WASHINGTON: The death toll in a chaotic mass shooting in Texas has increased to seven, the local police chief confirmed on Sunday, adding that it could have been much worse if the shooter had not been arrested before entering a courtroom. crowded cinema.
On Sunday, police identified the shooter as a local man named Seth Aaron Ator, 36.
Police said Saturday that five people were killed in the frantic shooting that stretched several miles on the roads between the cities of Midland and Odessa, in the west of the state.
They said Sunday that two more people had died. The dead were between 15 and 57 years old, and the 22 injured included three police officers and a 17-month-old girl who was shot in the mouth but was recovering.
At the end of the wave of gunfire, the assailant, whose police identity said they were not ready to release, died in a shooting with the police outside an Odessa cinema.
Odessa police chief Michael Gerke told reporters on Sunday that he could not be absolutely sure of the suspect’s intention, but then added: “He appeared in a movie theater, which would tend to show his motives.”
Gerke said that on a Saturday afternoon in Odessa, the theater would have been one of the busiest places.
At that time, the chief refused to publicly appoint the shooter so as not to give him notoriety. He said there was “some criminal record attached to his driver’s license,” but no active court orders.
On Sunday afternoon, Odessa police, on their Facebook page, named the shooter as Ator and said he was from Odessa.
Gerke said the shooter used an “AR-type” weapon, an assault-style arm like the one used in several other mass shootings.
Reports say that Ator is a white man in his 30s. The police did not give details, just his name and age.
- Random shooting –
FBI Special Agent Christopher Combs said in the briefing that the authorities did not believe there was any connection to national or international terrorism.
The incident began when soldiers tried to stop a gold-colored passenger vehicle on Interstate 20. Gerke said the driver had not signaled a left turn.
A soldier was injured and the suspect fled, leading police to a wild chase during which he hijacked an American postal truck and opened fire at random.
Less than a month after an armed man killed 22 people in the city of El Paso, Texas, less than 300 miles (480 kilometers) west of Odessa, the latest bloodshed has prompted further requests for measures to stop the American scourge of mass shootings. .