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Everything We Know About the Odessa Mass Shooting

Everything We Know About the Odessa Mass Shooting

A pickup truck that the gunman fired on during his shooting spree sits on the side of Interstate 20 with bullet holes in the passenger side window.
Photo: Ernest Villanueva/Twitter

At least five people were killed and another 21 injured after a white male gunman opened fire on police and random civilians along Interstate 20 and Highway 191 in the West Texas cities of Midland and Odessa. The gunman was later killed during a gun battle with police. It was the second mass shooting in Texas in less than a month, following the massacre at an El Paso Walmart on August 3.

Below is everything we know so far.

According to Midland and Odessa authorities, the rampage began at 3:17 p.m. on Saturday when two Department of Public Safety officers tried conduct a traffic stop on a gold Honda in Interstate 20 in Midland. The driver, a white man in his 30s, pointed a rifle at the officers and opened fire, striking one of them. The gunman then drove off and fled west to Odessa, about 20 miles away, randomly firing at other drivers and pedestrians from his vehicle on both Interstate 20 and Highway 191.

The gunman eventually ditched his vehicle in Odessa and stole a US Postal Service truck, then continued firing at victims from that vehicle. That may have been the reason police originally reported that were possibly two active shooters instead of one.

Police ultimately cornered the shooter in the parking lot of the Cinergy movie theater in Odessa, where they shot and killed him in the ensuing gun battle.

One witness shared the below video of the final confrontation to social media, later telling CNN that “I could see the officer walking up to the mail van and discharging his weapon into it, and I believe that’s when the shooter was killed.”

Five people were killed and another 21 injured, including three law enforcement officers, according to Odessa police. It’s not clear how many of the injured were shot by the gunman.

13 victims were sent to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, where seven were listed in critical condition on Saturday night. One victim died of their injuries at the hospital, according to a hospital official, and one of people injured was a child less than two years old.

The gunman has not been identified, but Odessa police chief Michael Gerke said at an afternoon press conference that he was a white man in his 30s. The motive of the shooter is not yet clear, nor why he was pulled over.

The rampage was the second mass shooting to strike Texas in less than one month. On August 3, a white nationalist terrorist armed with an assault rifle and extended-ammo magazines killed 22 people and injured 24 others in a racially motivated massacre at an El Paso Walmart. That attack — which was followed by another massacre less than 12 hours later in Dayton, Ohio — horrified the nation and led to yet another wave of calls for more gun control measures across the country.

Texas governor Greg Abbott, who has repeatedly worked to loosen gun control regulations in his state, called for unity on Saturday and offered his “unwavering support” to the victims of the new shooting in West Texas. He added that he wanted “to remind all Texans that we will not allow the Lone Star State to be overrun by hatred and violence.”

Despite the fact that four of the ten worst mass shootings in American history have been committed in Texas, the state was hours away from enacting multiple new laws further reducing gun control measures as the West Texas shooting was playing out. As on Sunday, schools will not be able to ban gun owners from keeping their weapons in their vehicles outside, landlords and homeowners will no longer be able to ban gun owners from keeping weapons on their property, and houses of worship will not be able to ban handgun owners from carrying their weapons inside.

This is a developing news story and this post will be continuously revised and updated as more information becomes available. Check back for updates.

Everything We Know About the Odessa Mass Shooting

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gun violence

Everything We Know About the Odessa Mass Shooting

By Chas Danner

At least 5 people were killed and 21 injured after a gunman opened fire on drivers and pedestrians while driving through West Texas.

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