Police identify Texas gunman in attack that left 7 dead

Henrietta Brewer
September 2, 2019

In a Twitter message Sunday, US President Donald Trump congratulated Texas law enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and first responders for their response to "the bad shooting tragedy yesterday".

The mass shooting incident in the western Texas cities, located 32 km apart, happened almost a month after a gunman killed 22 people and injured over two dozen as he opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso in the far western part of the state.

The incident happened in the area of Odessa and nearby Midland and police said the gunman was shot dead at the Cinergy movie theatre after a chase.

Odessa police officers park their vehicles outside Music City Mall in Odessa, Texas, as they investigate areas following a deadly shooting in the area of Odessa and Midland on August 31, 2019. Those included a 17-month-old girl and three law enforcement officers, hospital and police officials said.

The wounded 17-month-old was airlifted to University Medical Center in Lubbock, where she was in satisfactory condition, hospital officials said.

"We're now confident that there was just the one actor", he said.

The shooter was sacked from a job in a trucking company mere hours before he opened fire at a state trooper when pulled over for failing to signal a turn at around 3:17 pm local time Saturday, the New York Times reported, citing police sources.

The shooter then drove west into Odessa and continued firing through the city and around shopping centers, the police chief said. Whether it was what had set Ator off is up to speculation, with police remaining tight-lipped about the shooter's motive.

Gerke didn't name the gunman Sunday, saying, "I refuse to".

At one point, the suspect abandoned the vehicle he was driving before hijacking a mail truck. While people evacuated from a movie theater in Odessa fled into the parking lot.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Sunday that he had received a message from the girl's mother, who he said told him, "Toddlers are amusing, because they can get shot but still want to run around and play". Earlier reports in the chaos of the scene indicated possibly two shooters traveling in separate vehicles.

The shooting happened hours before a series of firearm laws go into effect in Texas, where four of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern United States history have happened.

Two other police officers were shot before the suspect was killed.

He then hijacked a mail carrier truck and fired at random as he drove in the area of Odessa and Midland, two cities in the heart of Texas oil country more than 483 km west of Dallas. More information is forthcoming, but here's what we know: "We need to end this epidemic", he tweeted.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement about the shooting.

But later, speaking to reporters on the White House lawn, he said that while discussions on curbing gun violence were underway with legislators of both parties, "This really hasn't changed anything". Ultimately, the shooter was killed.

"Same person", police said at a press conference.

Other reports by iNewsToday