The Associated Press
Published Saturday, August 31, 2019 6:17PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 31, 2019 7:30PM EDT
Odesa Police Chief Michael Gerke says that at least 21 people have been injured by gunfire and five killed in a shooting in West Texas.
At a news conference Saturday, Gerke also says that at least three law enforcement officers were among those shot.
He spoke after a chaotic afternoon during which police reported that a suspect hijacked a U.S. Postal Service vehicle and began firing at random in the area of Odessa and Midland, hitting multiple people. Police initially reported that there could be more than one shooter, but Gerke says authorities now believe it was one shooter.
Gerke says he believes the threat is over but authorities remain vigilant.
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ODESSA, Texas — Police say there are “multiple gunshot victims” in West Texas after reports of two suspects opening fire in the area of Midland and Odesa.
Police in Odessa, say one or possibly two suspects hijacked U.S. Postal Service the postal vehicle and was firing at random, hitting multiple people. “At this time there are multiple gunshot victims,” Odessa police said in a posting on Facebook.
The Midland, Texas, Police Department said Saturday that another suspects was believed to be driving a gold-colored vehicle and has a rifle.
The University of Texas Permian Basin campus has gone into lock-down.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has urged residents to avoid major highways in the area, including Interstate 20. Odessa is about 32 kilometres southwest of Midland. Both are more than 483 kilometres west of Dallas.
This version of the story corrects that both cities are in West Texas, not central.