AP

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

Aug 31, 2019, 5:47 PM | Updated: 6:18 pm
In this image made from video provided by Dustin Fawcett, police officers guard on a street in Odes...
In this image made from video provided by Dustin Fawcett, police officers guard on a street in Odessa, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. 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. (Dustin Fawcett via AP)
(Dustin Fawcett via AP)

ODESSA, Texas (AP) — Authorities said Saturday that a gunman killed five people during a mass shooting in the West Texas cities of Odessa and Midland that left many more injured. At least three law enforcement officers were among those shot.

Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said that there were at least 21 injured by gunfire. He described the suspected shooter as a white male in his 30s. The suspect was shot and killed at the Cinergy movie theater in Odessa, Gerke said.

The shooting set off a chaotic afternoon in 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.

The condition of the victims was not immediately clear.

“Once this individual was taken out of the picture, there have been no more victims,” Gerke said.

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

The shooting comes just weeks after a gunman in the Texas border city of El Paso killed 22 people after opening fire at a Walmart. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this week held two meetings with lawmakers about how to prevent mass more shootings in Texas.

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