Police in Odessa, Texas, say a gunman armed with an AR-15 style rifle killed seven people and injured 22 others in a shooting rampage that began after a routine traffic stop on Saturday afternoon. Police say the shooter, whose name they released privately to media, acted alone in the shooting. He has a criminal record that includes evading police.
Police are calling the incident a “mobile mass shooting” and say the 36-year-old white male shooter went on a rampage after he shot a DPS trooper. He drove to 15 separate crime scenes before his arrival at the Cinergy movie theater. Police shot and killed the man after he crashed into a police vehicle and shot a Midland police officer and an Odessa police officer. Some of the shooting locations include a Home Depot, a Freedom Buick-GMC dealership, and a Twin Peaks restaurant.
Update 4:05 p.m.: A KHOU CBS11 Houston news crew traveled overnight to the Midland-Odessa area and captured video showing the search of the home and vehicles allegedly belonging to Saturday’s shooter.
Update 3:50 p.m.: Investigators into the Midland-Odessa shooters background report the alleged shooter has no known connections to any terrorist organizations. Officials still report no known motive for the shootings, KWTX reports.
Hospital officials report one victim remains in critical condition. Two others are in serious condition and 9 others are listed as fair, YourBasin.com reports.
UPDATE 3:10 p.m.: YourBasin.com reports that a neighbor of the alleged shooter called police at about 4 a.m. on Friday after hearing gunfire in the area.
The local news organization sent a helicopter crew to fly the route driven by the shooter on Saturday. The route ends at the Cinergy movie theater parking lot where police shot and killed the alleged shooter.
UPDATE 2:35 p.m.: Multiple media outlets are reporting the identity of a man believed to be the Midland-Odessa shooter. The 36-year-old white man identified by media outlets reportedly has a criminal history that includes arrests for criminal trespass and evading police in 2001 — both misdemeanor offenses, public records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed. He reportedly pleaded guilty to the evading charge and received deferred adjudication.
YourBasin.com reported they received the shooter’s identity from police officials about an hour after the press conference. The Odessa police chief said during the press conference that he would not publicly release the name to avoid notoriety for the shooter.
UPDATE 2:20 p.m.: FBI agents and local law enforcement officials are executing a search warrant at a home alleged to be that of the shooter.
UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Local resident David Dempsey told YourBasin.com the shooter wounded his wife, Glenda, by shooting three times through her car. He says she was just on her way home from McDonald’s when the gunfire erupted.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott is now at an Odessa hospital visiting shooting victims from Saturday’s rampage.
UPDATE 1:00 p.m.: Officials released a recording of police radio audio from Saturday’s shooting.
Another video published on Saturday shows a young woman outside the Cinergy theater. She can be heard screaming and crying while heavy gunfire goes on nearby.
MORE #VIDEO: Innocent bystanders at the Cinergy theater in #Odessa hit the ground as gunshots are heard as police engage the #activeshooter and ultimately kill him.#breaking #TexasShooting #OdessaShooting #MidlandShooting #breakingnews #MassShooting #Texas #TexasMassShooting pic.twitter.com/wGWvwSzkQP
— Chris (@NewButNotABot) September 1, 2019
UPDATE 12:15 p.m.: Live coverage of press conference from Odessa, Texas, in the aftermath of Saturday’s shooting rampage.
Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke told reporters that what began as a routine traffic stop turned into a rampage that left seven people dead plus the shooter. Twenty-two others were injured during the shooting that involved multiple crime scenes.
“This was a different kind of active shooter situations because he was mobile,” the chief explained. “This presented unique challenges.”
The chief said the deceased ranged in age from 15 years to 57.
“Lift up your hearts and send us your prayers,” the chief stated.
Chief Gerke said he will not use the shooter’s name publically as to not “give him notoriety.” He said they do not have a definitive motive at this time but they are confident that the gunman acted alone.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott told local residents, “We want the people of the Permian Basin to know that all of Texas stands with you.” The governor continued saying, “Words alone are inadequate. Words must be met by action.”
The governor explained he has signed fifteen new laws relating to mass shootings.
The director of the DPS region said this is his second active shooter investigation this month. He expressed gratitude that the trooper who was shot will survive and fully recover. He said the trooper faces multiple surgeries and rehabilitation.
Chief Gerke said he believes the shooter went to the Cinergy theater to carry out additional shootings. “Why else would he go to the theater?”
“Saturday in Odessa is one of the most crowded places to be,” the chief explained. He said law enforcement likely saved multiple lives by stopping the shooter before he could enter the theater.
Officials said the shooter used an AR-15 style rifle. They said there is some criminal history attached to the shooter’s license. He had no active warrants. The suspect has a local address, the chief explained.
Chief Gerke said they are processing 15 crime scenes in connection to the shooting.
The chief said they had a good idea who the shooter was when they shot him on Saturday afternoon. He said they wanted a “stone cold” identification on the suspect before any information was released.
The chief explained the confusion on Saturday about the number of shooters. He said that it appeared to be a multi-shooter incident because the shooter changed vehicles and continued shooting from the second vehicle. He reiterated that they are confident the shooter acted alone.
UPDATE 9:30 a.m.: What we know…
- Two Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers attempted to stop a gold Honda for a traffic violation on Interstate Highway 20 near mile marker 131 at about 3 p.m. on Saturday.
- Before stopping for the troopers, the driver reportedly pointed a rifle toward his rear window striking the patrol vehicle and one of the troopers.
- The shooter then fled the scene and began randomly shooting at people on the highway and city surface streets.
- The shooter stole a USPS mail delivery van and dumped the Honda. He reportedly shot the USPS driver.
- The shooter continued his rampage before being cornered by multiple police officers at the rear of the Cinergy movie theater in Odessa.
- Gunfire erupted at the Cinergy leaving the shooter dead and a Midland police officer and an Odessa police officer wounded.
- By Sunday morning, the death toll rose to eight people, including the shooter. One person died Sunday morning in Midland. The shooting rampage left nearly 20 people injured.
- Police have not yet identified the shooter or released any information about his motivation.
UPDATE 8:45 a.m. Sunday: The death toll in Saturday’s shooting rampage in Midland-Odessa climbed to eight overnight, NewsWest9 reports. This includes the shooter and a person who died Sunday morning at Midland Memorial Hospital.
According to the city of Odessa:
•8 confirmed deaths now
-3 in Midland
-5 in Odessa
This includes the shooter and the victim who was pronounced deceased this morning at Midland Memorial. #OdessaShooting
— Tate A. Owen (@TateO_News9) September 1, 2019
UPDATE 8:45 p.m.: CBS7 reports that 40 shots were fired during the engagement with the shooter at Cinergy.
UPDATE 8:40 p.m.: A video posted by @Ryan_Itsyaboi on Twitter shows people fleeing from the cinema as shots were being fired at the shooting suspect.
Can you imagine watching a movie at the theater and then running for your life because someone came in and started shooting random people. Absolutely insane world we live in. #Odessa Texas #Activeshooter pic.twitter.com/AyuNrNsypb
— Gnome Army (@ryan_itsyaboi) August 31, 2019
UPDATE 8:25 p.m.: The Texas Department of Public Safety is saying that the trooper shot in today’s initial traffic stop is in serious but stable condition. A second trooper was in the vehicle but was not injured. The other two wounded officers are said to be in stable condition.
During the attempt by the trooper to conduct a traffic stop on the suspect, the driver slowed but did not stop. The suspect, the only person in the vehicle, pointed a rifle toward the rear window in his Honda and opened fire — striking the DPS patrol vehicle and one of the troopers, the statement reported.
UPDATE 8:00 p.m.: KENS5 reporter Audrey Castoreno tweeted a photo she says is of the baby that was shot in Odessa. She said she was a member of the Junior League with the baby’s mother. She said the baby is expected to survive having been struck by a bullet fragment.
Over $20, 000 already raised for the baby shot. Just goes to show how big the hearts of #westx folks are. I was a member of the Odessa #juniorleague with her mom. We are hearing the baby will survive. Bullet fragment that hit her. #kens5eyewitness
— Audrey Castoreno (@AudreyKENS5) September 1, 2019
UPDATE 7:50 p.m.: Odessa College reports gunfire near the campus at 7:10 p.m. when an automobile “rammed an ECISD Police Department car near campus.” Gunfire was reported immediately after the crash. “The suspect has been detained and there is no ongoing threat to the campus or the community,” college officials stated. Odessa College officials told Breitbart Texas they cannot say if this incident is related to the ongoing Midland-Odessa shooting earlier in the day.
Timely Warning: report of gunfire near campus pic.twitter.com/ESdYHMZTbV
— Odessa College (@OdessaCollege) September 1, 2019
UPDATE 7:45 p.m.: Hospital officials corrected their earlier statement and said they treated 13 people, not 14. Two people were treated and released, seven are in critical condition but have already made it through surgery, two are in serious condition, one person died, and one pediatric patient was transferred to a Lubbock hospital.
UPDATE 7:20 p.m.: A video posted on Facebook by Julie Vicknair shows a police vehicle crashing into a barrier as it attempts to stop the stolen USPS van. Shortly after, police shoot and kill the suspect in the Midland-Odessa Shooting.
The video has since been removed.
UPDATE 7:00 p.m.: YourBasin.com reports that the shooter stopped a mail truck, shot the driver, and then stole his truck in an attempt to flee.
UPDATE 6:45 p.m.: A video shot by Alex Woods and posted on Facebook appears to show police engaging the shooter near the Cenergy cinema complex. Multiple gunshots can be heard.
UPDATE 6:32 p.m.: YourBasin.com reports that a 17-month-old baby is among the injured. The baby has been airlifted to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas.
Hospital officials report 14 people are being treated at MCH Hospital in Odessa.
UPDATE 6:00 p.m.: Press Conference with Odessa Police Department – Chief Michael Gerke.
The situation began at 3:17 when a DPS trooper pulled over a gold Honda. The driver reportedly shot the trooper and drove away firing at multiple people. There were multiple scenes and multiple victims. The suspect then allegedly stole the mail truck and drove to the Cinergy movie theater complex. Police engaged the suspect and shot and killed him. At least 21 shooting victims and five people dead, the Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said.
The suspect is reported to be a white male in his mid-thirties. Once this person was taken out of the picture there have been no further victims, the chief said. The chief explained they initially thought there were multiple shooters because of the multiple vehicles involved and the multiple shooting scenes.
One Midland police officer, one Odessa police officer, and one DPS trooper were shot.
The chief did not say what type of firearm was used in the shooting.
Midland/Odessa, Texas Shooting:
5 people dead
21 shooting victims
Suspected shooter shot and killed pic.twitter.com/Adh9Ly8AWL
— Lindsey Mastis (@LindseyMastis) August 31, 2019
UPDATE 5:55 p.m.: YourBasin.com reports one suspect has been shot and killed and a second suspect is in custody.
UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: Midland police report the active shooter was shot and killed at the Cinergy in Odessa. There are no active shooters at this time.
Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement on the shooting.
“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,” Governor Abbott said in a written statement provided to Breitbart Texas. “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.”
UPDATE 5:40 p.m.: YourBasin.com now reports there is no longer an active shooter situation. They report there are two suspects, three police officers shot, and multiple civilians shot. The shootings appeared to have occurred in both Midland and Odessa by two shooters.
UPDATE 5:35 p.m.: YourBasin.com reports three Midland police officers may have been shot. The conditions of the officers have not been reported. A police press conference is expected to begin shortly.
Twitter user @ErnestVillanu13 tweeted photos of two vehicles he claims were shot during the I-20 shooting incident.
The shooter is going around shooting moving vehicles. Stay off I-20 between Odessa and Midland. pic.twitter.com/IeQ4oBF1nP
— Ernest Villanueva (@ErnestVillanu13) August 31, 2019
UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: NBC News reports one person dead and many injured in the Midland-Odessa shooting.
It’s still unclear if there is more than 1 shooter — there may be, but unclear.
— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) August 31, 2019
ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS:
Media outlets in the Midland-Odessa region report that as many as two shooters in two separate incidents may have shot as many as 20 people. The City of Odessa reports 20 injuries in connection to one of the alleged shootings, CBS7 reports. The local news outlet reports one suspect may be in custody at Cinergy of Midland.
The local CBS affiliate reports that Midland, Texas, officials believe there are two shooters who are firing from multiple vehicles. Police are looking for a gold/white small Toyota truck and a USPS Postal Van. A second suspect is believed to be at the Cinergy in Midland, officials stated.
Midland officials also report that a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper may have been shot in the westbound lanes of I-20. The suspect allegedly shot several people after shooting the trooper, the local CBS station reports.
One of the shootings may be connected to the alleged hijacking of a U.S. Mail truck, YourBasin.com reports. The mail truck was last seen in Odessa, Texas , near 38th and Walnut Streets.
Officials at the University of Texas Permian Basin campus placed the campus on lockdown, KWTX/KOSA reports.
DPS officials urge the public to stay clear of I-20 in Odessa, Midland, and Big Spring as police search for a suspect who shot multiple people including an officer, CBS7 reported.
Editor’s Note: This is a developing story and will be updated as additional information becomes available.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face