Seven people were killed during a mass shooting in Odessa and Midland, Texas on Saturday, August 31, ABC News reports. 22 people, including a 17-month old girl, were reportedly injured, according to CBS 7. The perpetrator was shot and killed by police.
The Midland police department first alerted people to the incident at 3:57 PM local time on Facebook. "There are reports of an active shooter at the Home Depot in Odessa," the post wrote. "For the safety of the public and law enforcement please stay away from the area and stay in your homes. We will update with more information as soon as possible." Per the Texas Tribune, anyone who was injured was outside of a building.
The attack was reportedly exacerbated by the use of a stolen mail truck, and the perpetrator had begun shooting at people at random. Per the Odessa police, "The suspect hijacked a U.S. mail carrier truck and was last seen in the area of 38th and Walnut." Both departments urged residents to go inside and avoid roads.
Presidential candidate Julián Castro called the attack "heartbreaking." Fellow candidate Beto O'Rourke also extended his sympathies with the area. Both candidates have proposed comprehensive gun-control policies to fight the gun violence epidemic.
"Our hearts are with Midland, Odessa, and everyone in West Texas who has to endure this again," O'Rourke said on Twitter. "More information is forthcoming, but here's what we know: We need to end this epidemic."
Among the victims was 15-year-old Leilah Hernandez, a student at Odessa High School; she had been standing outside a car dealership with her older brother Nathan, who had just purchased a car. BuzzFeed reports that their mother and younger brother was with them. Nathan was hit in the arm; Leilah died before the ambulance reached them.
"Rest easy mamas," Nathan wrote on Twitter. "I will always love you baby sis it’s sad it had to happen to you I wish [it] would [have] been me you still had your whole life ahead of you. Things are going to change from now on but you will always be right next to me I did my best to protect you im sorry baby."
Brown had served in the Army from 2007 to 2010. "He had to go fight in a war and come back here to be killed senselessly," his mother, Mary Brown, told KTXS.
Granados had been driving the USPS truck that the perpetrator hijacked. She had been on the phone with her twin sister, Rosie, who heard her sister being shot.
"It is the worst pain somebody can go through," Rosie told CNN about the loss. "She was just part of my life, part of my whole world. She was taken away from me and my mother, my family."
The Odessa shooting marks the 279th mass shooting in the U.S. this year alone; August 31 is the 243 day of the year. The attack comes less than a month after 22 people were killed in El Paso, Texas, by an attacker who targeted a Walmart frequented by Mexican nationals and Americans of Mexican descent. A few hours later, another attacker killed six people outside of a bar in Dayton, Ohio. The government has not yet passed any meaningful gun-control legislation to curb such attacks.
This is a developing story. MTV News will update it as we know more.