Texas shooting toll rises to 7 - local media reports

Vehicles arrive on the scene of the investigation following a deadly shooting. (AFP, file)
Vehicles arrive on the scene of the investigation following a deadly shooting. (AFP, file)

The death toll in a mass shooting that unfurled chaotically on highways in western Texas has risen to seven, local media reported on Sunday, citing authorities.

The police had said on Saturday five people died and 21 were wounded in the extended shootout on roads between the cities of Midland and Odessa.

READ | Five dead, 21 hurt in Texas mass shooting

The assailant died in a shootout with police outside an Odessa movie theatre.

On Sunday, an Odessa city spokesperson told reporters there were now eight confirmed deaths, including the shooter - three in Midland and five in Odessa - NBC affiliate NewsWest9 reported.

The shooter's identity and motive have yet to be released, though the police described him as a white man in his mid-30s.

Wild chase

The incident began when troopers tried to pull over a gold-coloured passenger vehicle on the Interstate 20 highway.

Before it stopped, "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 Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

One trooper was wounded, and the suspect fled "and continued shooting innocent people", the department said.

The shooter led the police on a wild chase during which he hijacked a US postal truck and opened fire at random.

Coming less than a month after a gunman killed 22 people in the Texas city of El Paso - less than 480km west of Odessa - the latest bloodshed has ignited fresh calls for steps to stem the US scourge of mass shootings.

In a Twitter message on Sunday, US President Donald Trump congratulated Texas law enforcement, the FBI and first responders for their response to "the terrible shooting tragedy yesterday... A very tough and sad situation!"

But later, speaking to reporters on the White House lawn, he said while discussions on curbing gun violence were underway with legislators of both parties, "This really hasn't changed anything."

While he himself spoke after the El Paso shooting of requiring "strong background checks" to prevent unstable people from purchasing guns, Trump said on Sunday recent history showed that "as strong as you make your background checks, they would not have stopped any of it".

But former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, bluntly disagreed.

He told CNN on Sunday: "If we're not able to act decisively, then we will continue to have this bloodshed."

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android here now. Get it for your iPhone here.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When assisting your child with remote learning this year, did you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Follow the school's comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum?
13% - 49 votes
Adjust the CSE curriculum to suit the family's morals?
26% - 95 votes
Ignore the schools CSE programme and do your own teaching?
61% - 222 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.24
(-0.20)
ZAR/GBP
20.30
(+0.04)
ZAR/EUR
18.16
(-0.24)
ZAR/AUD
11.23
(-0.38)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.25)
Gold
1806.19
(-0.17)
Silver
23.18
(-0.06)
Platinum
958.00
(-0.03)
Brent Crude
47.75
(-1.52)
Palladium
2368.36
(+0.54)
All Share
57871.61
(-0.09)
Top 40
53074.52
(-0.02)
Financial 15
11746.73
(+0.87)
Industrial 25
79725.48
(-0.33)
Resource 10
52697.22
(-0.18)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo