Odessa police chief: 21 shot, 5 killed in Texas shooting

Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke says that at least 21 people have been injured by gunfire and five killed in a shooting in West Texas


By Associated Press

ODESSA, Texas — The Latest on a shooting in West Texas (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

One or possibly two suspects hijacked a U.S. Postal Service vehicle and were firing at random, hitting multiple people, Odessa police said. (Photo/Midland Police Department)
One or possibly two suspects hijacked a U.S. Postal Service vehicle and were firing at random, hitting multiple people, Odessa police said. (Photo/Midland Police Department)

Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke says that at least 21 people have been injured by gunfire and five killed in a shooting in West Texas.

At a news conference Saturday, Gerke also says that at least three law enforcement officers were among those shot.

He spoke after a chaotic afternoon during which police reported that a suspect hijacked a U.S. Postal Service vehicle and began firing at random in the area of Odessa and Midland, hitting multiple people. Police initially reported that there could be more than one shooter, but Gerke says authorities now believe it was one shooter.

Gerke says he believes the threat is over but authorities remain vigilant.

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5:30 p.m.

Police said there are "multiple gunshot victims" in West Texas after reports of two suspects opening fire on Saturday in the area of Midland and Odessa.

Midland police said at least one suspect was shot and killed near the Cinergy movie theater in Odessa.

One or possibly two suspects hijacked a U.S. Postal Service vehicle and were firing at random, hitting multiple people, Odessa police said.

"At this time there are multiple gunshot victims," Odessa police said in a posting on Facebook.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has urged residents to avoid major highways in the area, including Interstate 20.

No other details were immediately available.

Odessa is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Midland. Both are more than 300 miles (483 kilometers) west of Dallas.

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Associated Press
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