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Midland-Odessa Shooter Called FBI Tip Line Minutes Before Rampage: 'He Was On A Long Spiral Down'

MIDLAND/ODESSA (CBSDFW.COM) - Authorities released more details about a gunman who killed seven people during a shooting rampage in Midland and Odessa that started only minutes after he called the FBI tip line.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs said the shooter, Seth Aaron Ator rambled on about his "perceived life's tragedies," in the tipline call. Ator didn't make any threats during the call either. Combs also said that the FBI's investigation shows the 36-year-old "was on a long spiral going down" and that his home "is a very strange residence."

The Monday afternoon news conference also shared details about an additional victim in the Labor Day weekend mass shooting.

A 70-year-old woman was struck by shrapnel while sitting in her car. Chief of Police for the Odessa Police Department, Michael Gerke said she drove herself to the hospital and was treated then released.

Authorities have said there are still no answers pointing to a motive for Saturday's chaotic attacks. But Ator did lose his job on the same day he went west on I-20 shooting innocent civilians.

"The shooter called 911 and so did his employer, both made complaints on each other," said Chief Gerke.

Ator had a thin criminal record in Texas and police say he had no active warrants when he fled a routine traffic stop that began the rampage. Online court records show Ator was arrested in 2001 for a misdemeanor offense that would not have prevented him from legally purchasing firearms in Texas, although authorities have not said where Ator got the "AR style" weapon he used.

"Call takers couldn't even figure out what he was talking about," said FBI Special Agent Christopher Combs.

Combs said the suspect called the tip line just before the shooting, and it's something he's done on several occasions before.

CBS 11 News also learned the suspect had a criminal history, and he failed a background check in Texas while trying to buy a gun. ATF officials are working to figure out how he came into possession of the weapon he used to kill seven people in the Midland-Odessa area. The FBI also executed a search warrant on the building where the suspect was staying. It's a small structure made of metal.

"I think anyone that drives by would see that's the residence of someone who's not completely in control," Special Agent Combs said during a media briefing Monday afternoon.

Combs told CBS 11 News these are the types of behaviors the public needs to watch out for. The FBI recently studied 62 active shooter situations that have happened since 2001. The agency found in most of the cases people who knew the shooter saw issues, but they didn't reach out to authorities. They either confronted the person one-on-one, or did nothing.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating how Ator acquired his weapon.

The shooting came at the end of an already violent month in Texas, where on Aug. 3 a gunman in the border city of El Paso killed 22 people at a Walmart.

At Least 7 Dead And 22 Injured In Mass Shooting In Odessa And Midland, Texas
ODESSA, TX - SEPTEMBER 2: A chalk message at a memorial for victims of a mass shooting, at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (credit: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)

Late Monday afternoon, the city of Odessa, released the names of all of the shooting victims who died:

Juvenile female, 15, Odessa

Joe Griffith, 40, Odessa

Mary Granados, 29, Odessa

Edwin Peregrino, 25, Odessa

Rodolfo Julio Arco, 57, Odessa - 

Kameron Karltess Brown, 30, Brownwood

Raul Garcia, 35, El Paso

Arco, known as Rudy, was shot while he was driving home from work.

Same for Army veteran Brown, a Brownsville native who was working for an oil field services company.







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