WORLD At least five killed in Texas shooting

WORLD

At least five killed in Texas shooting

AFP

19:11, September 01, 2019

At least five people, including the gunman, were killed and 21 others injured in a shooting in western Texas on Saturday.

"We have at least 21 victims, 21 shooting victims and at least five deceased at this point in time," a public affairs officer for Odessa police told reporters.

A child under the age of two, three officers were among the injured, and seven of the wounded are in critical condition, according to hospital sources.

Police said the suspect opened fire at random while driving around the cities of Odessa and Midland. His motive was not immediately clear.

The gunman, a white male in his mid-30s who has yet to be identified, was among the dead, police said, adding that there is no confirmation of a second suspect.

Police in Odessa had earlier reported that "a subject (possibly 2) is currently driving around Odessa shooting at random people," and the suspect has hijacked a U.S. mail carrier truck.

Some of the shots were fired on the Interstate 20 highway linking Odessa and Midland, where cars were left with bullet holes.

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This handout image obtained courtesy of Ernst Villanueva taken on August 31, 2019 show a car with a bullet hole on the windows after a gunman opened fire in the I-20 highway in between Odessa and Midland, Texas. (Photo: VCG)

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This handout image obtained courtesy of Ernst Villanueva taken on August 31, 2019 show a car with a bullet hole on the windows after a gunman opened fire in the I-20 highway in between Odessa and Midland, Texas. (Photo: VCG)

People are evacuated from Cinergy Odessa cinema following a shooting in Odessa, Texas, U.S. in this still image taken from a social media video, August 31, 2019. /Reuters Photo

People are evacuated from Cinergy Odessa cinema following a shooting in Odessa, Texas, U.S. in this still image taken from a social media video, August 31, 2019. /Reuters Photo

Authorities said the incident happened at around 3:00 p.m. local time when two state troopers pulled over a vehicle on a Midland highway while conducting the traffic stop and the driver started shooting through the rear window of his car with a rifle.

One of the troopers was shot and injured. The suspect then drove away and continued shooting innocent people and two other police officers, Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said.

He later abandoned his vehicle and hijacked a U.S. Postal Service van. The suspect was later shot dead in an exchange of fire with police outside a cinema in Odessa where he continued his "random shooting."

U.S. President Donald Trump said he has been briefed by Attorney General Barr about the shootings and the FBI and Law Enforcement are fully engaged now in the case.

Saturday's shooting comes less than a month after a gunman killed 22 people in the Texas city of El Paso, in which the shooter was targeting Mexicans. 

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