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5 dead, 21 injured, including 3 cops, in West Texas shooting spree

Midland, Texas Police Department cruiser. (Midland Police Department/Facebook)
August 31, 2019

Police have shot and killed one suspect who opened fire at random on Interstate 20 and other locations around the cities of Midland and Odessa, Texas and killed five and injured 21 others.

Odessa Police Department Chief Michael Gerke confirmed at a 6 p.m. CST press conference that five people had died and 21 were injured. Gerke also confirmed an earlier statement that the suspect was killed in a shootout with police, which left a state trooper, a Midland Police Department officer and an Odessa Police Department officer injured.

Video from a user on social media shows what appears to be police in a shootout with the suspect nearby a USPS postal van in front of the Cinergy movie theater building in Midland, which is consistent with police department statements.

Police initially reported that a manhunt was underway for two suspects believed to have open fired in separate locations. However, police later confirmed that one vehicle was the suspect’s personal vehicle and the second vehicle was the USPS vehicle that he stole.

The Midland Police Department previously issued a statement on social media saying, “There are reports of an active shooter at the Home Depot in Odessa. For the safety of the public and law enforcement please stay away from the area and stay in your homes. We will update with more information as soon as possible.”

The department issued an update to the post, adding, “We believe there are two shooters in two separate vehicles. One suspect is believed to be at the Cinergy in Midland and the other is believed to be driving on Loop 250 in Midland. The two vehicles in question are: gold/white small Toyota truck and a USPS Postal Van. Please stay away from these areas and stay indoors.”

“Active Shooter! Please Share!” the Odessa Police Department also warned.

“A subject (possibly 2) is currently driving around Odessa shooting at random people. At this time there are multiple gunshot victims. The suspect just hijacked a U.S. mail carrier truck and was last seen in the area of 38th and Walnut. Everyone is encouraged to get off the road and use extreme caution! All law enforcement is currently searching for the suspect and more information will be released as soon as it becomes available,” OPD’s post explained.