5 Killed, 21 Injured in West Texas Mass Shooting

Odessa and Midland police and sheriff’s deputies surround the area behind Cinergy movie theater in Odessa, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, after reports of gunfire. Police said there are “multiple gunshot victims” in West Texas after reports of gunfire on Saturday in the area of Midland and Odessa. (Tim Fischer/Midland Reporter-Telegram via AP)

(CN) – Five people were killed and at least 21 were injured, including a 17-month-old baby, in a mass shooting in the area of Odessa and Midland in western Texas on Saturday, less than a month after a mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart.

Three law enforcement officers, including a state trooper are among the injured. The suspect was shot and killed, according to authorities.

Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said at a news conference that the shooting began after the suspect driving a gold Honda was pulled over for a traffic stop at 3:17 p.m. CST. The state trooper who pulled the car over was shot as the alleged shooter fled.

According to police, the suspect then began shooting at people in multiple locations as he drove around the area. The suspect, a white male in his 30s, then ditched the car and stole a mail truck, where he drove it to a local movie theater where multiple law enforcement agencies engaged in a shootout.

“An exchange of gunfire happened and that subject is deceased at that location,” Gerke said.

The suspect was believed to be driving on Interstate 20 in Odessa and Midland. The two cities are roughly 20 miles away from each other.

Russell Tippin, CEO of Odessa-based Medical Center Health System, said 14 victims were admitted to the hospital. A 17-month-old who was shot in the face was airlifted to a hospital in Lubbock.

“Anybody who hears my voice, hold on to your loved ones and pray,” Tippin said to reporters. “Hold on. This is scary. You are not guaranteed tomorrow. Give your thoughts to the victims of this tragic incident.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said state and local law enforcement are working together to “provide resources as needed and deliver justice for this heinous attack.”

“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,” Abbott said in a statement. “We offer our unwavering support to the victims, their families, and all the people of Midland and Odessa.”

President Donald Trump said on Twitter that he was briefed on the shootings.

“FBI and Law Enforcement is fully engaged,” he wrote. “More to follow.”

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