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Mass shooting devastates another Texas neighborhood

by Margaret Stewart - Managing Editor
Tue, Sep 10th 2019 11:00 pm
Protestors, supporters and families of those who were killed in the mass shooting gather at a public vigil to commemorate and remember those who perished. The shooting took the lives of a eight people and injured an additional 23 people in the process.
Protestors, supporters and families of those who were killed in the mass shooting gather at a public vigil to commemorate and remember those who perished. The shooting took the lives of a eight people and injured an additional 23 people in the process.

Odessa, located in west Texas, was the sight of the Aug. 31 mass shooting that injured 23 and killed eight. Authorities say the shooter was 36-year-old Seth Ator who should not have been allowed access to a gun.

“Seth Ator was barred from owning guns because he was mentally ill,” stated the New York Post. “But he was able to use a loophole in the law to get the assault-style rifle used in his massacre.”

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 289 shootings in 2019 so far. As Sept. 10 is the 253 day of the year, there have been more mass shootings than days in 2019 in the U.S. In the month of August, Texas alone saw four mass shootings.

An interview with ABC News and the Wall Street Journal, “[Ator] exploited a loophole in federal gun regulations by buying the AR-style weapon in a private sale.”

There are many factors that can lead some to commit mass shootings. For Ator, his spree may have been influenced by losing his job earlier that day.

“Ator was terminated from his job at the Journey Oilfield Service in Odessa on Saturday morning, just hours before he allegedly went on a killing spree and minutes before he contacted law enforcement to complain about his employer,” Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said in an interview with ABC News. “Right after that firing, he called Odessa Police Department's 911, and so did his employer, and basically they were complaining on each other because they had a disagreement over the firing.” 

After calling the local 911 office, Ator called the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Tip Line with an equally incoherent phone call, 15 minutes after hanging up and being stopped for a minor traffic violation, the shooting began.

“Ator was pulled over by Texas troopers in Midland on Saturday afternoon for failing to use his signal,” Odessa Police told CNN. 

Shooting at the traffic cops with what looked like an assault rifle, Ator sped away shooting at everything and everybody.

“[Ator] then hijacked a postal truck and ditched his gold Honda, shooting at people as he made his way into Odessa about 20 miles away,” CNN wrote.

 He eventually was shot dead by police officers outside a cinema in Odessa.

Oftentimes, law enforcement officers look to the past to see if this could have been predicted or if the shooter had any prior run-ins with the law.

According to public records, Ator was arrested for two misdemeanors: criminal trespassing and evading arrest.  

This shooting has set people on edge. Not even a month prior, 22 people were killed in a Walmart parking lot in El Paso, only 285 miles from Odessa.

According to CNN, four of the 10 deadliest mass shootings have happened in Texas and on Sunday, Sept. 1, gun laws were loosened statewide.

“The new measures will loosen gun restrictions and allow weapons on school grounds, apartments and places of worship,” CNN said. “After the shooting Saturday, Democratic presidential candidates issued statements calling for gun reform.”

To say mass shootings have become an epidemic is an understatement. In addition to Odessa, Aug. 31 saw six other mass shootings in cities across America, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Baltimore, Fredrick and Moncks Corner, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

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