Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, sent his condolences to residents of Midland and Odessa, Texas, where five people were killed and several others injured in a mass shooting Saturday afternoon. Julian Castro, another Texas native running for the presidency, also reacted to the tragedy.
"Our hearts are with Midland, Odessa, and everyone in West Texas who has to endure this again," O'Rourke wrote on Twitter. "More information is forthcoming, but here's what we know: We need to end this epidemic."
"Heartbreaking news out of Odessa and Midland, Texas as police search for an active shooter at-large," Castro, a former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama, tweeted. "Stay indoors and monitor news alerts and safety protocols."
President Donald Trump was briefed on the situation. "Just briefed by Attorney General Barr about the shootings in Texas. FBI and Law Enforcement is fully engaged. More to follow," reads a tweet published on Trump's Twitter page.
"We are closely following the developing situation in Odessa & Midland, Texas. Our prayers are with all who have been impacted and the first responders working to save lives," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted. She included the hashtags "do something" and "end gun violence."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also issued a statement, saying he will travel to Odessa Sunday morning.
"The First Lady and I are heartbroken over this senseless and cowardly attack, and we offer our unwavering support for the victims, their families, and all the people of Midland and Odessa," the statement read.
Statement on shooting in Odessa, Texas: pic.twitter.com/3QV5LriVzi— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) August 31, 2019
According to NBC News, Midland Police confirmed the active shooter was shot and killed at the Cinergy movie theater in Odessa. "There is no active shooter at this time. All agencies are investigating reports of possible suspects," police said.
Midland Mayor Jerry Morales told The New York Times the shooting began at around 4 p.m. local time. It was initially reported there were multiple gunman randomly targeting drivers on Interstate 20 and Highway 191, which connects Mildand and Odessa.
Morales said there were two victims and "up to 20 injuries."
Midland Police first posted a statement on Facebook reporting of an active shooter at the Home Depot in Odessa. The department later updated the statement, noting that two suspects were driving two vehicles. One was a gold and white Toyota truck and the other a U.S. Postal Service van a suspect hijacked.0comments
This is the second mass shooting O'Rourke has responded to in his home state this month. On Aug. 3, a gunman killed 22 people and injured 24 others in a Walmart in El Paso, O'Rourke's hometown. After the shooting, O'Rourke cancelled campaign events and went back to El Paso.
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