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Death toll rises to 7 in West Texas shooting rampage

Key Points
  • At least 7 people died and 22 were wounded after a gunman fled a police traffic stop and began shooting people.
  • The dead ranged in age from 15 to 57 years old, police said.
  • The injured include three law enforcement officers and a 17-month-old child. 
  • The gunman, a white male in his mid-30s, was later shot and killed by police outside a movie theater in Odessa.
  • The gunman's motive is not known at this time.
  • The shootings in West Texas come just a few weeks after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso left 22 people dead.
Authorities cordon off a part of the sidewalk in the 5100 block of E. 42nd Street in Odessa, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019.
Mark Rogers | Odessa American via AP

The death toll has risen in a weekend shooting spree in the West Texas area of Odessa and Midland.

At least 7 people died and 22 were wounded after a gunman fled a police traffic stop and began shooting people at random. The gunman, a white male in his 30s, was later shot and killed by police outside a movie theater in Odessa.

The dead ranged in age from 15 to 57 years old, police said. The injured include three law enforcement officers and a 17-month-old child.

The rampage began when a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper stopped a gold Honda for a traffic violation at around 3:15 p.m. CT Saturday on Interstate 20. The occupant of the Honda shot the trooper and fled westbound into Odessa. Interstate 20 connects the cities of Odessa and Midland, which are just 20 miles apart.

At some point during the rampage, the gunman stole a mail truck. The gunman was using an AR-style rifle, police said. More than 15 crime scenes are being processed, according to authorities.

The gunman was later shot and killed by police outside a local movie theater. Police said there are no definitive answers yet about a motive, but authorities are confident the gunman acted alone.

Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke would not identify the gunman during a Sunday press conference.

"You'll notice that I'm not naming this subject," Gerke said. "There's a reason for that. I refuse to. I'm not going to give him any notoriety for what he did. We'll provide that information to you but not in this public space."

Three senior law enforcement sources told NBC that the gunman's name is Seth Ator, 36.  

The shootings in West Texas come just a few weeks after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso left 22 people dead.

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