Multiple people shot in Odessa, police say gunman hijacked mail

At least five dead, 20 wounded in Odessa mass shooting; gunman killed

Updated:
One of the shooting scenes, photo from KWES Midland/Odessa One of the shooting scenes, photo from KWES Midland/Odessa

Midland police say a suspect in a mass shooting in Odessa has been killed. At least five victims were killed, 20 others wounded. This includes a 17-month-old, who was air-lifted to UMC in Lubbock. 

A motive was not immediately disclosed. It appears this began with a traffic stop, when the gunman shot a state trooper.

Odessa and Midland were effectively under a lockdown while the suspect was sought, because, police say, the gunman hijacked a mail truck and was driving to different locations.

Police say the dead suspect was a white man in his 30s.

Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said that at least three law enforcement officers were among those shot.

He spoke after a chaotic afternoon during which police reported that a suspect hijacked a U.S. Postal Service vehicle and began firing at random in the area of Odessa and Midland, hitting multiple people. Police initially reported that there could be more than one shooter, but Gerke says authorities now believe it was one shooter.

Gerke says he believes the threat is over but authorities remain vigilant.

Information from KWES, FOX News and the Associated Press are included in this story.

 

Governor's statement

Governor Abbott issued this statement:

“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,” said Governor Abbott. “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.”

 

Senator Cruz's statement

“Heidi and I are heartbroken by this heinous attack, and we are lifting up in prayer all the victims, their families, and the entire Midland-Odessa community. We are thankful for the law enforcement officers who heroically risked their lives and acted swiftly to stop the shooter and save others. Their courage helped prevent even more senseless deaths, and we honor their tireless commitment to protecting us all. We Texans are standing together tonight united against all forms of hatred and violence.”

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