The police has identified the suspect who killed seven people and injured 22 others in a mass shooting in US state of Texas, who was later shot dead by law enforcement authorities.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, the Police Department of Odessa identified the gunman as 36-year-old Seth Aaron Ator from Odessa, but did not provide any additional information or his intention behind the massacre, reports Xinhua news agency. According to The Guardian, Public records of Texas Department of Public Safety showed Ator was 36 and had two criminal charges dating back to 2001, one for criminal trespass and one for evading arrest. He pled guilty and was put on two years’ probation.
During a news conference held later Sunday in the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB), about 7 km northeast of Odessa, FBI special agent in-charge Christopher Combs said, “At this point I can tell you we do not believe there’s any connection to any domestic or international terrorism.”
The death toll increased to seven on Sunday after a critically injured person succumbed to their wounds. Odessa’s police chief said the ages of the seven victims ranged from 15 to 57.
According to the statement from City of Odessa Director of Communications Devin Sanchez, the victim was pronounced deceased Sunday morning at Midland Memorial Hospital.
“There are eight confirmed deaths now (three in Midland and five in Odessa). This includes the shooter,” the statement said. The shooter was shot dead in Odessa.
Ator on Saturday afternoon targeted shoppers and vehicles at shopping centres in the western cities of Odessa and Midland. The incident began after two Texas Department of Public Safety officers pulled over his vehicle on a Midland highway.
He then opened fire on the officers and, after driving away, began shooting at other people in several locations. The gunman later abandoned his vehicle and stole a US Postal Service van, the BBC reported. Police have called the shooting a random act of violence.
Just four weeks ago, Texas witnessed one of the deadliest mass shootings in the country’s history on August 3, when 22 people were murdered in El Paso town, near the Mexico border. Hours after that attack there was another shooting in Dayton, Ohio, in which nine people were killed, as well as the shooter.