The gunman in the Odessa Shooting on Saturday was reportedly fired from his job as a truck driver just hours before the shooting spree began. He was identified as 36-year-old Seth Ator in a report by The New York Times, and investigators believe that his sudden unemployment may have contributed to his horrific attack.
Ator carried out a widespread mass shooting on Saturday afternoon, beginning in Midland and moving to Odessa, Texas. The assailant may have been used to the 15-mile drive, since he has now been identified as a professional truck driver. Seth A. Ator worked for a trucking company in the area up until Saturday morning, when he was fired. A few hours later, his attack began.
Even with this information, authorities stressed that they had not established a clear motive for Ator's attack.
"There are no definite answers as to motive or reasons at this point," Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said in a press conference, "but we are fairly certain that the subject did act alone."
Ator was a resident of Ector County, where he lived in a mobile home park outside of Odessa.
Federal agents searched Ator's home on Sunday afternoon, acting on a warrant. They spoke to neighbors as well, including 29-year-old Rocio Martinez, who described Ator as a "loner."
"Although I feel bad about the situation, I feel at ease knowing that he was killed," Martinez said. "That tells me the threat has been removed, and my family is safe again."
Ator carried out his attack with an AR-15-style assault rifle, but police have not yet determined whether it was legally purchased or owned. In his press conference on Sunday, Gerke even avoided identifying Ator as long as possible, trying to make a personal statement about the gun violence epidemic.
"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.
Gerke noted that the shooter's name would eventually come out, as a matter of public record, if nothing else. However, he did not want to give the shooter and shred of notoriety for his actions.
Ator killed 7 people and injured 22 others in his shooting spree. He began by firing at police who stopped him in traffic on Saturday afternoon, and soon hijacked a mail truck, continuing to open fire on the highway.
Ator was killed in the parking lot of a movie theater in Odessa.