ODESSA, Texas (KXAN) — Police said at least five people are dead and at least 21 are injured after an active shooter situation on Saturday afternoon. Law enforcement explained that the shooting incident started with a traffic stop in Midland and then traveled westward to Odessa.
A 17-month-old is among the victims injured in the shooting and will be taken to University Medical Center in Lubbock. UMC tells KXAN that this 17-month-old girl is in satisfactory condition as of 9 p.m. Saturday. Odessa Police explained that one DPS trooper from Midland County, one Midland Police officer, and one Odessa Police officer were struck in the gunfire.
“What a horrific day for Odessa, Ector County, Midland, Midland County,” said Odessa Police Chief Mike Gerke in a press conference Saturday.
Gerke explained that everything started at around 3:17 p.m. Saturday afternoon when a Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper attempted to perform a traffic stop on a gold Honda vehicle.
When the trooper got the car stopped, the person inside the car shot the trooper, police told the press. The car then continued westbound into the city of Odessa and the occupant of the car shot a person off of I-20. The person in the gold Honda continued and drove onto the East Loop to 42nd Street where police say there were multiple incidents with multiple victims.
Police said at some point, the person inside the gold Honda ditched his car and stole a USPS mail truck, hurting more people in the process.
Once in the USPS truck, the person firing a weapon went east toward a local movie theater. The person in the USPS truck was contacted by Odessa Police, Midland Police, DPS, and other agencies, police said.
“An exchange of gunfire happened and that subject is deceased at that location,” Gerke said.
Midland Police confirmed a suspect in his 30s was shot and killed at Cinergy, a movie theater with other arcade type games. Police have an idea of who the suspect is but are waiting on sharing details until they are absolutely sure of his identity.
“This was a joint effort by a multitude of our departments to find this animal and bring him to justice,” Gerke said.
Officials said in a post on Facebook as the situation was unfolding on Saturday that they initially believed there were two suspects, but Gerke explained in the press conference that now they believe it is likely there was only one. Gerke said after the suspect was killed in an exchange of gunfire that there were no more victims.
Gerke said that there have been reports police have received about the possibility of a second suspect, but there have been no confirmations of a second suspect. Initially, he said, there was some confusion over the gold Honda and the USPS truck, but law enforcement have been able to confirm that the same person was driving both.
Officials did not have details yet on the conditions of the injured individuals in area hospitals.
“It’s still so chaotic in the local hospitals that it’s very difficult to get that information,” Gerke said, adding that officials will release a list of victim names once they have it.
“I would tell people to still be cautious to still try to stay in their residences if at all possible,” Gerke said. “We do believe we have the threat contained, but I can’t be 1,000% positive that’s the case at this point.”
Local fire officials explained that the victims have been transported to several area hospitals.
TX-House Rep. Brooks Landgraf, who represents Andrews, Ector, Ward and Winkler Counties tweeted that he’s been in contact with the TX- Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen and Gov, Greg Abbott.
Gov. Abbott also issued a statement. Read it in full below:
“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.”