Published: Tue, September 03, 2019
Medical | By Mark Scott

Police identify Texas gunman in attack that left 7 dead

Police identify Texas gunman in attack that left 7 dead

After failing to use his signal, the shooter was pulled over by Texas troopers in Midland on Saturday afternoon.

Law enforcement officials process the crime scene September 1, 2019, in Odessa, Texas, from Saturday's shooting which ended with the alleged shooter being shot dead by police in a stolen mail van, right.

From inside his vehicle the driver opened fire, hitting a state trooper, and sped off. The New York Times and Washington Post have reported that Ator lost his job on the day of the attack, citing unnamed officials. At one point of the chase, the gunman switched cars, hijacking a postal van and killing a female mail carrier's driver. He continued shooting at bystanders before making his way to a local movie theater. "All law enforcement is now searching for the suspect and more information will be released as soon as it becomes available".

"I believe that is when the shooter was killed", he added.

Authorities have not publicly identified the seven deceased victims, but Gerke said Sunday they ranged in age from 15 to 57.

Among the dead was Grandos, who various news media reported was at the end of her shift and on the telephone with her twin sister Rosie Grandos. She said she heard three more shots as she sped away. "I tried calling her name and she wouldn't answer", she said.

"It was very chaotic", Morales said by telephone.

The girl is in satisfactory condition at the University Medical Center in Lubbock, hospital officials said.

The agency has conducted a study on all active shooters - who they define as "an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area" - between 2000 and 2018 and found the numbers keep increasing. "They rammed his auto, stopped him and when he got out, they shot him", he said. All are in stable condition.

Some of the shots were fired on the highway linking the cities of Odessa and Midland, where cars were left with bullet holes.

The shooter has been identified as a 36-year-old local man named Seth Aaron Ator, police said.

Combs said his agency responds to Texas frequently, adding the Federal Bureau of Investigation is "here now nearly every other week supporting our local and state partners on active shooters".

In 2001, the Odessa gunman was arrested on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and evading arrest.

The FBI searched a rural property in West Odessa believed to be connected to the shooter, according to a law enforcement official.

Gerke didn't name the gunman at the press conference Sunday, saying, "I refuse to". He's been described as a white male in his mid 30's though his name has not been released.

He said the suspect used a rifle to shoot the Texas Department of Public Safety officer who had stopped his vehicle, but did not know any more details about the weapon. Authorities are still investigating how he obtained the firearm. Earlier reports in the chaos of the scene indicated possibly two shooters traveling in separate vehicles.

"Law enforcement at that point had collectively taken efforts to surround him, and he was not going to go anywhere, and he was not going to hurt anybody else", Nodolf said.

Like this: