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Texas shooting: What we know about the Odessa gun rampage

Texas shooting: What we know about the Odessa gun rampage
Seven people have died and over 20 were shot as a gunman went on a shooting rampage in the area of Midland and Odessa, Texas, after an officer attempted to pull his vehicle over for a traffic stop.

How it unfolded

The incident began unraveling at 3:17 pm local time on Saturday, when a state trooper attempted to stop a man driving a gold Honda at the interstate linking Midland to Odessa. The reason the car was stopped in the first place was rather innocuous – the driver had failed to signal a left turn, according to police, as cited by AP.

As the Department of Public Safety (DPS) unit pulled the car over, the driver opened fire from the rear window, injuring one trooper, and proceeded moving towards Odessa while shooting at motorists at random.

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At one point, the gunman decided to switch gears, and hijacked a postal van from which he continued his shooting spree, sparking a chase. It all came to a showdown between the attacker and police near the Cinergy movie theater at the Music City Mall in Odessa. Videos filmed by witnesses at the scene show the attacker’s truck mounting a curb and police shooting at the suspect. The arrival of police as they engaged the suspect triggered panic among cinema-goes and shoppers, who fled in disarray, leaving shoes and other personal items behind.

Police later confirmed that the attacker was killed on the spot.

The gunman

Little is known about the identity of the gunman and his motives. Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke told a news conference that the suspect had been identified as a white male in his mid-30s. While police said that they “have an idea” about the identity of the shooter, they refused to release more details until they double-check the information.

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As reports about the carnage started coming in, there was some confusion as to the number of attackers, with police initially saying there were two cars with two suspects. However, police later confirmed that there was only one gunman, who switched cars.

The victims

At least 21 civilians suffered gunshot wounds in the rampage, and three law enforcement officers, a DPS trooper in Midland County, a Midland PD officer and an Odessa PD officer, were injured. Seven people were killed and twenty four injured. 

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