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Freer rattlesnake handler dies from bite at Rattlesnake Roundup

Eugene DeLeon Sr. died around 9 p.m. Saturday night, approximately 8 hours after he was bitten by a rattlesnake at a city event in Freer.

FREER, Texas — A rattlesnake handler has died after he was bitten at the Rattlesnake Roundup in Freer.

Freer Police Chief Hector Doria confirmed to 3News that Eugene DeLeon Sr. was bitten in the shoulder around 1 p.m. Saturday. He was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Corpus Christi but died Saturday night at approximately 9 p.m.

MORE: Why anti-venom is not kept at Rattlesnake Roundup events

One of the organizers of the Rattlesnake Roundup said that DeLeon was performing and handling rattlesnakes in front of a crowd at the time he was bitten.

The Freer Chamber of Commerce puts on the Rattlesnake Roundup, and it's the city's largest festival of the year.

DeLeon had over 20 years of experience handling snakes. His family wrote on Facebook that "he had a passion for snake handling" and that he was "doing what he loved doing."

Facebook family and friends I ask that you keep my Mom Evalina Morgan and family in prayer as my brother has gained...

Posted by Monica Dimas on Saturday, April 30, 2022

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