7 killed, 19 injured in Texas mass shooting

Houston: At least seven persons were killed and 19 others injured when a gunman opened fire at random on Saturday in the second mass shooting in the US state of Texas in a month, police said.

The shooting - the 38th mass killing by firearms in the US this year occurred in the West Texas cities of Midland and Odessa. The gunman, who was white and in his mid-30s, was shot dead by police at the Cinergy movie theatre after a chase.

However, police did not identify the shooter by his name. The gunman opened fire around 3 pm (local time) after he was pulled over by traffic officials.

He shot at the trooper who stopped him and began shooting people at random, local media quoted Chief Michael Gerke of the Odessa Police Department as saying.

The driver then began shooting at other people in several other locations. At one point, he abandoned his car and stole a postal truck before continuing his spree.

He was shot dead by police at a cinema complex. "We have at least 21 shooting victims and at least five deceased," Gerke told reporters. Three police officers were injured, he added.

Initially, it was suspected that two people were involved in the shooting and police had said they were believed to be driving around separately in a gold/white-coloured Toyota vehicle and a stolen US Postal Service van.

"There is no active shooter at this time. All agencies are investigating reports of possible suspects," the Midland Police Department said in a Facebook post.

During the shooting, authorities urged public to get off the road "and use extreme caution".

President Donald Trump said he has been briefed about the incident by Attorney General William Barr. "FBI and Law Enforcement is fully engaged," he tweeted.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott described the incident as a "senseless and cowardly attack".

"The state of Texas and the Department of Public Safety are working closely with local law enforcement to provide resources as needed and deliver justice for this heinous attack," he said in a statement.

By Seema Hakhu Kachru

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