Editor’s note: A new story has been filed to reflect the new death toll. Find the most updated information here:
U.S. law enforcement said five people were killed and at least 21 people — including a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper — were injured in a shooting spree that shocked two neighbouring Texas cities on Saturday.
A suspect, identified as a white male in his mid-30s, was killed during an exchange of gunfire with police, Odessa police Chief Michael Gerke told reporters.
Gerke said there were multiple shooting scenes in the cities of Odessa and Midland, which are about 32 kilometres apart.
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At least three law enforcement officers were among those shot. The Texas DPS said one officer is a state trooper in “serious but stable” condition. The other two officers are listed in stable condition.
Gerke said the suspect was known to him but declined to comment on a motive for the shootings.
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Russell Tippin, CEO for the Medical Centre Hospital in Odessa, told reporters at 8:45 p.m. EDT that there are 13 victims in the hospital — not 14 victims, as he initially reported.
Two victims have been treated and released, Tippin said. Seven are critical.
“We’ve had eight people total in surgery and most of those are out and have gone very well,” he said.
One of the victims was a child under the age of two. Tippin said the child was transferred out of the hospital, which remains on lockdown.
“The outpouring has been nationwide,” he said. “We want to say thank you.”
WATCH: Officials provide details of Odessa, Texas shooting
Gerke cautioned that the investigation is in its early stages and the facts could change.
So far, Gerke said police believe the rampage started around 4:17 p.m. EDT, when a Texas Department of Public Safety officer attempted to stop a gold Honda and was shot. From there, the suspect drove away into Odessa and opened fire on victims in other areas.
The Texas DPS expanded on this incident in a Facebook post Saturday night. Their statement said the male driver in the gold vehicle was the only occupant.
Texas DPS said that before the vehicle came to a complete stop, the male driver “pointed a rifle toward the rear window” of the car and fired “several shots” at the patrol unit that attempted to stop him.
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The patrol unit had two DPS Troopers — one was shot.
“The suspect fled the scene and continued shooting innocent people, including a Midland police officer and an Odessa police officer,” according to the Texas DPS statement.
After ditching the Honda, the suspect hijacked a USPS mail truck, Gerke said. He then went to the Cinergy movie theatre in Midland, where he came into contact with officers from multiple police forces and was killed.
Earlier, police said there could possibly be two suspects. They now believe there was only one.
WATCH: People console each other after shooting in Odessa
Midland Mayor Jerry Morales told Reuters hundreds of people were enjoying the holiday weekend inside the Cinergy complex when the gunman was confronted by officers who boxed in his vehicle in the parking lot before shots were exchanged.
He said the suspect used a rifle to shoot the Texas Department of Public Safety officer who had stopped his vehicle, but did not know any more details about the weapon.
Morales said three police officers — one from Midland, one from Odessa and the Department of Public Safety officer — were wounded by gunfire. At one point, Midland police barricaded the highway to stop the suspect leaving Odessa, about 20 miles (32 km) away in the Permian oil boom area of West Texas.
“It was very chaotic,” Morales said by telephone. “There were rumours flying that the shooter was at shopping malls, the movie theater.”
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Retail stores, a shopping mall and the University of Texas Permian Basin were locked down as rumours spread of the shootings and sightings, he said.
Morales said he was not told of the suspect’s identity, nor has any possible motive been disclosed.
At one point armed police ran through the Music City Mall in Odessa, forcing anchors for television station CBS 7, located inside, to duck off-screen as the building went into lockdown.
The shooting comes four weeks after a gunman killed 22 people in El Paso, about 490 km west of Midland.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. attorney general had briefed him on the incident.
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren tweeted that she is “heartsick” after seeing news of the latest shooting in Texas.
“I’m heartsick for the victims of this latest mass shooting in Odessa and Midland,” she wrote on Twitter.
“We shouldn’t have to live with this near daily fear and horror. We’ve already lost far too many to gun violence—Congress must act now.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the shooting a “senseless and cowardly attack” in a statement Saturday evening.
He and his wife are “heartbroken” over the shooting, the statement said.
“We offer our unwavering support to the victims, their families, and all the people of Midland and Odessa,” Abbott said.
The state of Texas and the Department of Public Safety are working with police, he added.
“I want to remind all Texans that we will not allow the Lone Star State to be overrun by hatred and violence,” Abbott said.
He is expected to travel to Odessa Sunday morning.
An Odessa funeral home announced they are offering free funeral services for the victims of this shooting.
Perches Funeral Home has several locations in Texas. Ruth Lozano — manager for the Odessa location — said the owner did the same for victims of the shooting in El Paso earlier this month.
“We’re doing this to help the families in their time of need,” Lozano said. “They didn’t expect to have this expense and we want to make it easier.”
With files from The Associated Press and Reuters