Odessa Police Chief Refuses to Identify Gunman to Avoid Giving Him 'Notoriety'

The chief of police in Odessa, Texas has refused to identify the gunman in Saturday's mass shooting, and other state officials are standing by him. Police Chief Micahel Gerke told reporters on Sunday that he did not want to give the gunman any notoriety by putting his name in the press, according to a report by CNN.

Gerke acknowledged that declining to name the shooter was a symbolic gesture, and said that his name would come out eventually. However, he himself did not see the point in identifying the attacker, who killed seven people and injured 22 others in a a shooting spree on Saturday.

"You'll notice I'm not naming the subject, and there's a reason for that. I refuse to. I'm not going to give him any notoriety for what he did," Gerke said.

At the same press conference, Gerke confirmed that the shooter was a white male in his mid-30s, a resident of Ector County and a man with a criminal history. He used an assault rifle to carry out his attack. Gerke also gave some updates on the shooter's possible motives and strategies, which are still under investigation.

In the meantime, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott spoke at the press conference as well. He focused on the victims, families and people of Texas, also choosing not to spend time on the shooter himself.

"All Texans stand with you," Gov. Abbott told those affected by the shooting. "As governor I have been to too many of these events. I am heartbroken by the crying of the people in the state of Texas. I am tired of the dying of the people of Texas. Too many Texans are in mourning. Too many Texans have lost their lives."

Gov. Abbott promised that these were not just words, and action is on its way. he did not name any specifics, but said that he intended to take "actions" against the gun violence epidemic in his state.

"The status quo in Texas is unacceptable, and action is needed," he declared. "Words alone are inadequate. Words must be met with actions. We have been working on solutions. We must broaden our efforts and we must do so quickly."

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Abbott is under fire for some of these statements given his past stance on gun laws. The governor helped loosen restrictions on firearms just this summer, before the shooting and El Paso and now this new one.

"I can't believe you can sit there and read about that child being shot in the face when you signed legislation that made it easier to get guns keep guns use guns? Reprehensible," one person tweeted.