Joint Media Release:

Dalhart Police Department

Dalhart Independent School District

February 14, 2023



It is with great sadness that we share this information with the Dalhart community.


Around noon yesterday, an incident unfolded involving young members in our beloved community. Specifics of the incident are being withheld at this time due to an ongoing investigation.


An isolated incident involving a firearm resulted in the passing of Preston Ralston (15) who was a student at Dalhart High School. At no time was there an active shooter situation. At the request of law enforcement for the safety of our faculty and students, DISD went into a lockdown while law enforcement agencies were investigating the situation. When it was determined that there was no threat, the District removed the lockdown.


 A little before 2:00 p.m. the District advised parents of the incident and informed them there was no threat to students, that the High School Campus would release students at 2:00 p.m. and the other campuses would release at regular times.


Out of respect for the families, our students, faculty, and everyone involved, we are asking for your understanding as law enforcement will not answer specific questions until a thorough investigation has been completed. Any information that you might have may be shared with Dalhart Police Chief Tommy Hughes, as he is leading the incident investigation.


At this time, we stress the need for prayers for our community. Hug your loved ones and cherish your time with them.  The community and School District have experienced counselors available to talk with anyone who is in need. The Region 16 Educational Service Center crisis team and the Dalhart Ministerial Alliance team are at the high school to assist any student or faculty member that may need to talk to someone. The District will continue to monitor and meet our student needs for the remainder of the week and thereafter as needed.


When asked if there was a message for the public, Preston’s family advised “We want everyone to know this was an accident.  We want those involved to know, that we know this was an accident.”




     Chief Tommy Hughes                                                                 Superintendent Jeff Byrd

Dalhart Police Department                                                      Dalhart Independent School District