Return to Transcripts main page
Five Dead, 21 Injured In West Texas Shootings, Suspect Killed; Odessa Hospital Gives Update On Shooting Victims; Officials Identify Gunman As White Male In Mid-30s, Killed Outside Movie Theater; Officials: Gunman Ditched First Vehicle, Hijacked A Mail Truck. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired August 31, 2019 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL GERKE, ODESSA POLICE CHIEF: There's again this is a very fluid changing situation. So please understand that what I'm telling you is not written in stone. These facts, this knowledge can change, OK? At that point this subject was contacted by law enforcement and he - an exchange of gunfire happened and that subject is deceased at that location.
We have law enforcement injured. We have the DPS trooper in Midland County. We have one MPD officer and one OPD officer that were struck. As far as civilian casualties, we have at least 21 victims.
21 shooting victims and at least five deceased at this point in time. Please understand that this is not just an OPD and Midland police department and a DPS thing. Both sheriffs' office, Midland County and sheriff's office was involved and - our local school district police Department, our university of Texas and Permian Basin School - excuse me, police department was involved.
This was a joint effort by just a multitude of departments to find this animal and bring him to justice. At this point, I'll take questions.
REPORTER: Has the suspect been identified?
GERKE: Right now, I'll tell you that he is a white male in his mid- thirties. I don't have a positive identification on him, yet I have an idea who he is so I won't release that information until we're absolutely positive.
REPORTER: Are there any current active shooters going on at this time?
GERKE: We have - we've had calls which is to be expected because obviously our citizens are a little jumpy after this which is also to be expected. But at - once this individual was taken out of the picture, there have been no more victims.
REPORTER: Is there a reason to believe that there is a second suspect that is on the loose?
GERKE: There have been reports that that's possible but again there have been no - no confirmations of that.
REPORTER: Any updates on the conditions of the other people that were shot that are still alive?
GERKE: I can't - I can't tell you that right now and you know, the big thing is, it's so chaotic still at the local hospitals that it's very difficult to get that information.
REPORTER: Lot of people on Facebook are searching for family members who they probably were not able to get a hold of. What's the idea and behind that and how they can keep in contact with the hospital and other law enforcement?
GERKE: Well, again, once we are able to compile a list of victims' names, we can absolutely put that out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And also - sorry - the hospital has set up area for patients' families, medicals in the hospital have set up an area for patients; families in the cafeteria and they have health chaplains on staff.
REPORTER: So we got a report of two vehicles earlier today, what - I guess, is that not confirmed?
GERKE: I think what - the issue with that was that you have the original vehicle and then you have the mail truck. At one point, we didn't know that that was the same person but that is confirmed now, same person. Anything else.
REPORTER: Do we know what kind of firearm was used? Was it a gun, was it a shotgun?
GERKE: Obviously it was a gun. At this point I'm really not sure of.
REPORTER: And then how did the incident begin?
GERKE: Again, it started with the traffic stop, the attempted traffic stop by GPS.
REPORTER: Any precautions for the general public?
GERKE: You know, I would - I would tell people to still be cautious, still try to stay in their residences if at all possible. We do believe that we have the threat contained but I can't be 1000 percent positive that's the case at this point.
REPORTER: It might be way too early to tell but any motive that you guys are -?
GERKE: No, no, absolutely, I can't tell you of a motive at this point.
REPORTER: Do you know what the traffic stop was for?
GERKE: I do not.
REPORTER: Do you know what happened to the postal employee that I guess the truck was hijacked.
GERKE: At this point, I don't know. I would assume that he's - he's part of the victim list but I'm not sure of his status.
REPORTER: I saw an ECASD bus going down 191. Are you guys using the school transportation to help victims or patients or anything like that?
GERKE: Not to my knowledge. No. OK, thank you guys. We will get back to work and we will update you periodically, OK?
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: OK, we just had an update now from Odessa police and the headline there, five people are dead and at least 21 people are injured. The suspect was also killed. CNN Crime and Justice Reporter, Shimon Prokupecz is here with me now.
And we now know this all began as a traffic stop.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: And here we go again you know. Five dead. For Texas another mass shooting in just a month when you think about what happened at El Paso and now you have Texas. Authorities and the Texas Rangers, GPS folks there, the FBI, the ATF, all are going to be involved in this investigation. The shooter is dead according to the police there.
They do not right now believe there's a threat. I think that's a very significant for people certainly who live there who are concerned for their safety should know that police are now saying that they believe the threat is contained and they do believe right now despite reports and again as we've been saying here on air, Ana, initial reports always indicate there's more - possibly more than one shooter and as we go through these, we learn that it's usually just one shooter and police now believe that shooter is dead.
Exchanged gunfire with police. Right now they believe police killed him. We have three officers now injured as we heard from the Mayor before. One of them is in surgery. So things here obviously still developing. We don't know the conditions of the others that have been injured so we could see more fatalities in this but certainly for this community, for Texas, yet again here they're going to have to be dealing with a really tough night, tough days ahead.
And now to answer - you know questions, what happened here, how this happened?
PROKUPECZ: Significant as you point out, this traffic stop, there's going to be a lot of questions. Why were police involved in this traffic stop? Why did they pull this shooter over or this person over? He shot the officer there, continued on more shooting, more people being shot by this shooter and then police cornered him at the Cinergy, this entertainment center - movie theater and where they exchanged gunfire and they believe they killed him. CABRERA: And I think it was important to note that he could not be 100
percent certain that there's still not a threat out there but he did say that since this person was taken out, there have been no new victims reported.
So that was an important information. We also learn the shooter is a white male in his mid-thirties. That's the only identification that that man - the official gave us at this time so much more to learn, unclear what kind of weapon he used specifically, also unclear the motive here.
I want to show you some new video that we just got in from the shooting there in Odessa, Texas, watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOICE OF ALEX WOODS: There's a shooting going on in Odessa, Texas. Oh God, there's shooting right there. Oh, he hits a barrier. The cop has hit the barrier. Get down, get down, get down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down. Get down. Get down. Get down.
WOODS: There he is still. He's shooting him. He's shooting him. Oh, he's killed him. He killed him. Oh he shoot him up. He hit the barrier.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: OK, that video was taken by Alex Woods outside the Cinergy Entertainment Complex. We understand that is where the gunman was shot and killed. And Alex, that witness joins us now by phone. Alex, while intense to watch that video, to hear you. Walk us through what you saw starting with what made you begin recording.
WOODS: Well, we had arrived about five minutes before the shooting had begun and the police were heading up towards the hospital which is next to movie theater.
Next thing you know, I hear a pop so I put the camera to where the theater is at and I just see a bunch of gunfire going on and 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.
CABRERA: Wow. What was going through your mind?
WOODS: It was a very surreal moment. It's - I never thought it would happen in my life.
CABRERA: I imagine you're pretty shaken up still now.
WOODS: A little bit, yes.
CABRERA: Yes. Did you - did you happen to get a look at this man who was the shooter?
WOODS: No I did not. CABRERA: And what was the situation like around you and you talk about
the mail van and the person who is shooting who was eventually killed, were there a lot of people in the vicinity? Was this - this man opening fire and shooting all over the place? Help me understand what was happening.
WOODS: So when they had arrived about five minutes before the shooting at the gun, I had no clue the shooter was even there. There was just police everywhere and there was a bunch of people behind the theater in the field walking and next thing you know, this gun fire is going off.
So it just all happened so quickly, it was all - it was a lot to take in.
CABRERA: Is it clear whether the gunman was able to harm people at the theater before police encountered him?
WOODS: When we had arrived five minutes earlier, it was just police everywhere so not that I'm aware of.
CABRERA: And where are you - where are you now and what can you see?
WOODS: Well, I'm outside of Odessa mall and there are many police around it and it looks like they're evacuating the building, it looks like. There's many people running out of it earlier see police parked out front of - right now.
CABRERA: Have you had a chance to speak with any law enforcement officials, I imagine that they may be interested in speaking to you as a witness?
WOODS: I have not had a chance to speak to them.
CABRERA: What is your plan now?
WOODS: I don't know.
CABRERA: I so appreciate you taking this time to talk with us. Given officials are saying, they can't rule out another shooter being out there possibly. You know, they're telling people to you know be extra cautious. They're telling people to still stay indoors, to stay inside to stay off the streets until they have more additional information.
So I just wanted to pass that along to you so I want to make sure you stay safe and I would encourage you to reach out to law enforcement and share your video with them as well. I'm sure they would be interested. Alex, thank you for taking the time with us. I'm glad you're safe and let's all hope this is all over.
WOODS: Thank you.
CABRERA: Thank you. We're continuing to follow the latest out of West Texas. An active shooter situation. At least five people killed. The shooter now dead as well. Several others up to 21 also injured. We're working to get more information for you. We'll be right back.
CABRERA: I want to take you back to Odessa, Texas. Officials speaking again moments ago. Let's listen.
JOHN ALVAREZ, ODESSA POLICE FIRE CHIEF: We need to make sure that everybody is aware of what's going on at this point.
REPORTER: Do you know how many are in Odessa hospitals or how many are in Midland hospitals or that count?
ALVAREZ: That count, we're just trying to figure that out this point but I can tell you that we have notified Medical Center hospital. We've also notified Odessa Regional Medical Center and Miller Memorial Hospital so we've also notified our outlying communities such as Andrews Crane for any assistance.
We do have Midland Fire Department here that is assisting us. They've had - got several units that are assisting - that are provided to us to assist - assist us with anything that comes up at this point.
REPORTER: OK, as police confirmed, so this a traffic stop gone wrong at DPS somewhere in Midland. Where is it that all 21 people were shot. Were they shot at the Cinergy, right there at the 191, is that where the majority of it happened?
ALVAREZ: Ma'am, I do not know - I do not know that as I'm not law enforcement but all I can tell you is that we've had several casualties that we've transported.
REPORTER: - the DPS to send out - how many units--
ALVAREZ: We had several of our units. We - to the point where we had to call for Midland Fire Department to assist us with some of our EMS running out here. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chief Alvarez speaking now. He took the podium after Chief Gerke with Odessa police and then when Chief Gerke was--
CABRERA: OK, again, we're just listening into some additional information provided by officials talking about people being injured, taken to hospitals. Unclear right now the conditions of those people who are injured but we know five people are dead. The shooter also killed at a moving a complex of sorts in Odessa, Texas.
And officials telling us that the shooter is a white male in his mid- thirties and we're working to get more information about potential motive here. We're continuing to get more information. We'll follow all the developments on the shooting. 2020 presidential candidate, Julian Castro joins us next. Stay with us.
CABRERA: Hour breaking news right now on CNN. A mass shooting incident in West Texas is over. The suspected shooter is dead. This is according to police. Officials in Midland Texas just confirmed to CNN that a gunman who is believed to have shot and killed at least five people and wounded more than 20 others is now dead.
A police department spokesman saying that the suspected shooter was confronted by officers at an entertainment complex in Odessa, Texas. Gunfire was exchanged and the gunman was killed. Police are not revealing the suspect's identity or any possible motivation for this shooting rampage.
However they do tell us the suspect is a white male in his mid- thirties. One more thing, police said they were not 100 percent convinced that there is not another shooter. Initially officials that it was possible that more than one person was shooting people, apparently at random from at least two different moving vehicles.
I want to bring in CNN's Law Enforcement Analyst and former FBI Supervisory Special Agent, Josh Campbell and Josh, we know this all started with a traffic stop. You say that is significant. Explain.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, Ana, we're getting additional details that's helping us fill out this picture. Obviously in the early stages. It's a very chaotic scene but we're getting new information and what's important here is that timeline.
Now as we were told from authorities, this began as a traffic stop and then escalated from there. The reason why that's important is because we've seen incidents in the past across this country just in the last month. There have been several of these and again indeed in the past year where someone wakes up on a particular day, intending to cause mass loss of life and then goes out to execute.
This doesn't appear at least initially and there's a lot that we don't know but it doesn't appear as though this one person came out and started killing people indiscriminately. It seems to have stemmed from this traffic stop.
Now I would submit to you that in law enforcement perhaps the most dangerous job in the country is not the SWAT officer that's rolling up to a house to conduct a raid. It's that patrol officer who's walking into the unknown, that's walking upon a vehicle that he or she has pulled over.
They don't know what it's about to transpire and in this situation again, there's a lot we don't know. If you have someone perhaps who's wanted on a lot of criminal arrest warrant that has criminal history and has the means with a weapon at his side, that person not wanting to be taken into custody may engage officers and that's could - that could have happened here.
Now it's also important to note, Ana that these numbers we're seeing, five dead, 21 injured. We don't know that those 21 injured were actually shot. Now these could have been people that may have been injured in a traffic incident. We saw that chilling footage earlier from an eye witness of with the police vehicle that was colliding with the barricade.
So in the aftermath, there could be injury cost and then as well as in that populated mall, the area where people were gathered, people could be fleeing and the likes. So again that doesn't make this less deadly that the subject appears to have responded to the police and opened fire, but again it lets us try to fill out this motivation and what was taking place in the immediate aftermath of this incident.
CABRERA: And what would police be doing right now then?
CAMPBELL: So now that the shooter is deceased, they cannot interview him. We've seen incidents in the past where they go down a certain number of ways, either the person is you know, walks up to law enforcement as we just saw in El Paso a month ago, turned himself in.
We've seen an incident where the just subject will turn the weapon on themselves and kill themselves. We've seen incidents where they are engaged by police and they are dead. The latter is what appears to have happened here. That makes it more difficult for law enforcement. They can't question him. They can't glean information regarding the motivation and what was taking place.
So they'll have to work out from there, circle that target, first try to positively identify him. We haven't heard yet from officials that they've done that positive identification. There have been instances where someone doesn't have identification and so they have to go to other means, perhaps you know cell phone registration.
If this vehicle indeed belonged to the shooter, they could look at registration records and the like and once they are identified, you start doing that 360, trying to figure out what would this person like, who were the people in his orbit.
Trying to get a sense of what they're dealing with and then once that identification takes place, they'll know very quickly whether this person has a criminal history and a criminal past which will all be - those are the additional key pieces of this investigation.
CABRERA: And what else might they be looking at to determine his motivation?
CAMPBELL: So in addition to talking people - to people that are in this person's orbit, associates, family members, friends and the like, again you want to determine was this a violent person? Was this someone who indicated some type of antipathy towards police officers, towards law enforcement.
Was he again, wanted on criminal charges and was simply trying to get away and flee being taken into custody by law enforcement officers, which we see nearly every day in this country. Police chases that stem from someone not wanting to be arrested and again, that will be part of that investigation.
Again, you want to get into the mindset. The last piece which again we've heard over and over again in these investigations, you want to look at the digital footprint if this person has one, a social media, email, text messages and the like.
He cannot speak for himself so his past communications will have to speak for him that will be part of this robust case.
CABRERA: And real quick Josh, because I know you have such close connections with people in law enforcement circles, is there still a chance somebody else is out there right now? Or have you heard any definitive you know, reporting from your law enforcement sources that this is done?
CAMPBELL: We have and I'll say very quickly that immediate aftermath of incidents, we hear reports of multiple shooters, I'll tell you there was almost always never a second shooter. That said if law enforcement gets a report from a witness that they saw additional person, they have to run that to ground but as of right now we're not hearing that information.
CABRERA: OK, Josh Campbell, I really appreciate you. Please stand by. I want to bring in now former San Antonio Mayor, HUD Secretary and 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate, Julian Castro. Thank you so much, sir, for being here with us. You were on this network with Wolf Blitzer soon after the El Paso rampage, which was exactly four weeks ago.
And here we are again with the tragedy in your home state of Texas again. What are your initial thoughts?
JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our hearts go out to the victims of the shooting, tonight and their families. All of them - all of us have heavy hearts, we're thinking about them. It is also another very powerful reminder that we have to act. We have to act to stop these kinds of incidents.
The most powerful moment of the last three weeks after what happened in El Paso and in Dayton. To me, it came, one or two days after Dayton. The Governor of Ohio was giving remarks about what had happened in the crowd that was listening to him, people that were from every walk of life.
People, I'm sure of different political backgrounds began to chant, "do something, do something, do something." That is what - is to do something to ensure that people who shouldn't have weapons don't get them. And that certain types of weapons never get on the street.
And we don't know all the details of what happened today but we certainly know what happened in El Paso and Dayton and at Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston where I was yesterday. But we know that we have to do something.
CABRERA: Let me read you a part of the statement from Governor Greg Abbott who writes, "the First Lady and I are heartbroken over the senseless and cowardly act - attack and we offer our unwavering support to the victims, their families and all the people of Midland and Odessa."
And he goes on to say, "I want to remind all Texans that we will not allow the Lone Star state to be overrun by hatred and violence." We don't know the motivation here but we do know five people are dead. We know that you know, nearly 2 dozen more are injured when you talk about do something. When you talk about taking action, what is it you're proposing specifically?
CASTRO: What we need to do is two-fold. Number one, although we don't know the details of this incident.
What we do know is that extremism and particularly white supremacy has been on the rise and that's turned into violence El Paso and in Charleston and other places. So we need to give our Department of Justice, of Homeland Security and our FBI, the tools that they need to root out that extremism before it turns into violence.
Secondly. we need common sense gun safety legislation, universal background checks, limiting the capacity of magazines, a renewed assault weapons ban. As your viewers know, the AR 15 especially has been unfortunately the weapon of choice of many of these shooters.
Those are weapons of war and they don't belong on the streets. In addition to that, we need to do things like institute a 7-day waiting period for the purchase of a firearm and I would actually raise the excise tax on guns and ammunition from 10 percent to 20 percent and then use the $600 million to $700 million that that would garner in revenue every year to invest in gun violence prevention programs in local communities.
We know what we have to do. The issue is who's going to have the political courage, the political will to do it and I think Republicans and Democrats need to work together on this. That's true. It's also true as much as I'd like to believe, Governor Abbot's words, this is a governor that championed and signed legislation that takes effect tomorrow.
Eight new pieces of legislation that are going to make it easier for people to carry weapons in Texas. So you know, this time of reckoning has come and I really believe that it's a new era in the United States where people of different backgrounds are saying, "do something, do something, do something."
And I hope that we will and I'm going to work like other will so that we won't.
CABRERA: So you - as you argue on gun control and I'll quote directly from you, that it's possible to have common sense gun reform and still have the second amendment in place, what do you say to your fellow Texans who believe a moment like this is exactly why lawful gun owners should be allowed to keep them ready and in more public places? CASTRO: The answer is not more guns. Think about what happened in El Paso three weeks ago for instance. You had a shooter that drove ten hours to El Paso knowing that he was going to go into a Walmart that had 2000 or 3000 people there in the state of Texas that has concealed carry, it has opened carry, it allows campus carry, it has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the United States and people who are carrying with them.
He knew that he was going into a situation where many, many people were armed and ready and that didn't stop him. It didn't make a single difference. Today this shooter apparently, you know, shot and perhaps killed a member of law enforcement. So yes, more guns is not necessarily the answer.
I don't think it ever is the answer. What we need to do is enact the right kind of gun reform.
CABRERA: OK, Secretary Castro, I'm sorry to interrupt but I will come back when we can. We have a another press conference going on right now that's at the Medical Center. I do want to listen in.
RUSSEL TIPPIN, CEO, MEDICAL CENTER HEALTH SYSTEM: All right, here we go. Thank you all for coming out here on a short notice. We appreciate you being here. First of all, we're just going to be very short and very brief. We felt it necessary just to update everybody and just to get on top of this situation.
Let me introduce myself first. My name is Russell Tippin. I'm the CEO of Medical Center Health Systems. I'm joined here by Matt. He's our Chief Operations Officer. We have Cerise here, she's an RAN and then we have our marketing guy here, Lucas.
So we're just - what I'm going to do here just briefly is give some - some facts, some quick information. I know everybody's wanting to know what the status and everything is but I just want to come out here and brief.
After this is over, we're going to go back, get some more details, get our heads wrapped around this and then we'll inform the media when we're going to come out again with some more information, OK?
So first of all let me start with this, anybody that hears the sound of my voice, you need to grasp on to your loved ones and hold onto him and you need to pray for this town and all the towns and the families and the victims involved.
You need to hold on to them because this is a scary incident and nobody is guaranteed tomorrow and if you are here, you can hear my voice, please take a minute to stop and give your thoughts and your prayers all the families of the victims of this tragic incident, OK?
First of all, that's the first thing we need to do first is to do that. I'm going to give you just some information about what we have going on here Medical Center and let me give you an update.
[19:35:00] What we know is right now we have 14 victims in the hospital, OK? We have 14 victims inside. I'm not ready to discuss ages or anything like that but I will let you know, we have 14 people on site. The hospital has staged an area for the families. We have counselors, grief counselors, everybody, social workers with the families right now, trying to provide them some support.
So we have them staged in an area. We have an executive nurse and a nursing team assigned to that area to take families and update them on their family members or friends that are here and so we have somebody assigned to that, to work with the families, OK?
The hospital in all the locations are locked now and that's only for the safety of our staff and for everybody in the hospitals, OK? Once we feel safe to open that back up, we will. But right now everything is locked down for safety purposes, all right?
Our nurses, doctors, everybody, lab techs, housekeeping, everybody is doing a fantastic job. We have - we have good blood sources. We have good supplies right now. Everything is good at this point, OK?
As far as we know what - we're getting a lot to hear. We're getting a lot of updates, lot of information but right now the hospital is stable and secure. Everybody that was--
Their conditions vary but we're not ready to speak on that but we do have 14 here, all right. I don't think I need to do any questions or comments other than that right now. I just wanted updates on what's going on and then we will - we will give you more information as we have, OK? All right, thank you all very much. We'll be back.
CABRERA: OK, that was Russell Tippin, the CEO of Medical Center Health Systems there and he was just briefing us on the number of injured who they were treating at the hospital there, 14 people, who they were treating at the hospital.
He did not provide any ages or describe their injuries for us but he wanted to assure everybody there on scene that the families have been you know, offered assistance with social workers and counseling to help them get through this really traumatic time and he really wanted to pass along the message, it's the time to hold loved ones tight.
And he said please pray for this town, this community and what people are going through. The hospital does remain on lockdown for safety purposes. So joining us now to discuss further CNN Crime and Justice Correspondent, Shimon Prokupecz and Juliette Kayyem. She's our national security analyst.
And the fact that the hospital Shimon is still on locked out, it still sounds like a lot of people are on edge not knowing if this is over.
PROKUPECZ: Yes, and we don't have an all clear from the police really. I mean they don't believe there was another shooter, right? You make - you've been making a point that they still need to make sure but I also think people - can you imagine for the hospital and the workers there and the staff, the nurses. There have police officers running around this entire area. They
locked down the hospital as this was ongoing, as they were looking for the shooter, the hospital was put on lockdown and then there were getting patients and receiving people to treat while there they themselves were wondering you know, could we get injured, could we get shot in this situation.
But yet you know, they took in the hospital says, 14 victims and now obviously the big question is what happened here. I do think your conversation with Josh before was important that this traffic stop. We don't know enough information yet about what happened here. Why did the police pull him over?
Was this officer as in many cases in some of these towns, they're alone as they approach these vehicles, one of the most dangerous things officers can do is pull over a car. Was this officer alone when they pulled this vehicle over, why? That's going to be - that's going to answer a lot of questions for us, I think, give us a lot of answers at least as to what happened.
Why did they feel that he needed to pull this person over? Could this have been an ambush type situation, that's the other thing we - you know, we shouldn't forget officers often times are ambushed in this kind of situation. Could the shooter here have done something to provoke the officer into pulling him over and then unleashing this gunfire, this rampage through this community, two communities through Texas.
Those are all the questions I think, that need to still be answered and who is this person and you know, listening to that official at the hospital speak you know for me, I couldn't help but think about the staff there who had to deal with this while the shooter as far as they were concerned, was still out there on the loose, could he come to the hospital?
The hospital was on lockdown. Hospital's on lock down but they're still taking patients.
CABRERA: OK, and if you're just joining us, I do want to recap slightly what we've learned about the events of this afternoon. Officials telling us that it began with a traffic stop. The person that they stopped, opened fire, then took off.
There was a police pursuit at some point believe that this individual changed vehicles and actually hijacked, we're told a USPS mail truck and continued on running, randomly shooting we're told from that vehicle at other vehicles.
We now know five people were killed before the shooter himself was eventually tracked to a theater, entertainment complex in Odessa, Texas where law enforcement moved in from multiple agency, cornered him and then ultimately there was a shootout we believe and that shooter ended up dead. Juliette Kayyem, let me bring you in. All we know about the shooter
is, he is a male, a white male we're told in his mid-thirties, that's all we know. What will officials be looking at right now to determine his motivation?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So and we don't know whether motivation is even relevant at this stage so let's just - here's what we know and I just want to pick up on Shimon said, we do not know the reason for why he was pulled over on what was called a traffic stop.
We don't know if it was spontaneous or if they actually had been following him or if they thought he was going to do something. That is key because just looking at it from my perspective, this was a heavily armed individual. We've got 14 victims. How many shots were deployed? Why did he have that much weaponry in his car?
So to me, that's just the key issue. Was this a random pull over that ended up being massive five deaths, mass shooting plus many victims or was this a stop that was intended because they were worried about this guy. They knew him before. We'll find that out in the next couple of hours.
So we'll just - those are the two possibilities. Then when you get to motive, the fact he's a white male doesn't tell me much. That does tell me that who he's not, right? It tells me that it's - this is not an Islamic terrorism incident or you know something that we always have to be worried about.
But it doesn't tell me much more so that's sort of where motive goes and - and issues around the gun and - and what kind of gun was used. I do want to get to the hospital in particular. It was not clear to me unless I missed it whether those are gunshot victims or actually vehicle victims.
People are going to be responding in really scary ways on a road like this so we don't know that but the two things that we did here are sort of par for the course. You protect the first responders and emergency workers first so you do a lot down and then of course something unfortunately Ana, you and I've been on many Saturdays this summer about the family unification.
It's absolutely key right now. We need identities of who these people are and of course we need to tell their family members who they are and who's in the hospital and unfortunately, who is dead so that's just key right now. You just need to make a families whole and understand what they are now facing.
CABRERA: Yes, it is heart-breaking to think about what they have to come in their lives. I know what you said is important, not a lot of these injuries are unclear and in fact when I spoke with the Mayor of Midland earlier, he was quick to point out that not all the injuries were gunshot wounds.
And because of the situation, people fleeing in panic that there may have been other types of injuries. I got to squeeze in a quick break. We'll continue to follow all the developments on this shooting of course. Stay with us. We'll be back with more in just a moment. Thank you for being.
CABRERA: Hour breaking news right now. A mass shooting incident in West Texas is believed to be over. The suspected shooter is dead, this is according to police. Officials in Midland, Texas just confirmed to CNN that I've gotten in who is believed to have shot and killed at least five people and wounded more than 20 others is now dead.
A police department spokesman saying that the suspected shooter was confronted by officers at an entertainment complex in Odessa, Texas. Gunfire was exchanged, the gunman was killed. Police are not revealing this shooter's identity right now or any possible motivation for this shooting rampage.
One more thing, police said they were not 100 percent convinced that there is not another shooter because initially officials said it was possible that more than one person was shooting people apparently at random from at least two different moving vehicles.
It all began as a traffic stop that led to a police pursuit and shots fired all along the way, we understand. I want to bring in CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and former FBI Supervisory Special Agent, Josh Campbell.
So Josh, officials initially thought there were two shooters. Now appears there is just one, what are your thoughts about that?
CAMPBELL: Yes Ana, we're still waiting for that official all clear from law enforcement as this to progresses and goes on without additional information signaling that there might be a second person, I think that allows us to figure out at least what the center of gravity is.
The problem here is that if you're a law enforcement officer and you have a witness saying they saw two people shooting, you have to run that to ground but we've seen incidents in the past where that has been the case where there's been some type of eye witness reports to El Paso and the shooting here in Gilroy, California where people said they saw a second person and that didn't end up being the case.
But again law enforcement has to run that to ground because we have seen instances such a St. Bernardino, California where there was a second shooter but again with the community on edge, it will be incumbent upon law enforcement to try to quickly run that to ground and if there is an indeed all clear coming to try to get that out quickly for the public again to calm those frayed nerves right now.
CABRERA: How do you get to the all-clear. What is running it to ground mean? What do you - what do you do? CAMPBELL: Yes, it's so difficult. You want to talk to people that were
in the vicinity of the shooting, you want to talk to the witnesses again to try to determine what did they see. If they see someone, two witnesses with the similar description of clothing for example. you might be able to determine that that was the same person they were describing.
Here also - you know, again there have been instances where a bystander might try to engage the shooter as well and so if that person is a friendly rather than you know a bad guy, then they'll try to figure that out. A Herculean task but very important for them to come out quickly with that information.
CABRERA: OK, Josh Campbell, stand by. I want to get in another quick break as we continue to follow developments in this shooting, stay with us.
CABRERA: Thank you for being with us. You're watching CNN as we continue to follow the breaking news out of West Texas, near Midland and Odessa where one shooter is dead, five victims also killed and 21 others injured. Joining us now is CNN Crime and Justice Correspondent, Shimon Prokupecz. Shimon, walk us through the time line and what we've learned.
PROKUPECZ: OK, so this is coming from the police, from their press conference and our good team here at CNN put this together and what we're seeing is this started developing around 3:17 CT in taxes so 4:17 ET and police tried to pull over this individual in a Honda.
He was driving a Honda. They tried to pull him over. Something happens during that situation. The car is stopped and then police are shot. The officer was shot by the driver and then of course the rampage that we now have learned about where five people are dead, 21 are injured, 14 hospitalized.
We learn that the shooter goes on this rampage, eventually he is stopped. According to the information that I was looking at, it maybe in about an hour - an hour and a half - up to an hour point and half after this all started that police were finally able to intercept him and they engaged, then there was a shootout and police say he was killed by then.
Obviously at the scene they say at the Cinergy, at the - it's a movie complex, an entertainment center there in Odessa where they located him. He was driving a stolen mail truck. They say that he hijacked - he hijacked it so a postal employee that was driving it, unclear how they were forced out of that vehicle.
But that person was forced out of the car, the shooter then gets in that mail truck and then police eventually find him as they say on 42nd towards Cinergy which is the local theater and that is where policing engage and he is shot dead and that's all we know right now.
Key information here obviously that we're waiting for and we're probably going to learn this tonight is why did police - why did this officer - this DPS trooper try to stop him initially. That's going to be a key question here for authorities and hopefully we'll get those answers.
And was this something that this shooter - this gunman wanted to do, was this part of the plan to get pulled over, ambush this officer and then engaged and go on this rampage, that's going to be a big question because it does seem that at least that this gunman was heavily armed and was ready for whatever he was going to do.
And those are going to be the big questions.
CABRERA: Right, there are so many questions. Who is this person? Obviously the motive as to why he would open fire on law enforcement to begin with? And then many, many others. Killing five people in the process. We know three of the wounded are law enforcement officers including a state trooper.
Midland police officer as well as a Department of Safety officer there in Texas and the video you're looking at right now is actually at the end of all of this. This is that - that complex, the entertainment complex where officers moved in.
They were able to I guess, you could say corner the shooter who our understanding is according to this eyewitness, was in a mail truck, when they were able to encounter him in that parking lot, shots were exchanged, we know and ultimately the shooter was killed.
We talk about the many different jurisdictions now involved in this including the USPS.
PROKUPECZ: Yes, so the postal police, their police officers, investigators, very well trained investigators that work for the postal services. They work with the FBI, they work with local law enforcement so obviously they would be involved.
If this shooter was alive, this would be a federal crime because you're hijacking a postal vehicle, that's a federal crime so the FBI and postal police would certainly be involved in this investigation.
Either way they're going to be involved but this is postal police now. It's their truck, their truck was hijacked so they will have a part in this investigation and obviously a lot of the sheriffs, local sheriffs that were involved here.
Two police departments, Odessa. You had Midland police department, you have state troopers, Texas Rangers. There's several law enforcement agencies and we heard the police talk about it. There were so many different law enforcement officers just running around, trying to find this shooter ought to try and prevent more people from getting injured and then they were able to corner him and stop him.
And you know so many people inside the movie theater in Cinergy, at this entertainment complex, this movie theater. No doubt, people that were injured, running, scared, fleeing for their lives. You can hear gunfire.
I'm also struck by lot of the cars, how some of these vehicles our positioned. We saw a lot of cars from photos, bullet holes in them, they were turned around. So people were trying to escape and while they're trying to escape, they can hear gunfire. They're trying to escape and they get shot.
CABRERA: Yes and we're looking at some of those pictures right now and of course, it's not lost on anybody, that it is four weeks ago today that we were dealing with two other mass shootings including in El Paso, Texas so the state has been through a lot in the past month.