The cities of Odessa and Midland grieved and searched for answers after a shooter killed at least seven people and wounded 22 more as he drove through West Texas roads on Saturday.

Troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety attempted to stop a gold sedan on Interstate 20, between the cities of Odessa and Midland, at 3.15pm local time, for a "routine" traffic violation.

The driver fired an "AR-style" rifle at the troopers and struck one of them, the Washington Post reported Saturday, citing police. The gunman fled and drove west on the highway while shooting at pedestrians and motorists.

Officers said they are still collecting evidence from at least 15 crime scenes.

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The shooter hijacked a US Postal Service van in Odessa and continued to fire, driving through the city. He injured at least three police officers. At the Cinergy movie theatre in Odessa, police exchanged gunfire with the shooter, who Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said was a white man in his 30s, killing him.

Local, state and federal officials are investigating. Officials declined to identify the shooter, though they said he had a criminal record and an Ector County address. They said they are still investigating his motivations.

"I am not naming the subject," Gerke said at a news conference held at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin on Sunday. "I refuse to. I am not going to give him any notoriety."

At a press conference Sunday afternoon, officials said the dead ranged in age from 15 years old to 57. Among those injured was a 17-month-old child named Anderson Davis.

Anderson Davis, 17 months old, was hit in the face and chest by a bullet fragments during the Odessa shooting. Photo / GoFundMe
Anderson Davis, 17 months old, was hit in the face and chest by a bullet fragments during the Odessa shooting. Photo / GoFundMe

Davis was hit by shrapnel in her right chest. Family members say the shooting tore a hole through her bottom lip and tongue and her front teeth were knocked out. The baby is in stable condition, according to Hailey Wilkerson, a friend of the family. Wilkerson spoke to Davis' mother last night, and says "she was still in shock."

"They're an amazing family, you don't ever think something like this will happen to somebody you know personally," Wilkerson said. "All they want was for their baby to be better."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise money for her medical costs.

The page has so far raised more than $135,000.

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Several of the victims are still being treated at local hospitals. The Odessa Regional Medical Center treated five people. Three have been discharged, and two remain in critical but stable condition, said Madison Tate, a spokeswoman for the hospital.

A city of Odessa police car, left, and a US mail vehicle which were involved in Saturday's shooting. Photo / AP
A city of Odessa police car, left, and a US mail vehicle which were involved in Saturday's shooting. Photo / AP

The acting US homeland security secretary called the shooting "extraordinarily concerning" and describes it and other recent mass shootings as a "homeland security threat".

Kevin McAleenan told ABC's This Week that Homeland Security Department officials will be "following up aggressively" on the West Teas shooting but didn't want to jump to any conclusions about the causes or motive.

When asked if recent mass shootings should be considered a homeland security threat, McAleenan said: "They are absolutely a homeland security threat."

The Associated Press mass murder database also shows that depending on whether the suspect killed is included among the seven people dead, the total mass killing victims so far this year in the US either equals all of last year at 140 or falls one short at 139.

The shooting comes within a month of the shocking El Paso shooting, which was the most deadly mass shooting in Texas' state history.

On August 3, a gunman, 21, opened fire inside a Walmart, killing 22 people and injuring 24.

Residents of Odessa and Midland spent much of Saturday afternoon on lockdown, waiting for news. Even after officials announced the shooter had been killed, they stayed in on Saturday night. The streets were quiet, and many restaurants were closed. Local delivery drivers were sent home. Many open stores were drive-thru only, and the employees remained locked safely inside until their shifts ended.

This was Texas' second mass shooting in August. A gunman killed 22 people and injured dozens in a massacre at a Walmart in El Paso on the morning of August 3.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott made reference to El Paso, along with a string of other mass shootings that have rocked the state in recent years. In 2017, 26 people were killed by a mass shooter at a baptist church in Southerland, Texas. It was the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history. He also referenced a school shooting in Santa Fe and a 2016 shooting of police officers in Dallas.


Christopher Combs, a special agent in charge of the FBI's San Antonio Division, said nearly 200 federal agents are on the ground in the area, assisting local officials.

He said they would stay as long as they were needed and then, "we will then get ready to go to the next active shooter."

"Which is an unfortunate statement to make," he added. "But it seems like that's what we do. We respond to one after another of these horrible events."

Odessa and Midland police and sheriff's deputies surround a white van in Odessa, Texas after reports of gunfire. Seven people were killed and dozens injured following a shooting rampage. Photo / AP
Odessa and Midland police and sheriff's deputies surround a white van in Odessa, Texas after reports of gunfire. Seven people were killed and dozens injured following a shooting rampage. Photo / AP

"The status quo in Texas is unacceptable," he said Sunday. "Action is needed."

Texan Democrat and presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke unleashed at US President Donald Trump's inaction on gun reform following the mass shooting.

"We don't know the motivation, we don't know the firearms that were used, or how they acquired them, O'Rourke, a Texan and former Congressman, told a crowd listening to him in Fairfax Station, Virginia following the shooting. O'Rourke then used an expletive.

"There is no reason that this has to happen in this country."

Another presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, tweeted a heartfelt response to the shooting, saying it was time to "act".

The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, also released a statement Saturday, urging leaders to put a stop to the "bloodshed".

"How many more families will lose loved ones, how many more communities will be torn apart?" Cuomo said in a statement on Saturday, local time.

"How many more tragedies will it take before "leaders" act? The bloodshed must end now.

DO SOMETHING."