Seth Aaron Ator has been identified as the man who shot two police officers during a traffic stop, hijacked a U.S. Postal Service truck, and continued to open fire at random in Odessa and Midlands, Texas. The 36-year-old killed seven people during his rampage and injured more than 20 others, according to the Arizona Republic.
After the initial traffic stop, Ator “pointed a rifle toward the rear window of his car and fired several shots toward the DPS patrol unit” which injured two officers. Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said Ator fired with an “AR-style” weapon.
Victims ranged from ages 15 to 57.
From the report:
The incident began when a gold-colored car was stopped by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper for failing to signal. Police say the shooter grabbed a rifle and shot at a pair of troopers through the rear-view window — wounding one — before driving away. He then sped off and continued his rampage, firing at motorists and pedestrians before hijacking a U.S. Postal Service truck.
Ator was killed after being chased by members of the Odessa Police Department.
According to the New York Times, Ator worked as a truck driver but was fired hours before his shooting rampage began. Despite being fired, police have yet to give an official motive for the shooting.
Ator had previously been arrested for trespassing and evading arrest on August 3, 2001. According to public records, Ator had attended Texas State Technical College in Waco, Texas in 2005 and later attended McLennan Community College.
Our deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of all of the victims involved in this horrible tragedy.
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