ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Governor Greg Abbott is currently at Medical Center Hospital visiting with medical personnel, according to hospital officials.
The Governor headed to MCH following a press conference where he and Odessa Police Chief Mike Gerke provided updates on the shootings that occurred on Saturday.
Ranging in age from 15 to 57-years-old, Gerke said seven people are dead. He said 22 people are injured, three of them law enforcement.
“After three in the afternoon we had something happen that we would never wish on anyone,” Gerke said.
Following a traffic stop on I-20 by Texas DPS troopers around 3:15 p.m., a trooper was shot by the man he pulled over, Gerke said.
After shooting the trooper, Gerke said the man made his way into Odessa where he continued shooting people at random. Due to the subject’s mobility, he said law enforcement was not sure if there were multiple shooters, but they now believe it was just one man.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” he said. “It is active. There are still multiple crime scenes that are being worked. There are no definitive answers as to motive or reasons at this point.”
Law enforcement refused to name the shooter during the press conference, but said they would release that information later on.
Gerke said they appreciate people bringing food and water to the crime scenes, but that it hindering the investigation. He said they could bring it to the central location of UTPB.
The governor’s comments
Governor Abbott said the past 24 hours has shattered lives and broken heart all across the permian basin.
“We want people of the Permian basin to know that all of Texans stand with you and embrace you at this time of challenge,” Abbott said. “We are here today. And we’ll be here everyday until this community is pieced back together.”
He said he knows that words alone are inadequate. He said words must be met with action.
Abbott went on to thank all of the law enforcement agencies who were involved with the response to and investigation of the mass shooting.
Abbott said the mother of a 17-month-old victim texted just before the press conference. He said the mother thanked everyone for their prayers, but said this situation is their worst nightmare.
In the text, she said they are thankful she is alive, Abbott said.
“Let me say this, I have been to too many of these events,” “As governor the first one I went to was after the shooting in downtown Dallas that killed police officers as well as others. then there was Southerland Springs where 26 people were killed. Then there was Santa Fe high school where 10 people were killed. Then less than a month ago there was a shooting in El Paso. Well, I am heartbroken by the crying of the people of the state of Texas. I am tired of the dying of the people of the state of Texas. Too many Texans are in mourning. Too many Texans have lost their lives. The status quo in Texas is unacceptable.