Death Toll From West Texas Shooting Rises to Seven: Reports

Updated

People are evacuated from Cinergy Odessa cinema following a shooting in Odessa, Texas, U.S. in this still image taken from a social media video August 31, 2019. Rick Lobo via REUTERS

The death toll in Saturday's gun rampage in West Texas rose to seven on Sunday, local media reported, and police said they would hold a news conference later in the day.

Police had earlier said five people, including the gunman, were killed in the mass shooting that began with a traffic stop and ended when the shooter was cornered by officers in the parking lot of a cinema complex in Odessa, Texas.

Authorities have not named the victims or the gunman, but said on Saturday that he was a white male in his 30s who was known to police. Twenty-one people were wounded.

The rampage between the cities of Midland and Odessa started on Saturday afternoon when state troopers pulled over a car on Interstate 20 and the lone occupant fired at their patrol vehicle with a rifle, wounding one of the troopers.

After fleeing the scene, the suspect hijacked a postal van and opened fire on police officers, motorists and shoppers on a busy Labor Day holiday weekend before being shot dead outside the Cinergy cinema complex in Odessa, police said.

Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said at a news conference on Saturday that the suspect was known to him, but he declined to comment on a motive for the shootings.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington and Keith Coffman in Denver; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Nick Zieminski)