NBC News reports that the death toll has risen from five to seven.
Vice President Mike Pence stated the following about the shooting:
The Associated Press reports that “14 shooting victims are being treated at” Odessa’s Medical Center hospital.
Additionally, a man named Alex Woods recorded a video of the confrontation between police and the suspect:
On Saturday, a shooter took the lives of at least five people and injured more than 15 others near and in the city of Odessa, Texas.
According to Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke, at approximately 3:17 p.m. local time, a Department of Public Safety (DPS) Officer stopped a vehicle outside Odessa, Texas. The man driving the vehicle shot the DPS officer and fled the scene.
The suspect then drove to several other locations, where he shot multiple people, including reportedly a 17-month-old baby.
During the course of the crime, the suspect abandoned his gold Honda, hijacked a mail truck, and continued to open fire on innocent people. The suspect was traveling toward a movie theater called Cinergy, at which point he was engaged by law enforcement. A shootout followed, and the suspect was killed.
At a press conference, Police Chief Gerke stated in part:
We have law enforcement injured; we have the DPS trooper in Midland County; we had one MPD [Midland Police Department] officer and one OPD [Odessa Police Department] officer that were struck. As far as civilian casualties, we have at least 21 victims – 21 shooting victims – and a least five deceased at this point in time.
When asked about the identity of the suspect, Gerke simply said that “he is a white male in his mid-30s.” He did not provide a name. The weapon or weapons used in the shooting have not been identified.
While it was initially believed that there might have been multiple shooters, it is now believed that the suspect acted alone, according to the Odessa Police Department:
This was echoed by Gerke, who stated the following during the press conference: “I would tell people to still be cautious, still try to stay in their residences if at all possible. We do believe that we have the threat contained, but I can’t be 1,000% positive that’s the case at this point.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has released a statement offering condolences to the victims and families of the victims:
The First Lady and I are heartbroken over this senseless and cowardly attack, and we offer our unwavering support to the victims, their families, and all the people of Midland and Odessa. The state of Texas and the Department of Public Safety are working closely with local law enforcement to provide resources as needed and deliver justice for this heinous attack. I thank the first responders who have acted swiftly and admirably under pressure, and I want to remind all Texans that we will not allow the Lone Star State to be overrun by hatred and violence. We will unite, as Texans always do, to respond to this tragedy.
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