Odessa police chief REFUSES to identify gunman so he doesn't get 'notoriety'

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() Authorities said they would not name the gunman who shot dead seven people in Odessa, Texas, because they do not want to give him notoriety at a press conference on Sunday.   

Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke told reporters that he would not reveal the suspect's identity at the public venue but that officials would release the name eventually.  

The gunman was previously confirmed to be a white male in his 30s. He was shot and killed by police in the parking lot of the Cinergy movie theater in Odessa on Saturday afternoon. 

Gerke said he was a resident of Ector County and that he used an assault rifle to carry out the shooting, which left seven dead and 22 injured.  

The victims killed ranged in age from 15 to 57, according to Gerke. 

Texas Gov Greg Abbott also spoke at Sunday's press conference and told affected residents: 'All Texans stand with you.'

'As governor I have been to too many of these events,' Abbott said. 'I am heartbroken by the crying of the people of the state of Texas. I'm tired of the dying. Too many Texans are mourning, too many Texans have lost their lives.

'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.'

At a press conference on Sunday, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said authorities would not name the gunman who shot dead seven people in Odessa, Texas, because they do not want to give him notoriety

At a press conference on Sunday, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said authorities would not name the gunman who shot dead seven people in Odessa, Texas, because they do not want to give him notoriety

Saturday's shooting began at about 3.15pm CST on Saturday after Texas Department of Public Safety officers attempted to stop a man who failed to signal on a left turn, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said. 

The driver, who was alone in a gold pickup truck, slowed but did not stop, and fired a rifle through the rear window of the truck, striking one of the two officers.

The shooter fled westbound on the interstate, and shooting at a civilian at east Loop 338 and I-20. The suspect proceeded on a shooting spree in the City of Odessa and stole a mail carrier truck before being cornered at the Cinergy on Highway 191. 

Witness video shows police confronting the suspect outside of the theater and engaging in a shootout.

Police initially reported that there could be more than one shooter, but Gerke said authorities now believe it was only one.

'Once this individual was taken out of the picture, there have been no more victims,' Gerke said.   

Police surrounded the suspect in a vehicle and killed him in a shootout behind the Cinergy theater in Odessa

Police surrounded the suspect in a vehicle and killed him in a shootout behind the Cinergy theater in Odessa

Police are seen evacuating people from the theater after the gunman was taken down at around 4.30pm Saturday

Police are seen evacuating people from the theater after the gunman was taken down at around 4.30pm Saturday

The death toll in the mass shooting in West Texas rose to seven on Sunday after two additional victims died in the hospital.  

Odessa police spokesman Steve LeSueur announced that and at least one of the 19 others injured remains in 'life-threatening' condition. 

Authorities have not identified any of the victims, but several have been named publicly by family members. 

The youngest victim injured was 17-month-old Anderson Davis, who was airlifted to a hospital in Lubbock after she was struck in the face and chest by shrapnel, according to her mother.  

'Her vitals are good. She is being flown to Lubbock while we drive. Not getting to fly with her is beyond painful,' her mother, Kelby Giesler Davis, wrote on the GoFundMe page which has raised over $105,000 as of Sunday morning. 

'Anderson is 17 months old, has shrapnel in her right chest, which thank God is superficial. She has a hole through her bottom lip and tongue and her front teeth were knocked out,' Davis wrote. 

'She is alive. When others today are not alive. I ask you to continue praying for our hearts as we experience this, pray for complete healing of Anderson, pray for every other family in our same situation, or worse, today and pray for the shooters. Pray that whatever is causing them to do this will be defeated by God and they will stop shooting.' 

At Sunday's press conference Abbott read a text message he'd received from Davis. 

'Thank you all for praying. This is all of our worst nightmare, but thank god she's alive and relatively well,' the message said.

'Toddlers are funny because they can get shot but still want to run around and play. We are thanking God for that.'

Leila Hernandez, 15, has been named among the at least seven people killed and 19 injured when a gunman hijacked a postal truck and began firing indiscriminately in the neighboring cities of Midland and Odessa, Texas

Leila Hernandez, 15, has been named among the at least seven people killed and 19 injured when a gunman hijacked a postal truck and began firing indiscriminately in the neighboring cities of Midland and Odessa, Texas

The youngest victim killed was 15-year-old high school student Leila Hernandez, whose loved ones described her as a 'sweet girl with a big heart' who recently celebrated her quinceañera. 

Leila's brother Nathan was also injured in the rampage and underwent surgery, according to a GoFundMe that has raised over $8,400 for the Hernandez family as of Sunday morning. 

A woman who photographed 15-year-old victim Leila for her quinceañera in May shared a photo of her from the celebration along with a touching tribute.  

'We are so heartbroken to hear that our dear friend Leila Hernandez, has passed away to be with our Lord Jesus. We still don’t want to believe it,' Mayra Cortinas wrote on Facebook. 

'She was a victim in the tragic event that took place today in Odessa. We are grateful to have been a part of her life, and it hurts our hearts greatly that she is no longer with us on this earth. We had the privilege to have captured her & her families memories in her quince. 

'She wasn't just a client, she was a good friend of ours. Such a sweet girl, with such a big heart. Beautiful inside and out. Please keep her and her family in your prayers. May you rest in peace Leila. You will be missed.'

Another tribute was shared on the Facebook page Makeup by Jeremy by the person who did her makeup for the quinceañera.  

'I am in total shock and disbelief. I had just did Leila's makeup and her family’s back in May for her quinceañera. Unfortunately this beautiful sweet soul was victim to the shootings that took place in Odessa today,' the post said.

'Prayers to you Joanna Leyva and may God be there for you and your family through this difficult time.' 

Scott Muri, superintendent of the Ector County Independent School District that Leila attended, released a statement about the shooting without identifying her.  

'We are devastated by today’s violence, which claimed the lives of five people including one of our Odessa High School students,' Muri wrote. 

'Our lives have been changed forever because of these events. ECISD counselors as well as counselors from the entire region are preparing to offer services to our students, staff and families. We will commit all the resources we have available to help our community heal from this horrific tragedy. 

'The first responders in the Odessa community, including our ECISD Police Officers, have been outstanding and prevented an even greater loss of life.'

Seventeen-month-old Anderson Davis is also in the hospital, having been struck in the face and chest by shrapnel

Seventeen-month-old Anderson Davis is also in the hospital, having been struck in the face and chest by shrapnel

Postal worker Mary Granados (pictured) was shot and killed when the gunman hijacked her truck, according to a coworker

Three police officers were wounded in the shooting, including Zack Owens (pictured). The Midland police officer was shot multiple times in the arm and hand and suffered glass shards in his eye, according to a GoFundMe launched by his family

Postal worker Mary Granados (left) was shot and killed when the gunman hijacked her truck, according to a coworker. Three police officers were wounded in the shooting, including Zack Owens (right). The Midland police officer was shot multiple times in the arm and hand and suffered glass shards in his eye, according to a GoFundMe launched by his family

US Postal Service worker Mary Granados was shot and killed when the gunman stole her truck as she was delivering mail. 

A former coworker set up a GoFundMe for Granados, which has raised nearly $9,000 as of late Sunday morning.  

'I had the privilege to work with Mary before she started her career at USPS, she was beautiful inside and out, with a great heart and always ready to be a friend, always had a smile on her face!' the page said.

The money will be allocated to the victim's twin sister, Rosie Granados. 

A witness told News West 9 her brother saw the attack from the living room at his home.  

'He said that man was grabbing her somehow, and she was saying: "No no! Please!" and he shot her in the hip,' the witness said.  

Three members of law enforcement were wounded in the shooting, including Midland Police Officer Zack Owens. 

He was on duty when he was shot multiple times in the arm and hand and suffered glass shards in his eye, according to a GoFundMe campaign launched by his family.  

Owens' condition is unknown but the GoFundMe campaign indicated that his most critical injury was the glass in his eye. 

'Please keep Zack in your prayers as we don’t know the outcome of the situation

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