World Sunday, 1 September , 2019Short Link:
Five people were killed and at least 21 others were injured in a brazen daylight drive-by mass shooting in the West Texas cities of Midland and Odessa on Saturday.
Ariana News Agency-
The attack at the start of Labor Day weekend terrified sister cities 20 miles apart with a combined population of 263,000, less than a month after gunmen killed 31 people in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, in back-to-back massacres that stunned the nation and revived the debate in Washington over gun control.
The chief of the Odessa Police Department, Michael Gerke, said at a news conference on Saturday that the attack had begun after a traffic stop. The gunman fled the police and hijacked a postal truck, firing at civilians as he made his way into Odessa.
Three law enforcement officers and a toddler were among those wounded, before the police shot and killed the gunman, a man in his mid-30s, near a movie theater on the outskirts of Odessa. The police said the gunman’s motive was not immediately clear.
It was, in some ways, a sadly familiar scene of panic in America, as people suddenly ducked for cover or fled businesses as gunshots rang out. In Texas alone since 2017, there have been four mass shootings including the one Saturday. And yet in other ways it was unique, as the panic typically concentrated in one school or store spread for miles across the Texas flatlands amid early reports that there were multiple gunmen.
Police officers and state troopers warded drivers off the highways as businesses across the two cities shut their doors. Universities went on lockdown. A television station in Odessa evacuated its studio while its reporters were covering the breaking news live on the air.
“Our hearts break,” Vice President Mike Pence told reporters Saturday as he prepared to depart for Poland at Andrews Air Force Base, adding that both he and President Trump “remain absolutely determined to work with leaders in both parties and the Congress to take such steps so that we can address and confront this scourge of mass atrocities.”
The shooting rekindled a debate over gun control that had been prompted by the El Paso attack but had faded when Mr. Trump appeared to defer to Congress, which went into recess. It comes a week before Congress reconvenes and just one day before Texas is set to ease some gun restrictions, making it easier to carry handguns in churches and schools.