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Active shooter dead after killing 5 in West Texas shootings, police say

At least 7 dead & 24 injured in West Texas
At least 7 killed, more than two dozen wounded in West Texas shooting 02:57

Editor's Note: The death toll has risen since the shooting took place Saturday. Read the latest update here.

The Midland, Texas, Police Department said a suspected active shooter has been shot and killed at a Cinergy movie theater in the Odessa-Midland area in West Texas on Saturday. There were five people killed and 21 shooting victims, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said.

Russell Tippin, CEO of Permian Regional Medical Center in Midland, said they treated 13 patients. Tippin said one patient died, seven are in critical condition and two are in serious condition. Two people were treated and released and another was transferred to a pediatric facility. Eight patients went through surgery.

The emergency room was locked down for safety, but Tippin said the hospital is safe and secure.

"You need to pray for this town and all the towns and victims involved," Tippin said.

Among the injured were several law enforcement officials.

Shootings Texas
In this image made from video provided by Dustin Fawcett, police officers guard on a street in Odessa, Texas, on Sat., Aug. 31, 2019. Police said there are "multiple gunshot victims" in West Texas after reports of two suspects opening fire on Saturday in the area of Midland and Odessa. Dustin Fawcett / AP

The suspect is a white male in his 30s, Gerke said. He added that the incident began at a traffic stop. The suspect shot the trooper and then fled and eventually stole a mail truck.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, officers attempted to stop the suspect at around 4:13 p.m. ET. "Prior to the vehicle coming to a complete stop, the male driver (and only occupant in the vehicle) pointed a rifle toward the rear window of his car and fired several shots toward the DPS patrol unit. The patrol unit was occupied by two Troopers, and one was hit by the gunfire," the department noted.

The agency added that the trooper who was shot in the patrol vehicle was in stable condition. Two other officers who were shot were also in stable condition.

The Midland Police Department posted on Facebook around 6:30 p.m. ET that "there is no active shooter at this time" but Gerke encouraged residents to stay indoors.  

CBS Odessa affiliate KOSA-TV reported the Music City Mall was evacuated. The station was told to "get away from the window" during live coverage. They described it as a "very chaotic scene." 

The Odessa Police Department earlier posted on Facebook that there are "multiple gunshot victims" and at least one suspect driving around in a hijacked mail truck "shooting at random people." 

A car with gunshot holes in West Texas.  Ernest Villanu

"The suspect just hijacked a U.S. mail carrier truck and was last seen in the area of 38th and Walnut," the Facebook post read. "Everyone is encouraged to get off the road and use extreme caution! All law enforcement is currently searching for the suspect and more information will be released as soon as it becomes available." 

The city of Odessa told KOSA-TV there have been 20 people injured. 

"They are shooting at random," Midland Mayor Jerry Morales told The New York Times. "We have two fatalities and up to 20 injuries." 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he will be traveling to Odessa on Sunday.

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