At least five people are dead and 21 wounded after a gunman started randomly shooting at motorists along a major thoroughfare in West Texas between the cities of Odessa and Midland.
The shooter, described by law enforcement as a “white male in his mid-thirties” was apprehended in the parking lot of the Cinergy movie complex in Odessa, and died in a shootout with police, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said at a brief press conference.
As of 6:15 p.m. local time, the situation was still chaotic. “This is a very fluid and changing situation,” said Gerke. “Everything I’m telling you is not written in stone.”
Police are investigating earlier reports of a possible second shooter, but said there have been no more casualties since apprehending the first suspect. “We believe that we have the threat contained but can’t be 100 percent positive,” Gerke said.
Among the victims being treated for gunshot injuries was a 17-month old toddler who was shot in the face. Three law enforcement officers were also injured by gunfire.
“A subject, possibly two, is currently driving around Odessa shooting at random people,” Odessa police said in a statement on Facebook at around 5.00 p.m local time. “At this time there are multiple gunshot victims. The suspect just hijacked a U.S. mail carrier truck and was last seen in the area of 38th and Walnut.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement that he’s made plans to travel to Odessa on Sunday.
“The First Lady and I are heartbroken over this senseless and cowardly attack,” Abbott said. “I want to remind all Texans that we will not allow the Lone Star State to be overrun by hatred and violence.”
President Donald Trump said he’s been briefed on the shooting.
The Odessa shooting comes exactly four weeks after a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, left 22 people dead, and a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio left nine dead.
Cover: Odessa and Midland police and sheriff's deputies surround the area behind Cinergy movie theater in Odessa, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, after reports of shootings. (Tim Fischer/Midland Daily News via AP)