At least 24 people were shot dead and five were killed Saturday in a series of shootings in the Midland and Odessa area, Texas, an Odessa city official told Fox News.
Suspect identified by local police only as
Odessa Police Chief Michael Guerke said there were three injured law enforcement officers and at least 21 civilians among the victims. It was unclear whether the death toll included the shooter, nor is it clear whether that number was included among the 21 civilian casualties.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said the outbreak began when two servicemen tried to stop a gold car on Interstate 20 west at 3:13 PM.
"Before the vehicle comes to a complete stop , the male driver (and only a passenger in the vehicle) aimed a shotgun at the rear window of his car and fired several shots at the DPS patrol unit, "the DPS is sad. "The patrol unit was occupied by two servicemen and one was hit by gunfire."
"The suspect fled the scene and continued to shoot at innocent people, including a Midland police officer and an officer from Odessa. but in a stable condition, both other officers are in a stable condition at a local hospital, "said the department.
After the initial shooting, the suspect proceeded west to Odessa and shot another person on Interstate 20 before circling the eastern city
The suspect then drove back east in a stolen mail truck to the movie theater, where various law enforcement agencies were reportedly involved in the stolen mail. Gunfire was exchanged and the suspect was killed.
Gurke declined to name the suspect but stated that he had any idea who the man was.
Odessa Medical Center Hospital stated that she had received 1
Midland Memorial Hospital said it was treating six injured victims. Three of these victims were in critical condition and three were in stable condition.
"I was born and raised here, I don't remember anything like this happening," Midland Mayor Jerry Morales told Fox News. "It's hard to swallow. It's hard to understand. […] It's a lot of learning. It's been very fast."
The murder of the suspect ended in a chaotic afternoon, during which police initially reported that there were two shooters in two separate vehicles. At a news conference Saturday night, Gerke said police believe the suspect, killed in the movie theater, was the only shooter.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (MRF) urged the public to avoid I-20 in Odessa, Midland and Spring, residents of Midland and Odessa were also called to stay inside.
Dustin Fawcett was sitting in his truck at Starbucks in Odessa when he heard at least 6 shots be heard less than 50 yards behind him.
At first he thought it might be a tire inflator, but heard more shots and noticed a white sedan with a broken passenger window. Then he thought, "Oh man, this is a shooting."
Fawcett, 28, an Odessa transportation consultant, "got out to make sure everyone was safe," but found that no one was struck by the shooting nearby. He said that the little girl was bleeding, but she had not been shot and that he realized she had been hit in the face.
Fawcett said authorities responded swiftly, and when police pulled out rifles and waistcoats, he knew "that
President Trump was informed of the shooting and the White House was monitoring the situation, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.
Justice Department spokesman Kerry Kupek tweeted that Attorney General William Bar was monitoring the situation.
"The Attorney General Bar has just been briefed on the Texas shooting. The FBI and law enforcement are fully engaged. More to follow, "Trump later tweeted.
Vice President Mike Pence, speaking shortly before leaving for a trip to Poland, told reporters:" Our hearts are breaking for families who loved people who were injured, these who loved people who lost their lives after the last mass shooting, and the President and I remain absolutely determined to work with the leaders of both parties in Congress to take such steps so that we can turn around and stand up against this outbreak of mass atrocities in our country. " Pence added that Trump has settled down. the federal government in response to the shooting, and that the FBI is already assisting local law enforcement.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbot denied what he called a "senseless and timid attack."
"The state of Texas and the Department of Public Safety are working closely with local law enforcement to provide the resources as needed and to provide justice for this heinous attack," Abbot said in a statement. "Thank you to the first responders who acted swiftly and delightfully under pressure. I want to remind all Texans that we will not allow Lone Star State to be overcome by hatred and violence. We will unite, as always Texans, to respond to this tragedy. "
" I am horrified to see such a senseless act that terrorizes the subtle people of the Permian Basin, "Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement." to stop this evil attack your law enforcement cases and my crime victim team to assist in any way. Please join me and Angela as we pray for comfort for those affected by this violent act. " "Tonight we are one with the whole Midland-Odessa community, especially the victims of this horrific tragedy. I want to thank law enforcement and the first responders for their bravery in an impossible situation," said Senator John Corney, R-Texas. "In the face of indescribable violence, Texans have come together before. We again."
Another Texas senator, Ted Cruz, said he and his wife Heidi were "heartbroken by this heinous attack."
"are grateful to law enforcement officers who heroically risked their lives and acted quickly to stop the shooter and save others. Courage has helped them prevent even more senseless deaths, and we honor their tireless commitment to us protect everyone, "said Cruz. "We Texans are standing together tonight, united against all forms of hatred and violence."
Saturday's shooting came just four weeks after an artillery killer killed 22 people and injured 24 others at a Walmart in El Paso. The suspect in the massacre is reported to have told authorities that he was targeting Mexicans. Earlier this week, Abbot held two meetings with lawmakers on how to prevent major mass shootings in Texas.
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block for a few hours. The lock was removed at about 6:30 pm
Odessa is about 20 miles southwest of Midland. Both cities are more than 300 miles west of Dallas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.