ODESSA, Texas (KCBD) - Authorities have now identified the Midland/Odessa shooting suspect as 36-year-old Seth Aaron Ator of Odessa.
Police said the shooter was eventually shot and killed by officers at the Cinergy movie complex in Odessa.
Odessa police chief Michael Gerke initially refused to name the suspect from Saturday’s shooting during today’s news conference, saying they “Don’t want to give him the notoriety.”
City officials named Ator later in the afternoon after police conducted a search of his home.
Odessa police addressed the public on Sunday afternoon alongside city, state, and federal officials, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Gerke said the suspect’s name will come out later as law enforcement efforts continue.
The suspect has an Ector County address, but police say they have no information about motives or causes for the shooting at this time. The FBI said they don’t believe the shooting was an act of domestic terrorism.
Authorities said the shooter had an AR-style rifle. Those killed ranged from 15 to 57 years of age. The City of Odessa says the eight confirmed deaths included three in Midland and five in Odessa.
The shootings began as a traffic stop by DPS when the driver failed to signal a left turn. The suspect had no active warrants at the time.
Gunfire was exchanged with police, setting off a chaotic afternoon as the suspect hijacked a mail carrier’s truck and began firing at random as he drove in the area of Odessa and Midland.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott expressed his appreciation to police and medical first responders, and expressed "his deepest sorrow" to families of victims.
Abbott also urged action that will save lives “by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals” while securing Second Amendment rights.
Abbott read a message from the mother of 17-month-old Anderson Davis who is described as “healing” and “well.” The toddler has a hole in her lip and tongue and lost her front teeth. She was released from UMC on Sunday.
Texas DPS said the trooper injured in the shooting is in serious condition but is expected to make a full recovery after hours of surgery on Saturday.
Midland Police Officer Zack Owens is recovering from injuries he suffered during the shooting, including his arm and hand, and glass shards that got into his eye.
Family provided an update on his condition Sunday:
“Dr Cunningham said he did fine. He has a fixator to left index and middle finger. Both knuckles were destroyed by bullet entry to left hand. Right arm has a radial head fracture, it’s in a sling and is put together now. He will have a wound vac on it. Arteries and blood supply to both arms are good. Which is great. He may have loss of some nerves. Arteries did fine. Tendons were damaged to right arm and left fingers. But he’s ok.”
GOFUNDME: Expenses for Officer Zack Owens
A memorial fund has also been established for Mary Granados, the post office worker who was killed and had her vehicle taken by the shooter.
The United States Postal Service issued this statement:
“The Postal Service is shocked and saddened by the events that occurred yesterday in the Midland-Odessa area. We are especially grieving the loss of our postal family member, letter carrier Mary Granados, age 29, and we continue to keep her family in our thoughts. The United States Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement arm of the Postal Service, is working closely with our law enforcement partners to assist with the investigation.”
GOFUNDME: Memorial expenses for Mary Granados
Go Fund Me has now established a hub collecting all the donation pages for Midland/Odessa shooting victims:
The news conference included City of Odessa Mayor David Turner, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Texas DPS, and the FBI agent on the scene, Christopher Combs.