The man who killed seven people and wounded 25 others during a Saturday shooting rampage in Texas previously failed a gun background check, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday.
The shooting spanned 10 miles between Midland, Texas, and Odessa, Texas, killing both motorists and passersby ranging from 15 to 57 years old before the shooter was shot dead by police outside a movie theater.
“Not only did the Odessa gunman have a criminal history … he also previously failed a gun purchase background check in Texas … [and] he didn’t go [through] a background check for the gun he used in Odessa. We must keep guns out of criminals’ hands,” Abbott, a Republican, tweeted Monday.
Not only did the Odessa gunman have a criminal history…
…he also previously failed a gun purchase background check in Texas…
…& he didn’t go thru a background check for the gun he used in Odessa.
We must keep guns out of criminals’ hands. https://t.co/vgrqcHtBtF
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 2, 2019
Authorities arrested the shooter in 2001 for a misdemeanor offense that would not have ruined his chances of legally purchasing a gun, The Associated Press reported citing online court records.
Law enforcement is unsure how the shooter obtained the AR-style weapon he used Saturday. Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke also to reporters that “there are no definite answers as to motive or reasons” behind the shooting at this time, The New York Times reported.
After the shooter was fired, he and his employer the oil company both made complaints to police, but there were no immediate threats. The shooter then contacted the FBI and mumbled about “some of the atrocities that he felt that he had gone through” over the phone, FBI Special Agent Christopher Combs said according to the AP.
“He was on a long spiral of going down. He didn’t wake up Saturday morning and go into his company, and then it happened. He went to that company in trouble and had probably been in trouble for a while,” Combs said.
The gunman’s neighbor, Rocio Gutierrez, also told the AP the gunman shot rabbits and other animals at night.
“We were afraid of him because you could tell what kind of person he was just by looking at him,” Gutierrez said. “He was not nice. He was not friendly. He was not polite.”
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