Local TV reporters covering the mass shooting in the United States were twice evacuated from their studios on live TV as the shooter came dangerously close during a stand off with police.

Two anchors from KOSA, a local station run by US Network CBS, were broadcasting breaking news about the mass shooting in Odessa, Texas on Saturday afternoon local time when they were suddenly evacuated from their studio live on air.

A gunman had hijacked a US postal truck and opened fire at random in the US state of Texas Saturday, shooting dead at least five people and wounding many others before dying in the shootout with officers.

The deadly event, which ended with the gunman in a shooting standoff with police, was reportedly sparked by a routine traffic stop.


"There's people running through the mall," reporter Jay Hendricks said as his colleagues, off camera, continually urged him to stop reporting.

"We're not sure why, we need to see what this is," he continued, after being urged to exit to studio.

"Are we gonna go back to programming?" he asked.

"Okay we're gonna leave the set for a minute. We don't know what's going on," he said. "People (are) running through the mall so we need to see what this is."

It turned out the Music City Mall, in Odessa, was being evacuated as police entered into the deadly confrontation with the active shooter outside the Cinergy movie theatre.

Police identified the suspect as a white man in his 30s, but could not yet name him or say why he carried out the attack.

During the evacuation, Hendricks returned to his broadcast, apologising to any viewers who may have been upset by the evacuation.

"We were on the air and folks took off running. We saw officers with guns," he explained.


"Folks are coming back through the mall right now but it is a mess," he continued.

"There is shoes left here on the floor, cups that were overturned."

"Sorry to scare you all, but there were people running through the mall, just so you all know what was happening, there were people running through the mall throwing shoes, leaving everything, and then we saw officers walking through with guns.

"We don't know what started that."

As Hendricks continued reporting on the situation, he suddenly says, "this is still active, I just saw three deputies come by with guns drawn. So we don't know if someone is in here."

Then suddenly he was told to evacuate for a second time.

"Hang on, we've got to disappear," he said, before running off set for a second time.

But Hendricks kept his microphone on and continued reporting on the situation as he was evacuated.

Hendricks has been praised online for his bravery as he continued reported during the evacuation. The native west Texan and award-winning presenter has been a main anchor at CBS7 since 2006.

The attack in west Texas today came less than a month after a gunman killed 22 people in the Texas city of El Paso. The latest bloodshed immediately ignited fresh calls for gun control to stem the US scourge of mass shootings.

Three police officers were injured in the attack, he said.

The Odessa Police Department had earlier reported that a suspect was "driving around Odessa shooting at random people" and "just hijacked a US mail carrier truck."