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New Diana ag teacher found dead of gunshot in Union Grove home

By Christina Lane
March 9, 2012 at 10 p.m.


A New Diana High School teacher was found dead of a gunshot wound Friday afternoon at his home.

David Gross, an agriculture science teacher who was a Union Grove resident, was found by Upshur County sheriff's officers in his home on a private road off Union Grove Road.

Deputies arrived in response to a call received by sheriff's dispatch about 2:40 p.m., Sheriff Anthony Betterton said.

Gross, a husband and father, was pronounced dead by Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Rhonda Welch. Betterton said an autopsy had been ordered.

It was unclear Friday night whether authorities were seeking a suspect in connection with the death.

Gross had been at the Houston Livestock Show, where his students had been showing animals, Betterton said. He had returned to his home Friday, but intended to return to Houston. Gross' exact age was not available, but Betterton said he was in his mid-30s.

New Diana ISD Superintendent Joyce Sloan said the death was a "big loss."

"He was a star in the ag science field," she said. "He has done a phenomenal job in our district. He has taken our kids to great heights and he has helped our students earn a lot of money in scholarships. This is a really big loss for us. It really is."

Gross taught at New Diana for more than six years, Sloan said. He also represented East Texas as a board member of the Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas.

Gross was the son of New Diana trustee and Upshur County Sheriff's deputy Don Gross and his wife, Joy. David Gross was married and had two children.

"This is tragic for the Gross family," said Upshur County Judge Dean Fowler. "David was a great man and he was a great teacher."

The Upshur County Sheriff's Office is working with Texas Rangers and the Gregg County Sheriff's Office to investigate the death.

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