State Watch

Seven killed, 22 injured in West Texas mass shooting

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Multiple people, including three members of law enforcement, were shot on Saturday at a movie theater and on a highway in West Texas. At least seven people were reportedly killed.

The Midland Police Department wrote initially on Facebook that officers were searching for two suspects along Interstate 20 in Texas. Subsequent reports indicated that only one shooter was involved in the shootings, which occurred in multiple locations after reportedly beginning at a traffic stop along the interstate.

“We believe there are two shooters in two separate vehicles. One suspect is believed to be at the Cinergy [theater] in Midland and the other is believed to be driving on Loop 250 in Midland. The two vehicles in question are: gold/white small Toyota truck and a USPS Postal Van. Please stay away from these areas and stay indoors,” police wrote.

In a second statement later Saturday, Midland police said they were investigating whether a second shooter was active following the death of one suspect at the Cinergy theater. A statement from representatives for Home Depot informed The Hill that reports of a shooting at the chain’s Odessa location were inaccurate.

“It has been confirmed that the active shooter was shot and killed at the Cinergy in Odessa. There is no active shooter at this time. All agencies are investigating reports of possible suspects,” police said.

Midland’s mayor, Jerry Morales, initially told The New York Times that two people were killed in the shooting, adding that the suspect or suspects were firing “at random people.”

“They are shooting at random,” he told the newspaper. “We have two fatalities and up to 20 injuries.”

Those numbers were later updated at a Midland police press conference to include 21 people injured in the shootings and five dead. 

The number of fatalities rose to seven on Sunday morning. Officials later said 22 people were hurt.

Morales also added to the Times that one suspect, who was wounded by police, had been apprehended: “One suspect is in custody. I’m not sure if he is alive.”

Midland police later confirmed that the suspect at the Cinergy movie theater was killed by police.

“It has been confirmed that the active shooter was shot and killed at the Cinergy in Odessa. There is no active shooter at this time. All agencies are investigating reports of possible suspects,” police said.

“A subject (possibly 2) is currently driving around Odessa shooting at random people. At this time there are multiple gunshot victims,” added Odessa police in a previous Facebook post.

“The suspect just hijacked a U.S. mail carrier truck and was last seen in the area of 38th and Walnut. Everyone is encouraged to get off the road and use extreme caution! All law enforcement is currently searching for the suspect and more information will be released as soon as it becomes available,” the post continued.

CBS7 in Odessa reported that as many as 20 shooting victims had been reported, with Midland city officials reporting that a police officer and several others had been shot by one gunman in the westbound lanes of Interstate 20.{mosads}

The vehicles used by the suspect reportedly included a white and gold truck as well as a U.S. Postal Service van.

Multiple federal agencies, including the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, were assisting in the investigation, according to a statement from the Justice Department.

“Attorney General Barr is monitoring the shooting situation in West Texas. @ATFDallas and @FBISanAntonio deploying teams and providing resources. @USAttyBash @TheJusticeDept,” a spokeswoman tweeted.

In a statement Saturday evening, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) wrote that his administration would not “allow the Lone Star State to be overrun with hatred and violence.”

“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,” he said.

President Trump tweeted Saturday evening that he had been briefed on the shooting, adding that more statements would follow on the attack.

Vice President Mike Pence spoke to reporters Saturday evening and conveyed the administration’s condolences to victims of the shooting, and added that Trump was “closely monitoring” the investigation.

“I just spoke to the president and he’s at Camp David and he’s closely monitoring the developments in the investigation in the mass shooting in Odessa. Our hearts go out to all the victims, families who had loved ones lose their lives,” Pence said.

This report was last updated on Sept. 1 at 1:32 p.m.

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