Authorities cordon off a part of the sidewalk in Odessa, Texas. Picture: Mark Rogers/Odessa American via AP
Authorities cordon off a part of the sidewalk in Odessa, Texas. Picture: Mark Rogers/Odessa American via AP

Gunman in deadly Texas rampage was 'white male in his 30s'

By Reuters Time of article published Sep 1, 2019

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Texas - The death toll in Saturday's gun rampage in West Texas rose to seven on Sunday, local media reported, and police said they would hold a news conference later after the second mass shooting to rock the state in less than a month.

Police had earlier said five people, including the gunman, were killed in the shooting that began with a traffic stop and ended when the suspect was cornered by officers in the parking lot of a cinema complex in Odessa, Texas.

Authorities have not named the victims or the gunman, but said on Saturday that he was a white male in his 30s who was known to police. They said 21 people were wounded.

Among them was a 17-month-old girl, Anderson Davis, who was shot in the face, according to an online fundraising campaign set up by her family.

Three police officers were shot and wounded - one from Midland, one from Odessa and a Department of Public Safety state trooper - and were listed in stable condition.

The rampage came after a gunman killed 22 people in another Saturday shooting on August 3 at a Walmart store about 255 miles (410 km) west of Midland in the city of El Paso, Texas.

President Donald Trump called the Odessa-Midland shooter "a very sick person," but said background checks on gun buyers would not have prevented recent U.S. gun violence.

In remarks to reporters on Sunday, Trump said he would be working with Democrats and Republicans on gun legislation when Congress returns this month. "I think you're going to see some interesting things coming along," Trump said.

This weekend's bloodshed between the cities of Midland and Odessa began on Saturday afternoon when two state troopers pulled over a car on Interstate 20 and the lone occupant fired at their patrol vehicle with a rifle, wounding one of them.

After fleeing, the suspect hijacked a postal van and opened fire on police officers, motorists and shoppers on a busy Labor Day holiday weekend before being shot dead outside the Cinergy cinema complex in Odessa, police said.

Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said at a news conference on Saturday that the suspect was known to him, but he declined to comment on a motive for the shootings.

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