UPDATE: Officials now say the death toll from the shooting is at 7, with Odessa police spokesman Steve LeSueur telling media that at least one other person is in “life-threatening” condition. The gunman from the carnage was killed, but officials haven’t said whether that is included in the death count. No motive has been established for the gunman, who has been identified so far as merely a white male in his 30s.
Officials have also confirmed that there was only one shooter. Earlier reports in the chaos of the scene indicated possibly two shooters traveling in separate vehicles.
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The violence started with a traffic stop, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said during a news conference.
The gunman fled and was cornered by law enforcement outside Cinergy Midland, a popular entertainment complex that includes a movie theater and bowling alley.
In an interview with CNN, Midland Mayor Jerry Morales said the gunman was pulled over by a Department of Public Safety officer on a highway. Instead of complying with the officer’s instructions, the man opened fire.
“He shot the officer and then took off and started shooting randomly,” Morales said. “Everything happened after that.”
At some point, the gunman hijacked a U.S. Postal Service vehicle and began firing at people. After engaging with officers at Cinergy Midland, the suspect was killed. At least three officers were among the injured, however, the nature of their injuries was unclear.
Chief Gerke declined to identify the gunman, and would only say he was a white male in his thirties. The motive for his killing rampage was not known.
When the shooting first unfolded, police said they believed two gunmen were involved. Gerke later told reporters the situation was “chaotic,” and he could not confirm that more than one gunman was involved.
In a post on Twitter, President Trump said he was monitoring the situation.
“Just briefed by Attorney General Barr about the shootings in Texas. FBI and Law Enforcement is fully engaged,” Trump tweeted.