Article courtesy of The SUN
FIVE people were killed and at least 21 injured after a maniac mass shooter hijacked a mail van and opened fire at random in Texas last night.
Terrified locals and at least three officers were shot in the city of Odessa and neighbouring Midland, police said.
Authorities initially feared that two shooters in two separate vehicles – a small Toyota truck the hijacked postal van – were carrying out the attack.
But Midland Police later confirmed that one shooter was chased down and shot dead at a Cinergy cinema in Odessa.
Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said: “Once this individual was taken out of the picture, there have been no more victims.
Cops are yet to release the identity of the dead shooter – and instead only revealed he is a white male in his 30s who was known to police.
What we know so far:
- At least five people were killed and 21 injured as well as three police officers in a shooting rampage in Texas
- Police initially feared more than one shooter was at large – but later confirmed a lone gunman had been shot and killed
- The rampage began at 4pm local time in the town of Midland with a traffic stop where gunfire was exchanged with cops
- The suspect hijacked a US Postal Service Van and began shooting passersby at random
- Police chased him to a Cinergy cinema in Odessa – sparking a panicked evacuation of a shopping mall
- The gunman – a white male in his 30s who has not been named – was shot dead by police
Among the injured was a child under the age of two who was rushed hospital in an unknown condition.
Police sources told News West 9 the shooting was “planned by a group” – although the motive remains unclear.
The attack started just after 3:15pm local time (9:15pm BST) on Interstate 20 and Highway 191, which connects Midland to Odessa.
It began with a traffic stop where gunfire was exchanged with police – setting off a series of chaotic events.
The gunman hijacked a US Postal Service van and began firing at random in the area of Odessa and Midland – hitting multiple people.
After a high-speed police chase, the suspect crashed into a stationary vehicle behind the Odessa Cinergy multiplex complex.
He then engaged in a fierce gun battle with police and was shot dead in front of panicked bank holiday weekend shoppers.
Mobile phone footage later showed people running out of the movie theatre and screaming in horror.
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As Odessa television station KOSA aired breaking news on live TV, their broadcast was dramatically interrupted by police telling them they had to clear the area.
Retail stores, a shopping mall and the University of Texas Permian Basin were locked down as rumours spread of the shootings and sightings.
US President Donald Trump tweeted: “Just briefed by Attorney General Barr about the shootings in Texas.
“FBI and Law Enforcement is fully engaged. More to follow.”
Vice President Mike Pence later said that President Trump is “absolutely determined” to work with lawmakers to “confront this scourge of mass atrocities in our country.”
The shooting comes less than a month after a gunman shot dead 22 people in El Paso, Texas.
A separate mass shooting the following day left nine dead in Dayton, Ohio.
Odessa is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Midland. Both are more than 300 miles (483 kilometers) west of Dallas.