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West Texas Shooting: At Least 5 Killed, 21 Injured

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're continuing to follow the shootings that took place in West Texas earlier today. In a news conference, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said that at least five people were killed and 21 were injured. He says that the shooter was a white male in his mid-30s.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

MICHAEL GERKE: The subject was contacted by law enforcement, and he - an exchange of gunfire happened. And that subject is deceased.

MARTIN: Here to tell us what he's learned so far is Mitch Borden. He is a reporter with Marfa Public Radio. Mitch, thank you for joining us.

MITCH BORDEN: Good to be here.

MARTIN: So we all understand that this is a developing story. What can you tell us about what happened? What can you tell us so far?

BORDEN: I can tell you that right now law enforcement is saying there was only one shooter after there were reports earlier that there were two. Apparently the shooter started off in one vehicle, a gold and white sedan, and then apparently at some point hijacked a post office truck. He said - when I first heard about it, the shooting, it was at - in Odessa. It was at the - a cross street of 42nd Street and Parkway. And apparently, when - he just let loose fire, hit multiple cars and then took off and went down a highway toward a nearby town called Midland and ended up at a local movie theater where the police encountered him and eventually killed him.

MARTIN: Can you just describe what the atmosphere there is at the moment and earlier today as all this was unfolding?

BORDEN: As all this was unfolding, you just saw so many cop cars, like, shut down a central highway between the two towns, manage traffic, not really knowing where things were happening. It was very - a lot of confusion, a lot of lights. I saw - just driving to where the initial shooting that I had heard about at least at the cross street near a shopping center, you just saw multiple ambulances go past. And you would also see police cars going the opposite direction. So it was just a lot of confusion. Now things have calmed down. Where I'm at, I'm in front of a car that was shot, and a police officer is just looking over it. And they're looking after the scene down the street. I can tell you this all started with a traffic stop. And the officer who pulled the suspect over was shot at that point. I have not heard whether - the status of that officer at this point.

MARTIN: And I know that authorities have just spoken, but what are they saying about what questions they still have about all of this?

BORDEN: They still need to identify him. They don't know what caused this specifically. There have been multiple reports of multiple people, multiple shooters I mean, but that could have to do with, you know, that happens during shootings, as well as this individual had two cars in this whole situation. So it's very confusing at this point. So I think they're just trying to answer all the questions they can at this point.

MARTIN: That was Mitch Borden, reporter from Marfa Public Radio. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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