Death Toll in West Texas Mass Shooting Rises to 7

The death toll in a west Texas mass shooting increased to eight Sunday, including the gunman, authorities said, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Those killed ranged in age from 15 to 57 years old, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said Sunday. At least one of the shooting victims remained in life-threatening condition.

The gunman was identified as Seth Ator, 36, law enforcement officials told CNN. He was arrested in 2001 for criminal trespass and evading arrest, both misdemeanors, CNN reported. The gunman used an “AR-type weapon” in the rampage, authorities said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who attended the news conference, listed other recent mass shootings in the state, including ones in downtown Dallas, Sutherland Springs, Santa Fe, and El Paso.

“I have been to too many of these events,” Abbott said. “Too many Texans are in mourning. Too many Texans have lost their lives. The status quo in Texas is unacceptable, and action is needed.”

Abbott also read a text message that he said was sent to him Sunday morning by the mother of a 17-month-old girl injured in the shooting. The mother described how her daughter was still playful, despite her injuries, and that surgery was planned to remove shrapnel from her chest and to fix her mouth.

The tragedy began unfolding around 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The rampage, which lasted nearly two hours, left residents of the twin cities of Midland and Odessa reeling.

The shootings began with a traffic stop and ended in an exchange of gunfire with police in a movie theater parking lot. More than 20 people were shot in apparently random attacks.

According to Reuters, details about the Labor Day weekend shooting and the names of some of the victims were emerging online and from officials on Sunday and early Monday. Police continued to comb through 15 different crime scenes in neighboring Midland and Odessa.

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