When it was over, 7 people were dead, ages 15 to 57, and more than 20 were wounded.
The mass shooting incident in the western Texas cities, located 32 km apart, happened almost a month after a gunman killed 22 people and injured over two dozen as he opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso in the far western part of the state.
The shooting came at the end of an already violent month in Texas, where on August 3 a gunman in the border city of El Paso killed 22 people at a Walmart. It is believed he was acting alone and no motive was determined, The New York Times reported.
When the shooting first unfolded, police said they believed two gunmen were involved. At one point, Midland police barricaded the highway to stop the suspect leaving Odessa, about 32 km (20 miles) away in the Permian oil boom area of West Texas.
Authorities also said that the gunman used an assault rifle-type weapon in the attack, but said how Ator weapon was obtained is still under investigation.
Of the the 22 injured victims, one is a 17-month-old girl and three are law enforcement officers. "Toddlers are amusing because they can get shot and still want to run around and play". He drove the mail truck back east, pursued by police, before crashing into a stationary vehicle behind the Odessa Cinergy multiplex complex, where he engaged in a gun battle with police and was shot dead, Gerke said. "Too many Texans are in mourning. The status quo in Texas is unacceptable, and action is needed".
Before the vehicle came to a complete stop, the man grabbed a rifle, pointed it out of his rear window and fired toward the troopers' patrol unit, wounding one of the troopers, said Lt. Elizabeth Carter of the Department of Public Safety.
Time magazine wrote earlier this month that USA mass shootings have claimed the lives of 62 people in 2019 alone.
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After the El Paso and Dayton shootings, Trump initially indicated a willingness to support more stringent background checks on gun buyers, but has since seemed to more closely align himself with the gun lobby, which opposes any increased restrictions. The number of people killed this year has already reached 142, surpassing the 140 people who were killed in all of last year.
Witnesses described gunfire near shopping plazas and in busy intersections.
Dr. Nathaniel Ott was working at an Odessa emergency care center where he is the medical director when he gunshots. The gunshot had knocked out the child's teeth, but volunteers were able to slow the bleeding, and the girl was awake, held in her mother's arms.
Alex Woods said he drove up to the movie theater about five minutes before the shootout and saw several police vehicles with flashing lights.
"We're now confident that there was just the one actor", he said. "It was insane. He was just everywhere".
Mike Barrett said his friend was shot and hospitalized with injuries.
Daniel Munoz, 28, of Odessa, was headed to a bar to meet a friend when he noticed the driver of an approaching auto was holding what appeared to be a rifle. Sure enough, I hear the shots go off.
He said he was treated at a hospital and is physically OK, though bewildered by the experience. What's the world coming to?