Five people were killed and at least 21 people injured in an active shooting on Saturday afternoon in the Midland-Odessa area in the U.S. state of Texas, local police said on Saturday.
According to Odessa Police Department, one shooter — a white male in his mid-30s — was among the dead and “the threat has been contained.”
The police did not name the shooter or mention his motive.
The shooting started on Saturday afternoon in Midland when a Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) trooper attempted to stop a Honda. When the trooper pulled over the car, “he was shot by the occupant of the car,” Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke told a press conference.
The vehicle continued westbound into the city of Odessa, and the driver shot random individuals.The suspect then ditched the vehicle he was using and “stole a mail truck and there were more victims after that,” Gerke said.
Odessa Police Department earlier issued an alert on the active shooting via Facebook, saying “at this time there are multiple gunshot victims. The suspect just hijacked a U.S. mail carrier truck.” It also urged people to get off the road and “use extreme caution.”
The shooter was encountered by and exchanged fire with law enforcement officers including those from Odessa, Midland police and TxDPS near a local movie theater named Cinergy, and “deceased at that location,” Gerke said.
Three of the injured were law enforcement officers — a state trooper, an Odessa police officer, and a Midland police officer, Gerke said.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday afternoon tweeted that he was just “briefed by Attorney General Barr about the shootings in Texas,” and the “FBI and Law Enforcement is fully engaged.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement that he and his wife “are heartbroken over this senseless and cowardly attack,” and they will go to Odessa on Sunday morning.
Texas underwent one of the state’s deadliest shootings less than one month ago. On Aug. 3, a 21-year-old gunman opened fire at a shopping center in El Paso, killing 22 people and injuring at least two dozen.
Located in West Texas, the Midland-Odessa is a metropolitan area with a population of around 240,000. The economy of the area is heavily dependent on the petroleum industry.Odessa is a city in western Texas, about 30 km southwest of Midland. Located in the Permian Basin, it is an oil industry center.