Odessa suspect identified

Odessa Police Chief Refuses to Make Alleged Shooter Famous by Saying His Name, But Media Releases It

Odessa police said Sunday that one gunman was involved in a shooting Saturday that killed at least seven people and injured more than 20 others.

Police previously suspected multiple shooters were potentially involved, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said during a news conference. They are now “confident” there was only one who used an “AR-type” weapon, they said. They said he had a criminal record.

Gerke said he would not identify the suspected shooter publicly at the conference.

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“I am not going to give him any notoriety for what he did,” he said.



However, two hours later, The Associated Press identified the gunman as 36-year-old Seth Ator, citing anonymous Odessa police officials.

An FBI response team was seen on live video at the suspect’s home. They put up crime tape around the property in Ector County.

According to Heavy, which did a statewide criminal history search on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s website, Ator was charged with criminal trespass in 2001 in McLennan County, Texas. It was a Class B Misdemeanor.

He was then charged with a second offense for evading arrest. The record shows that Ator pleaded guilty in 2002 and was sentenced to two years probation.

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Pluralist contributed to this report. 

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Cover image: Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke speaks during a news conference on Sept. 1, 2019. (YouTube)

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