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Sunday, September 01, 2019

West Texas Odessa and Midland area mass shooting leaves 5 dead and 21 wounded

Police said five people died and 21 were injured in West Texas after being shot by a driver in Odessa and the Midland area on Saturday.

Police said the shooter was firing randomly from his car, killing several people, including several law enforcement officers and a 17-month-old girl. At one time he sank his gold Honda, hijacked a US Postal Service vehicle and continued his rampage.

Authorities said the shooter - identified only as a white man in his 30s - was shot and killed in a gun fight with police in the back of a movie theater. Despite earlier reports of a second gunman, police said they had no confirmation that another person was involved.

Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said three officers were shot dead, including Odessa, nearby Midland and a state trooper. Jerke said several law enforcement agencies were involved, including sheriffs and the University of Texas.

George Nieto, 34, said he was at his parents' home in Odessa when he looked out of the window and saw police cars floating near postal trucks.

Then he saw a body lying on the road.

"I didn't hear any gunshot," Nieto said. "I was confused. I thought someone had a fight."

Zindy Galindo said she was going to Walmart with her young son when he believed a car was a Toyota in front of him.

He heard a loud bang and thought it was a tire popping. He noticed that the rear window of a nearby car was shattered, and it struck him in such a way that he might have become a witness to the shooting.

"At that point, I panicked and called my husband," Galindo said.

Nevertheless, he continued to Walmart and sat in the parking lot, taking a nap while waiting for his son.

He saw people running. He said that shots were coming from the same car that he had noticed. He grabbed his son from his car seat and hid it on the floor of his car.

A 17-month-old girl was among several spectators injured on the shooting ramp. The infant was hit in the face with a piece of bullet that knocked her front teeth and pierced her lower lip and tongue, according to the child's teacher, Hayley Wilkerson. Wilkerson said she was in contact with the child's mother.

"The child was blown into Lubbock and is in stable condition," she said.

An unidentified witness told local radio station Cosa that a postman, his letter carrier, was shot in the head during the kidnapping. The witness said that he had gone out to assist the driver but the police asked him to take cover.

Midland Councilman John B. Love said the stampede began when a gunman was pulled over by a public safety law enforcement department official for a traffic stop on Interstate 20. The gunman shot the officer and continued to shoot others before hijacking the postal vehicle.

“Our community is devastated. We are hurting, ”said Love. "It's really really terrible."

It is not clear who prompted the attack, he said.

Authorities declined to comment on whether the shooter was killed by police officers or he took his own life.

Police Chief Gerke credited various law enforcement agencies responsible for ending the violence, saying, "It was a joint effort by several departments to find this animal and bring it to justice."

Texas Government. Greg Abbott said he would travel to Odessa on Sunday to meet with law enforcement officials and the victims' families.

"The first lady and I are heartbroken over this insensitive and cowardly attack, and we offer our unwavering support to the victims, their families, and all of Midland and Odessa," he said. “I thank the first responders who have acted swiftly and commendably under pressure, and I want to remind all Texans that we will not let the Lone Star State recover from hatred and violence. We will unite, as Texans always do, to respond to this tragedy. "

This was the fourth mass shooting in the US in recent weeks.

On July 28, three people were shot and killed at a garlic festival in Gilroy, California.

Then, on August 3, a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, killing 22 people in an attack that investigators say targeted Mexicans.

The next day, nine people died outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio.

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