UPDATE, Sunday, Sep. 1, 11:03 a.m. PT: The official death toll in the shooting has now risen to seven victims killed, still with almost two dozen more injured. One of the injured victims is reportedly a 17-month-old baby girl who was struck by shrapnel during the event.
The shooter, who Odessa police have confirmed is an unnamed white male in his 30s, is also dead. Apparently, Odessa police shot and killed the suspect outside a movie theater in Odessa. It’s unclear whether he was trying to go into the theater or elsewhere to continue his spree, but regardless, the threat was no longer active as of about 4:30 p.m. local time on Saturday afternoon in west Texas.
According to CNN, apparently the whole thing started with a traffic stop; the suspect shot at authorities when he was pulled over, then sped down the highway spraying bullets at random people in random cars all along the way. So terrifying.
At least 21 people have reportedly been shot in the west Texas towns of Odessa and Midland — and at least five have been killed, apparently — in a mass shooting incident spanning multiple sites across both cities.
Midland Police said on Saturday afternoon that the shooting began at a Home Depot in the city; apparently, a suspect in a gold Toyota began shooting at people from the vehicle there and at a local shopping center.
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Very quickly, authorities apparently followed the suspect, at which point he got out of his car and allegedly fled the scene in a United States Post Office vehicle. It appears he caused terror from there, apparently continuing to shoot people on the highway between Odessa and Midland, though at this point it’s unclear exactly where and how many victims there are beyond the initial reported number here.
At least one state trooper and two other officers were shot as part of the pursuit, as well. The suspect is reportedly said to be a white male in his 30s; he was eventually killed by Odessa police.
Obviously, there are still a lot of moving parts and unknowns here, but above all, we do know this is a major, major tragedy. Twitter updates late into Saturday evening kept the public up to the minute with information about what happened, as you can see (below):
BREAKING: 21 people shot, 5 dead in Odessa, Texas according to police chief.
Incident started at 3:17 pmCT
State trooper attempted to stop gold honda
Trooper was shot; subject fled
Subject ditched car & stole mail truck
Suspect is dead
No confirmation of a 2nd suspect
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) August 31, 2019
And the President himself, Donald Trump, was reportedly briefed early on about what was happening (below):
Just briefed by Attorney General Barr about the shootings in Texas. FBI and Law Enforcement is fully engaged. More to follow.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2019
No word yet on if he’ll be going to west Texas to meet with officials at any point.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has also made his own statement about the shooting (below):
Statement on shooting in Odessa, Texas: pic.twitter.com/3QV5LriVzi
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) August 31, 2019
In a particularly scary moment, a live TV news report at a mall in Odessa showed the terror of journalists and mall-goers having to suddenly evacuate during the chaos (below):
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 31, 2019
Clearly, this is far from the last or most we’ll know about this situation. We will keep you updated through Saturday night and on into Sunday as best we can, and as more information becomes available.
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Odessa and Midland are just miles apart from each other on Interstate 20 in west Texas. The two cities are roughly halfway between Dallas and El Paso.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones in this, yet another senseless, awful, tragic mass shooting. Ugh.
[Image via WENN]
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