Five people were killed and 21 others injured in a mass shooting in and around the cities of Odessa and Midland, Texas,on Saturday afternoon (August 31).
Police confirmed that the shooter, a white man in his mid-30s who opened fire, was shot and killed in a gunfight with police at the Cinergy movie theater in Odessa.
The shooter was firing at random from his car, hitting multiple people, including several law enforcement officers and a 17-month-old girl, police said.
The first of the shootings began with a traffic stop by a Texas Department of Public Safety officer just after 3 p.m. local time, authorities said. The officer stopped a gold Honda with a traffic violation, according to police.
But after the vehicle came to a stop, the officer was shot, officials said.
The suspect fled along I-20 toward Odessa, and kept shooting at people in multiple locations, authorities said. When he got to 42nd Street, he struck several more people.
Confirming the shooting, Odessa Police Chief Mike Gerke said that the incident began when the suspect was pulled over for a traffic stop by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper about 3:15 p.m. Central Time. The suspect shot the trooper and fled in a gold-colored Honda.
The traffic stop happened on Interstate 20, the highway that connects Midland and Odessa. At least one other person was shot on I-20, police said.
The El Paso branch of the FBI said that “it is too soon to know motive or the identity of the suspect.”
LIB reported that shocking witness video from the theater shows police confronting the suspect outside of the theater and engaging in a shootout.
“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,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement.
“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,” he added. “We offer our unwavering support to the victims, their families, and all the people of Midland and Odessa.”