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.
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."