At least five people were killed and 21 others injured in shootings reported near the West Texas cities of Odessa and Midland — about 20 miles apart.
A Midland police officer, an Odessa police officer and a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper were also wounded.
The incident started around 3:17 p.m. when a trooper pulled over a vehicle and was shot by the occupant of the car, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said at a 6 p.m. press conference.
The police chief said multiple people were then shot in multiple locations on 42nd Street in Odessa.
The suspect ditched his car and hijacked a U.S. Postal Service vehicle and was firing at people, the police chief said. The shooting spree ended when the suspect was shot and killed near the Cinergy movie theater in Odessa following an exchange of gunfire with officers.
There were initial reports of a second shooter, but there has been no confirmation of one, Chief Gerke said.
The shooting suspect was described by police as a white male in his 30s. The man’s motive is unknown at this time.
Odessa-based Medical Center Health System CEO Russell Tippin said 14 of the injured are currently at the hospital. “This is a scary incident and nobody is guaranteed tomorrow,” Tippin said, urging people to pray for the community.
The hospital is on lockdown for the safety of staff, Tippin said. Grief counselors and social workers are being made available to families.
The ATF and FBI are deploying teams to the area. Attorney General William Barr says he is monitoring the situation.
In a tweet on Saturday evening, Ector County ISD officials confirmed a student from within the district was among the five people killed in the shooting.
We are heartbroken and outraged by the violence that struck our community and our school district today. We are learning that we have lost friends, family members, as well as one of our students. Our lives have been changed forever…— Ector County ISD (@EctorCountyISD) September 1, 2019
“Gov. Greg Abbott said he and the first lady offered their “unwavering support” to the victims and their families.
“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,” he said in a statement. His office said he would be traveling to Odessa on Sunday.
In a tweet Saturday evening, Ector County ISD confirmed a student at the district was among one of the 5 people killed in the shooting.
This is a developing story.
Odessa Police Department 6 p.m. press conference video