Texas shooting in Odessa, Midland update: 7 dead, gunman killed | News Coverage from USA

Texas shooting in Odessa, Midland update: 7 dead, gunman killed

At least seven people are dead and more than a dozen others injured after a mass shooting rampage left two Texas cities in chaos Saturday, police said.

Odessa police spokesman Steve LeSueur said Sunday at least one other person is in “life-threatening” condition. The gunman was also killed in a shootout, though it was not immediately clear if he is included the seven person death toll.

The shooting occurred between Odessa and Midland after a routine traffic stop turned violent around 3 p.m. local time Saturday. The gunman, identified only a white male in his mid-30s and driving a gold-colored car, began firing at officers and sped away.

Here’s what we know now:

What happened during the shooting?

Police say the gunman grabbed a rifle and fired several shots at two Texas Department of Public Safety officers, wounding one, during the traffic stop on Interstate-20.

The shooter then fled westbound on the interstate toward Odessa, continuing his violence along the way and firing at other motorists and passers-by.

At one point, police say the suspect stole a mail truck. He also shot an officer from the Odessa police department and the Midland police department.

The rampage ended in a Cinergy movie theater in Odessa as officers cornered the assailant and fatally shot him. Cellphone video from the scene showed the chaos and gunfire outside the building.

‘They’re shooting right there’: Eyewitness video shows Odessa, Midland, Texas shooting

Who are the victims?

Police have not released the names of the seven people confirmed dead nor the 21 wounded.

At least three police officers were among the wounded, authorities have said.

Thirteen of the victims were taken to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa according to hospital CEO Russell Tippin.

A 17-month-old baby girl initially taken to Medical Center Hospital was transported to UMC Health System in Lubbock, Texas, about 140 miles away. The child had shrapnel in her chest, a hole in her lower lip and her front teeth knocked out, a GoFundMe for the child said.

The hospital confirmed the child was in “satisfactory” condition Saturday night. 

Where did the shooting occur?

The shooter appears to have been driving on highways and roads around Midland and Odessa, Texas. The cities have a combined population of more than 200,000. They’re situated on the West Texas plains between El Paso and Dallas.

Was there one gunman or two?

Online and police reports from earlier in the day reported that two shooters were traveling in two separate vehicles: One in a small Toyota truck and the other in a USPS postal van, but this information proved incorrect.

Authorities now say there was only one gunman. “Once this individual was taken out of the picture, there have been no more victims,” Gerke said.

CBS7 twice had its news anchors clear the set as police officers came through the mall with guns drawn. Later, the anchors said they had to leave the mall entirely, but they continued broadcasting via wireless microphones.

How are politicians reacting?

Gov. Greg Abbott, who was traveling to the area on Sunday, ordered Texas flags across the state to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims.

“I thank the first responders who have acted swiftly and admirably under pressure, Abbott said. “And I want to remind all Texans that we will not allow the Lone Star State to be overrun by hatred and violence.”

President Donald Trump, who also praised emergency personnel’s response, told reporters Sunday that, “Congress has a lot of thinking to do,” when asked about the impact the shooting could have on negotiations over gun measures.

At the same time, Trump dismissed the idea that stricter background checks would have made a difference.

“We’re looking at the same things,” Trump said. “It really hasn’t changed anything.”

Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke reiterated his stance on gun control during a campaign stop in Virginia, calling it “f—— up.”

“This has to stop. There is no reason that we have to accept this as our fortune, as our future, as our fate. And yet, functionally, right now, we have,” he said, bemoaning current gun laws in the United States.

The shooting came amid renewed pushes across the U.S. for stricter gun laws after mass shootings this summer in El Paso, Dayton, Ohio and Gilroy, California.

Contributing: John Bacon, Olivia Sanchez and Nicholas Wu

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