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Midland-Odessa shooter identified; Gov. Abbott calls for action

We now know the identity of the man police say killed 7 people and wounded 22 more.

Authorities have released the name of the man responsible for Saturday's shootings in the Permian Basin.

Two law enforcement officials confirmed to the Associated Press that the shooter's name is Seth Ator.

Credit: DPS

A seventh victim has died Sunday morning in what police have called a random act of violence that started with a traffic stop in Midland Saturday.

A statement from City of Odessa Director of Communications Devin Sanchez said, "There are 8 confirmed deaths now (3 in Midland and 5 in Odessa). This includes the shooter and the victim who was pronounced deceased this morning at Midland Memorial."

A statement from Trevor Tankersley, public relations for MMCH, said, "We’ve seen a total of 14 patients related to shooting. 1 remains in critical. 3 are in serious. 7 are in fair. 1 treated and released. 1 pediatric patient flown to Lubbock and 1 deceased."

The identities of the victims have not been officially released by authorities as of Sunday morning.

At a Sunday press conference, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said there was a total of 22 people injured, including three law enforcement officers. Of the seven killed, Gerke said their ages ranged from 15-57.

At the press conference, authorities said the gun used to shoot victims was an AR-type gun. 

Gerke said the shooter's name would not be released during the press conference, but he is confident that the shooter acted alone. So far, law enforcement has discovered no motives and no reasoning for the shootings.

The investigation is ongoing and fluid, as Gerke said there are multiple crime scenes to investigate.

Gov. Greg Abbott said he will work with legislators to find a solution for situations such as Saturday's shootings.

"Words are inadequate," he said. "Words must be met by actions."

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How the shooting unfolded

Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said the mayhem in the West Texas cities began around 3:15 p.m., when a state trooper was shot by a driver during a traffic stop. 

Two troopers had tried to pull over the driver before he shot at them with a rifle, hitting one of them and then fleeing the scene.

The gunman drove from the traffic stop into Odessa and shot multiple people at different locations, Gerke said. At some point, the shooter hijacked a U.S. Postal Service vehicle and ditched the car, the chief said. Gerke did not know the postal employee’s condition.

He said officers from his department, Midland’s, state police and likely other agencies cornered the gunman near Cinergy movie theater in Odessa and traded gunshots with him before he was killed. He didn’t give the shooter’s name because police had not confirmed his identity but said he had an idea of who he was and won’t release more details until they’re positive. 

The Public Safety Department said in a statement that the troopers were trying to stop the car on Interstate 20 when the driver, the only person in the car, pointed the rifle toward the back window of his car and fired several shots at their patrol vehicle, striking one trooper. The statement said the trooper, Midland and Odessa officers shot are hospitalized in stable condition. The state referred people seeking further information to the Odessa Police Department, which Gerke said had been receiving multiple calls about shooters. 

"We've had calls, which is to be expected because obviously our citizens are a little jumpy after this, which is also to be expected," the chief told the press conference. "But once this individual was taken out of the picture, there have been no more victims."

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