NEWS
08/31/2019 20:43 EDT

Odessa, Texas Shooting Suspect Shot And Killed At Movie Theatre: Police

At least five people are dead, said Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke.

A suspected shooter was shot and killed at the Cinergy movie theater in Odessa, Texas, on Saturday evening, according police.

“As far as civilian casualties, we have at least 21 victims ... and at least five deceased,” Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said in a press conference. It is not clear whether the 21 figure included the deceased. 

He added that three officers were also injured, including one officer with the Odessa Police Department, one with the Midland Police Department and one with the state Department of Public Safety.

 

The shooting began after a traffic stop, Gerke said. He described the gunman as a white male in his mid-30s.

“It has been confirmed that the active shooter was shot and killed at the Cinergy in Odessa,” Midland police around 5:30 p.m. local time. “There is no active shooter at this time. All agencies are investigating reports of possible suspects.”

About an hour previously, a police spokesperson in the neighboring town of Odessa told HuffPost that shootings had been taking place “literally all around town.”

“We’re just telling everyone to stay in their house right now,” she said.

The Midland Memorial Hospital received six patients from the shooting, three who were in critical condition and three who were stable, a hospital spokesperson told HuffPost. There were 14 victims being treated at the Medical Center Health System in Odessa.

While reporting on the shooting, CB7 news anchors were forced to evacuate their studio located at Music City Mall in Odessa as police searched the area.

Watch: Raw video of gunshots heard during Odessa shooting outside Cinergy building

 

Details of the rampage remain unclear: Midland and Odessa police initially said there were multiple suspects and said that one had hijacked a U.S. Postal Service truck.

Gerke later said they believe only one shooter was involved in the attack.

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, located in Odessa, was placed on lockdown as police searched for the suspects.

In a statement, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called the shooting a “senseless and cowardly attack” and said state officials were working closely with local law enforcement.

President Donald Trump said he was briefed about the shootings and said the FBI was “fully engaged” in the situation.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, a Texas native, tweeted his support to the people of Midland and Odessa.

Four weeks earlier, O’Rourke took a break from his campaign to return to his hometown of El Paso after a deadly mass shooting there left 22 dead.

This story is developing. Check back for updates. 

Hilary Hanson and Kimberley Richards contributed to this report.