World

Texas shootings: Random gun attacks leave five dead

People are evacuated from Cinergy Odessa cinema following the shootings Image copyright Reuters
Image caption People were evacuated from a cinema in Odessa following the shootings

A mass shooting in the US state of Texas has left at least five people dead and many more injured, police say.

At least one gunman shot randomly at people while driving round the western cities of Odessa and Midland on Saturday afternoon.

Police say a suspect – a white male – has been shot and killed, but reports of other suspects at large are being investigated.

No motive for the shootings has yet been established.

A police spokesman confirmed five people had been killed and at least 16 injured. Police officers were among the victims, he told reporters.

The shootings come exactly four weeks after a gunman shot and killed 22 people and injured 24 others in the Texan city of El Paso.

Police said Saturday’s incident began after an officer pulled over a vehicle driving on a highway in Midland.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Victims were shot at random, police say

The driver then opened fire on the officer before stealing a US Postal Service van and opening fire on people at random as he drove around.

The suspect was subsequently killed in an exchange of fire with the police outside a cinema in the city of Odessa.

“It was chaos in a matter of seconds,” Junior Bejarano, a worker at a nearby restaurant, told the New York Times. “People were screaming, flipping chairs, dropping plates.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement that he was “horrified to see such a senseless act”.

In another statement, the state’s Governor Greg Abbott said: “We will not allow the Lone Star State to be overrun by hatred and violence. We will unite, as Texans always do, to respond to this tragedy.”

In a tweet, US President Donald Trump said he was being kept informed about the shootings in Texas.

Later, at a press conference, Vice President Mike Pence said he and the Trump administration “remain absolutely determined to work with leaders in both parties in Congress to take steps that we can address and confront this scourge of mass atrocity in our country”.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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