Scott Ball / Rivard Report
A shooter killed seven people and injured 22 others Saturday while driving from Midland to Odessa before being shot and killed by police at a movie theater in Odessa.
The incident started after troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety stopped the gunman on Interstate 20 in Midland. The driver fired a rifle out of his rear window and injured one of the troopers before driving into Odessa, where he continued shooting around the city.
The shooting comes less than a month after a gunman opened fire at a popular Walmart in El Paso on Aug. 3, killing 22 and injuring 26. The El Paso shooting was the third-deadliest in Texas history, behind the Sutherland Springs shooting in 2017 and the 1991 Luby’s shooting in Killeen.
In all, 192 people have died in Texas mass shootings since 1966.
The Midland-Odessa and El Paso mass shootings join a series of killings that have happened in the United States this year. The Gun Violence Archive – which defines mass shootings as an incident where at least four people are injured, excluding the shooter – reports there have been 283 mass shootings in 2019 alone.
Texas and the San Antonio area have seen their fair share of gun violence. In 2017, a gunman shot and killed 26 people and injured 20 others in Sutherland Springs before being shot by a bystander, crashing his car, and ultimately dying of a self-inflicted gunshot. And in 2018, 10 people were killed and 10 injured in a shooting at Santa Fe High School, southeast of Houston.
The second-deadliest shooting in Texas took place in Killeen in October 1991, when George Jo Hennard drove his pickup through the front window of a Luby’s restaurant. He shot and killed 23 people and wounded 27 others. After refusing to surrender, Hennard engaged in a brief shootout with police and then fatally shot himself.
In 1979, Ira Attebury opened fire from inside his recreational vehicle during the Battle of Flowers Parade near downtown San Antonio, killing two and injuring 51. In 1966, University of Texas at Austin student Charles Whitman ascended the university’s iconic bell tower and opened fire on the campus below. Seventeen people, including Whitman, lost their lives on Aug. 1, 1966; an 18th victim died in 2001 from related injuries and 31 were injured in the massacre.
Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, a suburb north of Dallas, drove more than 650 miles to El Paso to carry out what police have determined a racially motivated attack, which he outlined in his manifesto.
On Saturday, Gov. Greg Abbott said the most recent shooting in Midland and Odessa was a “senseless and cowardly attack” and offered his and first lady Cecilia Abbott’s support to the victims and people of the cities affected.
“The state of Texas and the Department of Public Safety are working closely with local law enforcement to provide resources as needed and deliver justice for this heinous attack,” he said in a statement. “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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