Identity of Texas Highway Mass Shooter Revealed

Henrietta Brewer
September 3, 2019

"It was frankly rambling statements about some of the atrocities that he felt he had gone through", said Bureau Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs.

Mr Trump said he would be working with Democrats and Republicans on gun legislation when Congress returns this month.

Vice President Mike Pence said he and President Donald Trump are determined to work with Congress "to address and confront this scourge of mass atrocity in our country".

Throughout the day, residents had struggled to understand how their remote communities in the heart of Texas oil country about 350 miles (563 kilometers) west of Dallas, could be the site of such violence.

High School students Celeste Lujan, left, and Yasmin Natera mourn their friend, Leila Hernandez, one of the victims of the Saturday shooting in Odessa, Texas, at a memorial service on Sunday.

Police said Ator's arrest in 2001 was in the county where Waco is located, hundreds of miles east of Odessa.

Ator, who made no threats in the call, split before cops arrived, then placed another call to the FBI's national tip line.


Ator was stopped 15 minutes later by a Texas state trooper on an interstate for failing to signal a lane change. One of the shots fired by the gunman hit one trooper, and the gunman eventually deserted his vehicle and stole postal service truck where he fired off more shots.

The gunman was eventually taken down at Cinergy Movie Theater in Odessa.

They said the death toll is now seven.

The shooting came at the end of an already violent month in Texas, where on August 3 a gunman in the border city of El Paso killed 22 people at a Walmart.

The identity of the shooter, who was killed by police, was released via Facebook after the Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke explained why he would not name the shooter during a news conference.

Online court records showed Ator had convictions in 2002 for criminal trespass and evading arrest.

U.S. Rep. Tom Craddick told the Midland Reporter-Telegram he had previously failed a background check, although it's unclear what caused the red flag. Courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety.


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The shooter who opened fire after a routine traffic stop Saturday in West Texas, killing 7 people and injuring 22 more, has been identified.

Authorities have said there are still no answers pointing to a motive for Saturday's chaotic attacks in the cities of Midland and Odesa.

Ator had been fired from his trucking job just hours before his killing rampage, the New York Times reported, citing interviews with officials. An FBI spokeswoman declined comment on those reports.

Authorities said that Seth Aaron Ator, 36, also injured 22 people Saturday afternoon before officers killed him outside a busy movie theatre in Odesa.

He used a AR-15-style rifle during his rampage, but Gerke said it was not immediately known whether Ator had legally bought the weapon.

A gunman led police on a chase of more than 10 miles (16 kilometers), spraying bullets at people along the way and leaving seven dead and almost two dozen injured.


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