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Death toll in Texas shooting rampage rises to seven

Police have identified the suspect as a white man in his mid-30s.

A US mail vehicle (right) which was involved in yesterday's shooting.
A US mail vehicle (right) which was involved in yesterday's shooting.
Image: Sue Ogrocki/PA

Updated Sep 1st 2019, 5:20 PM

THE DEATH TOLL in a mass shooting in the US state of Texas yesterday has risen to seven.

Authorities are investigating why a man stopped by state troopers for failing to signal a left turn opened fire on them and fled, shooting more than 20 people as he drove before being killed by officers outside a movie theatre.

Odessa police spokesperson Steve LeSueur said at least one person who was shot remains in life-threatening condition. Police have said the gunman was a white male in his 30s, but have not released a name or possible motive.

The shooting began yesterday afternoon with an interstate traffic stop. The Texas Department of Public Safety said the driver pointed a rifle towards the rear window and fired several shots at the patrol car. 

The gunshots struck one of the two troopers inside the car. After this, the gunman went on a rampage, shooting at random in the Odessa and Midland areas. 

There were at least 21 civilian victims and two other police officers were shot before the suspect was killed. 

shooting-texas The scene outside the Odessa movie theatre this morning. Source: Jake Bleiberg/AP

Yesterday’s shooting brings the number of mass killings in the US so far this year to 25, matching the number in all of 2018. The number of people killed this year has already reached 142. 

Following the shooting, Vice President Mike Pence said President Donald Trump and his administration “remain absolutely determined” to work with leaders in both parties in Congress “so we can address and confront this scourge of mass atrocities in our country.”

Pence said Trump had spoken to the attorney general and that the FBI was assisting local law enforcement.

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

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