Three people were killed and at least eight wounded when masked gunmen opened fire at an illegal cockfighting ring in southern Texas Thursday, authorities said.

The shootings took place during a cockfighting match with a large crowd in attendance, Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino told KGBT-TV, Harlingen, Texas.

Two to four gunmen began shooting, "mowing people down" at the ring, located at a ranch near Elsa, a city in the Rio Grande Valley near the Mexico border, the sheriff said.

KGBT said no suspects had been arrested or identified.

Trevino told CNN affiliate KRGV-TV deputies were "dealing with a crime scene from hell."

The victims who were injured were taken to local hospitals. Their conditions were not immediately available.

Authorities had not determined a motive for the shootings at the ring, which Trevino said had several small arenas and a concession stand.

Trevino said the gunmen had run into brush after the shootings, CNN reported.