Deadly Rampage In West Texas Began With A Traffic Stop

Police say the rampage that left 5 people dead and more than 20 injured began with a simple traffic stop in Odessa, Texas on Saturday afternoon. The Texas Department of Public Safety says a state trooper initiated a stop on Interstate 20 based on a failure to signal, but before the suspect vehicle even came to a complete stop, shots rang out.

The gunshots struck one of two troopers inside the patrol car, Cesinger said, after which the gunman fled and continued shooting. Two other police officers were shot before the suspect was killed. The condition of the three law enforcement officers injured was not immediately released.

As the suspect fled, he shot randomly at cars and the people inside, eventually carjacking a U.S. postal vehicle.

Shauna Saxton was one of the terrified drivers who said she encountered the gunman during his rampage, during which multiple witnesses described gunfire near shopping plazas and in busy intersections. Saxton was driving with her husband and grandson in Odessa and had paused at a stoplight when they heard loud pops.

“I looked over my shoulder to the left and the gold car pulled up and the man was there and he had a very large gun and it was pointing at me,” she told TV station KOSA.

Saxton said she was trapped because there were two cars in front of her. “I started honking my horn. I started swerving and we got a little ahead of him and then for whatever reason the cars in front of me kind of parted,” she said sobbing. She said she heard three more shots as she sped away.

The pursuit of the suspect ultimately ended about ten miles from where the traffic stop was initiated, with law enforcement shooting and killing the attacker in the parking lot of the Cinergy movie theater complex in Midland, but not before two more law enforcement officers, one from Midland and one from Odessa, were shot.

All three law enforcement officers who were shot are now listed in stable condition. The Midland police officer has been identified as Zack Owens.

Two victims have been identified as Mary Granados, a postal worker, and Leila Hernandez, an Odessa student.

14 victims were taken to Medical Center Hospital for treatment. One of the victims passed away at the hospital. 17-month-old Anderson Davis was transferred to a Lubbock hospital for treatment.

Of the remaining victims, one person is in critical condition, three people are in serious condition and seven people are in fair condition.

One person has been treated and released.

The Odessa police department has scheduled a press conference for 12 p.m. Central time today. So far police have not released any details about the suspect, but we may learn more this afternoon. We’ll certainly be learning more about the victims in this case, and I would encourage you to keep the victims and their families in your prayers.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott will be in Odessa today as well, and has ordered flags in the state to be flown at half-staff in memory of those killed in the west Texas city on Sunday afternoon.