missed,” said interim vice president for communications John Walls in a press release.

The suspect in the shooting is a possible former student, Spencer Hight, according to the Plano Police Department press release. He was the estranged husband of alumna Meredith Hight, another victim. Meredith was hosting a football watch party at her house, and at approximately 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, shots were reported, according to the Dallas Morning News.

An officer arrived at the scene, killing Spencer Hight. According to the Plano Police Department, Spencer killed seven people, including his estranged wife, and injured two others, one of whom later died in the hospital.

Spencer and Meredith were married in 2011, and after recent marriage troubles, Meredith filed for divorce in July, according to the DMN.

This is a developing story.