Toddler hit in face with bullet fragments
At least five people are dead and dozens more are injured following a horrific highway shooting in Texas overnight.
The massacre brought the total number of mass killings in the US so far this year to 25, which is as many mass killings as in all of 2018.
The rampage started with the shooting of a State Trooper during a traffic stop in Odessa, Texas, according to police.
The man, who has now been identified as a white male in his 30s and who police described as an "animal", then began "shooting at random people" shortly after 4pm local time.
A 17-month-old baby girl miraculously survived after she was shot in the face and chest with a bullet fragment during the carnage.
The infant, who has been identified as Anderson Davis, was caught in the crossfire when the gunman went on a killing spree, indiscriminately targeting innocent victims which killed at least five people and injured another 21 in the United States.
The baby girl was hit with a bullet fragment which knocked out her front teeth and pierced a hole in her face and left a hole in her tongue and lip.
The young girl was flown to Lubbock, a city in northwest Texas, to receive treatment, according to multiple reports.
It is too soon to know motive or the identity of the suspect.— FBI El Paso (@FBIElPaso) 31 August 2019
The young girl was flown to Lubbock, a city in northwest Texas, to receive treatment.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise money for her medical costs.
"Anderson is alive and that is a prayer answered bigger than I've ever had to pray. Her vitals are good," the girl's mother said.
"Anderson is 17 months old, has shrapnel in her right chest, which thank God is superficial. She has a hole through her bottom lip and tongue and her front teeth were knocked out.
"She is alive. When others today are not alive."
The page has raised more than $103,000.
The Associated Press mass murder database also shows that depending on whether the suspect killed is included among the five people dead, the total mass killing victims so far this year in the US either equals all of last year at 140 or falls one short at 139.
The shooting comes within a month of the shocking El Paso shooting, which was the most deadly mass shooting in Texas' state history.
On August 3, a gunman, 21, opened fire inside a Walmart, killing 22 people and injuring 24.
HOW IT UNFOLDED
The incident began at about 3.17pm local time, when a Department of Public Safety officer attempted to pull over a driver in a gold Honda, according to Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke.
Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said that one of two state troopers conducting the traffic stop was shot. She said the suspect then fled "and continued shooting innocent people," including two other police officers.
The driver in the Honda then continued westbound where "there were multiple victims" according to Police Chief Gerke.
#Breaking: Just in - Shocking video allegedly from #Midland in #Texas, of police officers shooting at one of the suspect who were driving from #Odessa to #Midland and shot at random places and people in the area. #US pic.twitter.com/nHsic0og71— Sotiri Dimpinoudis (@sotiridi) 31 August 2019
Following this the suspect is believed to have hijacked a mail truck after abandoning his Honda. More people are believed to have been shot following this.
The suspect then began driving east, where he was confronted by officers outside the Cinergy movie theatre.
He exchanged fire with officers before he was fatally shot, according to Police Chief Gerke.
He said the gunman was shot down outside the Cinergy movie theatre in Midland.
Authorities have confirmed that among the 21 shooting victims, three law enforcement officers were shot. At least five people have died.
Ms Cesinger said the trooper is in serious but stable condition. The two police officers are in stable conditions at a local hospital.
VIDEO: Odessa, Midland Police and Texas State Troopers confront Odessa/Midland shooting spree gunman behind Cinergy movie theaters in Odessa, Texas [KOSA-TV] pic.twitter.com/Ihqsc3e7X2— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) 31 August 2019
Midland Mayor Jerry Morales said that not all of those injured were shot by the gunman.
"I do not know anything about the person or the motive," Mr Morales said.
A busboy who was working at a restaurant in Odessa reportedly heard gunshots about 4.30pm local time, according to the New York Times.
He and his co-workers later went outside and saw a number of cars with bullet holes, and came across another injured baby, who was in a car seat and had been shot in the shoulder.
The group also encountered another woman who was sitting in her car, which had been shot at. A bullet had apparently passed through the driver's side window, and out the passenger window, narrowly missing her.
The shooter is going around shooting moving vehicles. Stay off I-20 between Odessa and Midland. pic.twitter.com/IeQ4oBF1nP— Ernest Villanueva (@ErnestVillanu13) 31 August 2019
She was shaken, hyperventilating and bleeding from broken glass in the car.
It was earlier believed two shooters were driving together before reportedly hijacking two vehicles.
Police later clarified there was a single active shooter who hijacked a USPS mail truck, killing its driver, before hijacking another vehicle. The FBI El Paso have confirmed they are assisting with the investigation.
Lock DownLock down in place. Officers are looking for suspect in shooting in the are of UTPB Campus. LOCK DOWN NOW— UT Permian Basin (@utpb) 31 August 2019
WITNESS CAPTURES FINAL CONFRONTATION
Alex Woods, who filmed police shooting outside the Cinergy movie theatre in Midland, said he arrived at the theatre just minutes before the confrontation began.
Here's a video from the shooting in Odessa, Texas. Video courtesy of Alex Woods on Facebook. pic.twitter.com/iwF31o5MMy— Chad Baker (@ChadBlue_) 31 August 2019
"When we had arrived about five minutes before the shooting had begun, I had no clue the shooter was even there," Mr Woods told CNN.
"There was just police everywhere and there was a bunch of people behind the theatre in the field walking and next thing you know this gunfire is going off."
He said he quickly flipped his camera up and started filming, aiming towards to theatres.
"I could see the officer walking up to the mail van and discharging his weapon into it, and I believe that is when the shooter was killed."
"I'm a little bit shaken up," he said.
"I never thought it would happen in my life. It just all happened so quickly."
Cinergy Entertainment Group, the company who own the theatre where the active shooter was shot and killed by police, released a statement following the mass shooting.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and the families of the senseless tragedy in the Odessa/Midland community. The safety of our team members and guests are our top priority and we are extremely grateful for the swift response from local authorities & first responders.— Cinergy Entertainment (@CinergyCinemas) 1 September 2019
PRESIDENT TRUMP ADDRESSES ATTACK
US President Donald Trump has been advised of the situation and the White House is actively monitoring the situation, Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told ABC News.
Just briefed by Attorney General Barr about the shootings in Texas. FBI and Law Enforcement is fully engaged. More to follow.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 31 August 2019
The Texan Attorney-General released a statement responding to the incident on Twitter, calling the mass shooting a "evil attack".
UPDATE ON THE VICTIMS
All staff from the Odessa Hospital have been called in to deal with the developing situation, according to reports from CBS8.
The Medical Centre Hospital in Odessa has currently taken in 13 shooting victims. Seven of those victims were in a critical condition.
One of the victims was under the age of two and has now been transferred to a paediatric treatment centre.
One of the patients has since died, according to The Washington Examiner.
The hospital, which remains in lockdown for the safety of staff and patients, has provided a family staging area, and grief counsellors and social workers are on hand to support those in need, according to hospital CEO Russell Tippin.
Midland and Odessa remain in lockdown, with police advising the areas have not been secured.
Texan Democrat and presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke has unleashed at President Trump's inaction on gun reform following the mass shooting.
"We don't know the motivation, we don't know the firearms that were used, or how they acquired them, O'Rourke, a Texan and former Congressman, told a crowd listening to him in Fairfax Station, Virginia following the shooting. O'Rourke then used an expletive.
"There is no reason that this has to happen in this country."
Another presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, tweeted a heartfelt response to the shooting, saying it was time to "act".
Enough. Texas, my heart is with you. America, we must act.— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) 31 August 2019
The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, also released a statement Saturday, urging leaders to put a stop to the "bloodshed".
"How many more families will lose loved ones, how many more communities will be torn apart?" Cuomo said in a statement on Saturday, local time.
"How many more tragedies will it take before "leaders" act? The bloodshed must end now. DO SOMETHING."
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