POLICE: Suspect identified in Odessa-Midland shooting that left 7 dead

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ODESSA/MIDLAND, Texas (KETK) – Odessa Police officials have identified the shooter as Seth Ator, 36, of Ector County.

Seth Ator (Photo: Texas Department of Public Safety)

Ator was shot and killed at the Cinergy movie complex in Odessa by police after firing at random on a more than 10-mile rampage.

A criminal record has been found on Ator including one from the Odessa Police Department and two from McLennan County.

In Odessa, he was arrested for public intoxication in 2014. Two charges were filed in McLennan County for criminal trespassing and evading arrest in 2001.

As of Sunday morning, seven people were confirmed dead and 19 injured. Among the dead was Mary Granados, 29, who was driving the mail vehicle that was hijacked by Ator. A 17-month-old was also injured but is expected to make a full recovery after being life-flighted to Lubbock.

Odessa police spokesman Steve LeSueur said Sunday that at least one person remains in “life-threatening” condition.

“We’re almost every two weeks an active shooter in this country,” said Christopher Combs, FBI special agent in charge.

There are 130 FBI personnel and another 45 federal agents supporting local and state officials with the investigation.

“At this time I can tell you we do not believe, not believe there is any connection to domestic or international terrorism,” he said.

“The shooter was pulled over on the interstate by a G.P.S. officer. That’s when he shot the officer and then took off and started shooting randomly, and then everything happened,” said Jerry Morales, Midland Mayor.

Troopers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a gold passenger vehicle on Interstate 20 westbound near mile marker 131. Prior to the vehicle coming to a complete stop, the male driver (and only occupant in the vehicle) pointed a rifle toward the rear window of his car and fired several shots toward the DPS patrol unit. The patrol unit was occupied by two Troopers, and one was hit by the gunfire. The suspect fled the scene and continued shooting innocent people, including a Midland police officer and an Odessa police officer, according to a release by Texas DPS.

The Trooper is in serious but stable condition, and the two other officers are in stable condition at a local hospital. 

After the suspect drove off, he hijacked a mail truck leading police to believe there were two suspects, according to Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerk.

The suspect was then located at the Cinergy movie theater where the suspect and officers exchanged fire leading to the death of the suspect.

Gerk said that three law enforcement officers were injured: one from the Department of Public Safety, one officer from the Midland Police Department and one officer from Odessa Police Department.

Medical Center Hospital gave an update that they were treating 13 of the injured. Of those being treated, seven patients were critical, two were in serious condition, two were treated and released, one died, and one pediatric patient was transferred to another hospital.

Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement that he will be traveling to Odessa on Sunday.

“The First Lady and I are heartbroken over this senseless and cowardly attack, and we offer our unwavering support to the victims, their families, and all the people of Midland and Odessa,” Abbott said. “I thank the first responders who have acted swiftly and admirably under pressure, and I want to remind all Texans that we will not allow the Lone Star State to be overrun by hatred and violence. We will unite, as Texans always do, to respond to this tragedy.”


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