The gunman believed to be responsible for killing seven people and injuring more than 20 others in Odessa and Midland, Texas was identified as a 36-year-old who was recently fired from his job at the Journey Oilfield Service in Odessa.
ABC News reports the man, whose name is intentionally being left from this report, was terminated just hours before he carried out his killing spree. And, just minutes before the rampage, the man called local law enforcement to complain about his old boss.
The alleged gunman who killed seven people and injured more than 20 in Odessa and Midland in western Texas called the police and an FBI tip line, making "rambling statements" about being fired by his employer, police said https://t.co/21VgOrQLLS
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 3, 2019
According to the report, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said at a news conference that the employer also called Odessa Police Department’s 911 emergency response team about his former employee as the two “had a disagreement over the firing.”
During the call, the man now arrested for killing four people and injuring many others reportedly did not make any threats of violence. And, despite the timing of the firing, investigators do not believe the firing to be the cause of the massacre.
“He showed up to work in a very distressed mental state. So it’s not because he got fired,” FBI special agent Christopher Combs from the field office in San Antonio said. “This did not happen because he was fired. When he showed up to work he was already enraged.”
“I can tell you the conditions reflect what we believe his mental state was going into this,” Combs continued. “He was on a long spiral of going down. He didn’t wake up Saturday morning and walk into his company and then it happened. He went into that company in trouble. He’s probably been in trouble for a while.”
ABC News adds:
The shootings unfolded at 3:15 p.m. local time on Saturday, about 15 minutes after [the shooter] called the FBI’s National Tip Line, Combs said.
The first victim in the rampage was a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper who pulled the suspect over for failing to signal before making a turn, Gerke said. As the trooper approached the car, [the shooter] allegedly opened fire with an AR-type assault rifle, wounding the trooper, he said.
Gerke said the trooper had no prior knowledge of the phone calls [the shooter] made to law enforcement before pulling the suspect over.
[The shooter] then allegedly drove around in his vehicle randomly firing at victims in 20 different locations, including a car dealership and outside a movie theater, police said.
The victims killed ranged in age from 15 to 57.
One of the victims was Mary Granado, a 29-year-old U.S. Postal Service worker, who [the shooter] allegedly shot to death during a carjacking, Gerke said.
The suspect allegedly ditched his car and stole Granado’s postal service van after killing her, Gerke said. He continued driving around the Odessa area, firing at people at random, the chief said.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott revealed that the Odessa shooter previously tried to purchase a firearm but was rejected due to his criminal history. He did not, however, go through a criminal backgrounds check for the gun he used in the assault. It is unclear how he obtained the weapon.
“He didn’t go thru a background check for the gun he used in Odessa,” Abbott tweeted. “We must keep guns out of criminals’ hands.”
ABC News reports the shooter was previously arrested on Aug. 1, 2001, after he evaded arrest and criminal trespassing in McLennan County, Texas. He pleaded guilty to these misdemeanor charges and was sentenced to two years in prison. These charges prevented him from buying a gun.
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
Not only did the Odessa gunman have a criminal history…
…he also previously failed a gun purchase background check in Texas…
…& he didn’t go thru a background check for the gun he used in Odessa.
We must keep guns out of criminals’ hands. https://t.co/vgrqcHtBtF
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 2, 2019