A crazed gunman went on a rampage yesterday in my adopted home of Odessa, Texas. As of this writing, 5 people are dead and another 21 are wounded. One of the injured is a 17 month old girl.
It seemed to have started during a routine traffic stop, when officers of the Department of Public Safety (what they call the highway patrol around here) pulled over a car. The driver fired through the rear window of his vehicle, striking and injuring one of the officers.
After that, he roared off to see how many innocent people he could kill before the authorities brought him down in a hail of gunfire. He shot random people, and killed a female mail carrier in order to steal her delivery van in an attempt to throw police off the scent. He was finally stopped in the parking lot of a crowded movie theater. God only knows what the death toll would have been if the police had not stopped the suspect before he could get inside.
Chief Michael Gerke of the Odessa Police Department has described the deceased suspect as an “animal”. Considering how he deliberately killed people who had never done him any harm, it is hard to disagree.
The police are still collecting evidence. Locations of shootings are blocked off by the police, with officers guarding the crime scenes until the forensic teams can get there. I had to make long detours when I was out and about this morning. It seems to me to be a great deal of effort expended for a lone gunman who has been killed by the police. I wonder if there isn’t something wider going on.
I mentioned earlier that 21 people had been injured. It is unknown if any will succumb to their wounds in the coming days or months. If you are a person of faith, please include them in your prayers.