UPDATED Sept. 1, 4:00 p.m. ET: According to the Associated Press, two law enforcement officials have identified the shooter as Seth Ator, who was 36 years old.
See original story from 08/31/2019 below.
Authorities have confirmed at least seven people were killed and at least 21 others injured in a mass shooting Saturday in West Texas.
The Midland Police Department said officers initially believed there were two shooters in separate vehicles—a small "gold/white" Toyota truck and a USPS postal van—in the Odessa and Midland area. Authorities have since announced a suspect was shot and killed at a movie theater in Odessa after exchanging gunfire with police. The suspect's identity has not been revealed, but he is described as a white male in his 30s. There is not an active shooter at this time.
Officers have not said if the shooter was among the five reported fatalities. Three officers were among those injured.
Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke told reporters that a motive has not been determined, but said the incident began at 3:17 p.m. during a traffic stop, when the gunman shot a trooper and hijacked the aforementioned mail carrier vehicle.
"We do believe we have the threat contained but I can’t be 1,000 percent sure of that," Gerke said.
Nearby businesses and hospitals remain on lockdown. Police are urging residents to stay in doors as authorities investigate "reports of possible suspects." Gerke said reports of multiple shooters were "expected because our citizens are a little jumpy after this .... [but] once this individual was taken out of the picture, there have been no more victims."
Other agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are assisting the investigation.
"There are inspectors on the scene and inspectors en route to assist with the investigation," Silvia Torres, a USPS Inspection Service spokeswoman, told CNN.
It was confirmed that 14 victims were being treated at the Medical Center Hospital in Odessa. The victims' conditions are unknown.
Midland Mayor Jerry Morales told The New York Times the suspected gunman was driving around shooting residents at random. Photos of shot-up cars have been shared on social media.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released the following statement:
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. 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.
The shootings occurred just weeks after a gunmen killed 22 people in El Paso, which is located about 300 miles from Midland.
This story will be updated.