The latest updates from the KMID newsroom on the mass shooting in Odessa on August 31.
Tuesday 5:06 p.m.
Medical Center Hospital says the patients previously in critical condition has now been upgraded.
Hospital officials say the patient is now in serious condition. Currently, there are six patients in fair condition and two in serious condition.
Tuesday 3:26 p.m.
MCH officials say another patient has been released. There are just eight patients are the hospital.
Officials say one patient remains in critical condition, another is in serious condition and six more are in fair condition.
Tuesday 2:07 p.m.
OPD Officer Cpl. James Santana has been released from Medical Center Hospital.
Hospital staff, fellow officers and well-wishers lined the hallways for his departure from the facility.
Santana said he is grateful for all of the support.
Tuesday 11 a.m.
Odessa Police officials say Cpl. James Santana is expected to be released from the hospital today.
MCH notes they are still treating about 10 patients.
Tuesday 7:30 a.m.
ECISD students have returned to school today following the tragedy over the weekend.
Monday 7:46 p.m.
Officials with Odessa Regional Medical Center regarding the shooting and the hospital response.
“Odessa Regional Medical Center stood beside our community partners in responding to the tragic events of Saturday. Although we are not a major trauma center, we were prepared and ready to serve our community during this difficult time.
Our hearts go out to the victims and their families affected by this event. Our team’s concerted response Saturday was a proud moment for our facility:
· Our team of ER physicians, nurses, and other clinical staff were quickly supported by numerous other staff reporting to duty.
· Our hospitalists made themselves available to the ER.
· Our surgeons and anesthesia providers stood by with the OR nurses and other clinical and support staff ready to operate quickly when needed.
· Our nursing and other clinical teams built capacity and stayed in to the night to accommodate any patient needs.
· Our hospitality team took food and drink to the physicians and staff in the clinical areas.
· Our housekeeping staff responded quickly and effectively.
· Our Steward Health Care Senior Leadership Team put surgeons, blood products, and other clinical resources from our other Texas facilities on standby should we have needed their support.
· Our hospital teams across the region reached out to offer staff or supplies, if needed.
It has been a challenging time for our staff as we know of former employees and friends personally impacted. Despite this, our staff and physicians responded with the necessary vigor to support the medical needs of our community.
I must tell you, as our Administrative Team rounded throughout the hospital over the last few days, we have heard countless stories from staff and physicians which make us incredibly proud.
Stories of staff and physicians immediately reporting to duty, despite the imminent danger enroute to the hospital. Staff stopping along the way to render aid to victims. The ER and OR areas being overcome with physicians and staff taking on whatever roles were necessary to attend to the victims and keep everyone else as calm as possible.
This was an emergency that we prepared for, but hoped would never happen. They stood up, courageous and ready to do what they do best… take care of our patients, our community, and each other. They remained upbeat and positive with a focus on those in need while their own families were forging through this tragedy without them. Our staff and physicians are among the many heroes in our community! We could not be more proud of our Hospital Family!
There will be difficult days ahead. Odessa Regional Medical Center remains ready to support our community in the recovery efforts after this tragedy.
God Bless our physicians and staff, and God Bless our community!”
Monday 5:12 p.m.
The Odessa Ministerial Alliance announced Monday night that will hold a second Prayer Vigil at First United Methodist Church, 415 N. Lee, 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 3rd in the Sanctuary.
Monday 4:56 p.m.
Officials with the City of Odessa have released the named of those injured and killed in the shootings over the weekend.
As of Monday morning, GoFundMe verified 12 separate fundraisers. They include five of the dead and seven injured.
Juvenile Female, 15, Odessa (Leila Hernandez)
Hernandez, 15, was a sophomore at Odessa High School. She played on the school’s basketball team and had just celebrated her quinceñera in May.
Her 9-year-old brother, Nathan Hernandez, was also shot in the attack. His condition is unknown.
Joe Griffith, 40, Odessa
Griffith’s death was confirmed by a member of the family on their GoFundMe account. Griffith leaves behind a wife and two young children.
He was sitting at a traffic light with his wife and children when the shooter pulled up next to him, according to the Associated Press. Griffith worked six days a week to support his family and was known for his sense of humor and uncanny ability to impersonate people.
“The funds raised will help Becky with funeral expenses, mortgage payments and anything else Becky and the kids might need at this time,” Organizer Yolanda Rankin stated on the fundraiser account.
Mary Granados, 29, Odessa
Granados, 29, a postal carrier, was shot and killed while on her route when the shooter carjacked her carrier van. A co-worker who set up the account called Mary, “beautiful inside and out, with a great heart and always ready to be a friend, always had a smile on her face!”
Edwin Peregrino, 25, Odessa
Peregrino, 25, had just moved to San Antonio, Texas two weeks prior to Saturday’s shooting according to family. He had returned to his hometown for the holiday weekend to visit family.
According to the Associated Press, Peregrino was in his back yard with his brother-in-law when he was struck by a bullet.
“Every room he walked in he always had that room lit up with a smile and laugh. He made a difference in every soul he met, he made a mark,” Bianca Peregrino said.
Rodolfo Julio Arco, 57, Odessa
Arco was reportedly driving home from work when he was struck and killed by a bullet on Saturday morning. Rudy, a native of Cuba, had just moved to West Texas from Las Vegas after the 2017 mass shooting.
He was the owner of a trucking company and felt that “Odessa was a safe place to go.” his sister told the Arizona Republic.
Kameron Karltess Brown, 30, Brownwood
Brown was a member of the U.S. Army who had served in Afghanistan. He was a resident of Brownwood, Texas and had been an employee of Standard & Safety Supply for over a year according to the GoFundMe page.
“We are deeply saddened at the loss of a member of our team. Kameron Brown died tragically as a victim of the senseless and horrifying shootings that occurred in and around Odessa on Saturday. We have been in contact with Kameron’s family to offer our deepest sympathies and support. We ask that the family’s privacy be respected during this most difficult time,” a statement from Standard Safety and Supply read.
Raul Garcia, 35, El Paso
Garcia, 35, was the last victim to be identified by authorities in Odessa. He is from El Paso. He attended Wiggs Middle and was a graduate of El Paso High School.
Garcia was among the truck drivers shot along I-20 as the shooter traveled toward Odessa from the initial traffic stop in Midland. He leaves behind four children.
A GoFundMe account for Garcia has not yet been located.
Nathan Hernandez, 18, Odessa
Marc Gonzales, 38, Odessa
Zachary Owens, Midland Police Department
The Midland Police officer was shot in the line of duty. He was shot multiple times in the arm and hand and suffered an eye injury due to glass shards, which the fundraisers say is his most serious injuries.
Timmoth Beard, 55, San Antonio
James Santana, Odessa Police Department
Santana was identified by family friends as the Odessa Police Officer injured in Saturday’s shooting. His injuries are not listed as critical, but he still requires surgery to remove bullet fragments.
Donations will go to Santana’s wife and children to help with medical and living expenses.
Glenda Dempsy, 62, Odessa
Marco Corral, 62, San Diego, CA.
Coy Edge, 53, Odessa
Joseph Glide, 60, Odessa
Juvenile Female, 17 months, Odessa (Anderson Davis)
Davis, 17-months-old was hit with a bullet fragment in the Odessa shooting. She suffered severe injuries, but is expected to recover.
Daniel Munoz, 28, Yuma, AZ.
Robert Cavasoz, 38, Alice, TX.
Maria Boado, 27, Haileah, FL.
Encinosa, a mother of a 10-month-old boy, was shot three times in the abdomen, chest, and elbow according to the fundraiser.
She is a Cuban native and her family has flown in from the island to be with her and help care for her young son. Encinosa will reportedly need multiple surgeries.
Efe Obayagbona, 45, Round Rock, TX
Obayagbona was shot while in his semi-truck on his work route on I-20 in between Midland and Odessa on Saturday. According to the fundraiser, he was shot multiple times including his right wrist, which was shattered. His left arm was hit with the bullet going through to his chest and lungs.
He is the father of two young children, ages 2-months and 5-years. Funds will be used to help support his family with medical and living expenses.
Bradley Grimsley, 64, Clarksville, TX.
Chuck Pryor, Texas Department of Public Safety
Pryor was the first victim of the shooter in Midland, Texas when he and his partner pulled over the suspect for a traffic violation. According to the fundraiser, Pryor was shot in the face and has since had at least one surgery.
He is in serious, but stable condition. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward his medical expenses.
Timmothy Hardaway, 54, Brownwood
Quadri Fatai, 41, Houston
Jesus Alvidrez, 21, Gardendale
Lilia Diaz, 46, Odessa
Krystal Lee, 36, Odessa
Larry Shores, 34, Abilene
Juvenile Male, 9, Odessa
Monday 4:16 p.m.
MPD Chief Seth Herman issues a statement one of the injured officers:
“Zack’s condition is stable, but the extensive nature of his injuries will continue to require surgeries in order to repair damage. Doctors are currently focusing on his arm and hand – awaiting improvement in his condition before tackling his eye. Zack is in good spirits and expressed his desire to return to work as soon as possible – requesting that his position as a patrol officer be held until he is recovered. Although the road will be long and would be difficult for a lesser person, Zack’s strength and perseverance will overcome every obstacle placed before him. He is a warrior in every sense of the word and will undoubtedly return to the profession for which he was born – protecting good people from bad.”
Monday 4:15 p.m.
Officials with Medical Center Hospital said one person was in critical, another was in serious condition and eight were in fair condition.
Monday 2:44 p.m.
“Nadine and I continue to pray for the victims and their families. We attended the press conference yesterday. It is inspiring to see how the Midland and Odessa communities of first responders came together to protect the citizens of the Permian Basin. The stories of heroism are overwhelming. My office is here to help with any of the needs today and in the coming weeks in the healing process. Please do not hesitate to contact my office for support.” – Rep. Tom Craddick
Monday 2 p.m.
Several agencies meet at UTPB to provide an update on the investigation. OPD Chief Michael Gerke says the suspect had called the FBI tip line and 9-1-1 about 15 minutes before he was pulled over by DPS for a traffic violation. The Chief also noted that no threats were made in the calls.
Furthermore, Chief Gerke says it is still unclear how the suspect obtained a weapon.
“I have no idea how he came into possession of this firearm,” Gerke said. “The ATF is doing that part of this investigation and as far as I know, at this point in time, that has not been determined.”
ATF officials noted that there was a National Crime Information Center hit on his name and he was denied a gun.
Although police officials say Ator was fired from his job earlier that day, his motive remains unclear. Additionally, officials with the FBI said Ator’s home was “reflective of his mental” state.
“We completed the search of his property yesterday,” FBI’s Christopher Combs said. “We are going through that…it’s a very strange residence. It’s very small. I can tell you the conditions reflect what we believe his mental state was.”
Chief Gerke also said as of Sunday, there were still more than 15 locations being processed by law enforcement. But by Monday they had whittled it down to two.
Monday 1:30 p.m.
Presidential Candidate Beto O’Rourke arrives in Odessa and attends a memorial.
O’Rourke spoke to the crowd saying “Your fellow West Texans in El Paso are with you.” The Presidential candidate and former U.S. Rep. also said he has visited with some of the victims.
Monday 8:16 a.m.
At least ten people are still at Medical Center Hospital for treatment, according to an update from the hospital Monday morning.
Spokesman Trevor Tankersley says eight patients are currently in fair condition, one is in serious condition and one more is still in critical condition.
Monday 5:45 a.m.
Despite official word from law enforcement on Sunday, reports indicate the shooter had been fired from his job just hours before the shooting took place.
New York Times, citing interviews with officials, say Ator had been fired from his trucking job just before the shooting.
Saturday 8:25 p.m.
A high school student is among the dead of Saturday’s mass shooting in Odessa.
You can read more about the victims by clicking here. We’ll continue to update that story as well learn more about the deceased.
Sunday 6:15 p.m.
The biggest question following Saturday’s shooting boils down to one word: why?
Authorities said Sunday they still could not explain why a man with an AR-style weapon opened fire during a routine traffic stop in West Texas to begin a terrifying, 10-mile (16-kilometer) rampage that killed seven people, injured 22 others and ended with officers gunning him down outside a movie theater.
Here’s what we know — and don’t know — about the motive.
Sunday 5 p.m.
Odessa Regional Medical Center, another hospital in the area released the following statement:
“We at Odessa Regional Medical Center are deeply saddened by today’s events in our community. We deplore these violent acts, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families, including several relatives of our hospital staff. The ORMC medical staff have treated a total of six patients brought to our facilities related to this incident. Four of those patients have been discharged. Two patients remain in critical condition at our hospital. We have arranged for support services for patients and staff at our hospital, and will continue to remain available and do all we can to serve our community in the days ahead.”
Sunday 3:36 p.m.
Medical Center Hospital has provided an update on the victims at the hospital.
1 critical condition
2 serious condition
8 fair condition
Sunday 3:10 p.m.
The FBI says its victim services group is at the Family Assistance Center located at the Ector County Annex. It is asking that anyone affected by this shooting or a witness of the event, please come by the FAC to learn more about services that can help individuals heal.
Sunday 2:50 p.m.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says a 17-month-old girl who sustained injuries to her face and chest in a shooting rampage that left seven dead is recovering but faces surgery.
The child was among 22 people injured when a gunman went on a more than 10-mile rampage in the area of Odessa and Midland. Officers killed the gunman outside a movie theater. Authorities identified the gunman as 36-year-old Seth Aaron Ator, of Odessa.
Abbott says the child’s mother sent a text message prior to a news conference Sunday where he discussed the shooting.
Abbott says the child suffered injuries to her bottom lip, tongue and front teeth and faces surgery on Monday to remove shrapnel from her chest. But Abbott says the girl’s mother texted: “Toddlers are funny because they can get shot but still want to run around and play.”
Sunday 2:40 p.m.
Odessa police say the man who killed seven people in West Texas has been identified as Seth Aaron Ator.
Police posted the update on Facebook. They say he is a 36-year-old from Odessa. They didn’t provide any additional info.
State police attempted to stop Ator on Saturday for a traffic violation, when he opened fire. They say he went on more than 10-mile shooting rampage, hijacking a mail carrier truck and firing at random as he drove in the area of Odessa and Midland.
He shot more than 20 people before being killed by officers outside a movie theater. The dead ranged in age from 15 to 57 years old.
Sunday 2:20 p.m.
Two law enforcement officials identified the shooter as Seth Ator, who records show is 36 years old. The officials spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Sunday 1 p.m.
Authorities say a gunman who killed seven people during a rampage in West Texas used an “AR-type weapon” while opening fire at random as he was chased by police.
FBI agent Christopher Combs said Sunday that federal investigators believe the gunman had no connection to terrorism. Authorities say they’ve identified the gunman but refused to publicly say his name at a news conference.
Police eventually killed the shooter. Authorities told reporters that the gunman had a criminal record but did not elaborate.
The shooting began with Texas state troopers pulling over a driver for failing to signal a left turn. One trooper was shot, but authorities say he’s expected to recover.
Police say those killed in Saturday’s attack were between the ages of 15 and 57 years old. Authorities say they’re processing more than 15 scenes in the investigation.
Sunday 12:35 p.m.
Authorities say the seven people killed in a shooting rampage in West Texas range in age from 15 to 57.
Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said at a news conference Sunday that authorities have no definitive answers yet about a motive in Saturday’s shooting.
It began with Texas state troopers pulling over a driver for failing to signal a left turn. Police say the driver went on a more than 10-mile shooting rampage, hijacking a mail carrier truck and firing at random as he drove in the area of Odessa and Midland. He shot more than 20 people before being killed by officers outside a movie theater.
Sunday 12:15 p.m.
The medical director of an emergency care center says he witnessed part of a shooting rampage in West Texas that left seven people dead before police killed the gunman.
Dr. Nathaniel Ott says he heard shots around 3 p.m. Saturday while at work in Odessa. He rushed outside to find a woman in the driver’s seat of an SUV bleeding from a gunshot wound in the arm. Ott says a paramedic put a tourniquet on the woman’s arm and he ran back inside to get a bag of fluids and an IV.
They then loaded the woman into a police cruiser to be driven to a nearby trauma center. He doesn’t know how she’s doing now.
Ott says that as they were working, the shooter drove back by the intersection, followed by police. He says the gunman drove within 30 feet of him. He says of the shooter: “He was just everywhere.”
Sunday 9:25 a.m.
Odessa police spokesman Steve LeSueur said Sunday that at least one person remains in “life-threatening” condition. Authorities have said the gunman shot more than 20 people before being killed by officers outside a movie theater.
Police say the shooter was a white man in his 30s but have not released a name or possible motive.
Sunday 9:00 a.m.
Authorities say the death toll in Saturday’s shooting has increased to 8. That figure includes the gunman.
Sunday 7:45 a.m.
The FBI is asking anyone with information about Saturday’s incident to contact their National Threat Operations Center at 800-CALLFBI (800-225-5324) . Tips may also be reported anonymously online at http://tips.fbi.gov.
Sunday 7:15 a.m.
The City of Odessa plans to host a prayer vigil Sunday night at 6 p.m. at UTPB. The public is invited to attend.
Saturday 10:00pm Update
At least five people are dead and at least 21 were injured following an active shooter situation in Odessa on Saturday.
According to law enforcement, everything began around 3:13 p.m. when a DPS trooper tried to stop a gold passenger vehicle on Interstate 20 around mile marker 131. During the stop, a suspect pointed a rifle at the trooper and fired several shots.
One trooper was injured in the shooting, according to DPS.
The suspect then drove away from the scene and continued shooting people throughout the city. Law enforcement in both Midland and Odessa say they were receiving several calls of shots being fired throughout the city, prompting a response in several locations.
Initially, Odessa Police say the suspect had hijacked a U.S. Mail truck at some point during the afternoon.
Midland Police officials say the suspect was eventually shot and killed at Cinergy in Odessa.
Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke addressed the media around 5:30 p.m. Saturday evening confirming news that had been circulating throughout the city and dispelling rumors as well.
Gerke confirmed that three officers had been struck in the shootings and Ector County Sheriff Griffis later confirmed they are all expected to recover.
The OPD Chief also noted that there at least 21 victims injured in the shooting and five had been confirmed dead.
Late Saturday night, ECISD officials confirmed that one of the victims killed in the shootings was an Odessa High School student.
They released the following statement:
“We are heartbroken and outraged by the violence that struck our community and our school district today. We are learning that we have lost friends, family members, as well as one of our students. Our lives have been changed forever. We are grateful for the first responders in the Odessa community, including our ECISD Police Officers, who have been outstanding and prevented an even greater loss of life. ECISD counselors, as well as counselors from the entire region, are preparing to help our staff, our students and our families through this tragedy. Our district stands ready to commit all of our resources to help our community heal from this horrific tragedy. Our unity will be the key to recovering from this terrible act. Together, we are stronger.”
We also learned that a 17-month-old child was among the injured. Officials in Lubbock say she is at University Medical Center in Lubbock in “satisfactory condition.”
None of those killed, the officers or the injured victims have been identified.
Police are continuing to investigate the case.
Sunday 12:30 pm
Governor Greg Abbott joins law enforcement officials in a press conference at the University of Texas Permian Basin about the shooting.
Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke says the department is choosing not to release the name of the shooter at this time to avoid giving him notoriety and that no motive is known at this time.
Chief Gerke says an AR-type rifle was used in the shooting but how the shooter obtained the weapon is still under investigation. There are also no suspicions that the shooting was an instance of terrorism.
Chief Gerke shared the victims are between the ages of 15-57 as well as a 17-month-old girl. A prayer vigil at UTPB will begin at 7 pm tonight to honor the victims of the shooting.
Gov. Abbott cited the various mass shootings that have taken time in his office, and most notably the shooting in El Paso which happened just one month ago, and declares that they must come to an end.
“We know that words alone are inadequate. Words must be met by action,” said Gov. Abbott.
Gov. Abbott also thanked police, medical professionals and other first responders for their efficient response to Saturday’s event. He also divulged a text conversation he had with the mother of the injured toddler, she is reportedly doing well and will have surgery tomorrow to remove some of the shrapnel in her chest.
Police also say that a federal warrant is being issued at an Ector County home at this hour in connection to the investigation. They also say that because of the mobility the shooter had that there are more than 15 scenes to be investigated so residents can expect to see a strong police presence in the coming days.