On Saturday, seven people were shot and killed in Odessa and Midland, Texas during another shooting. As a result, 25 more people were injured, including a 17-month-old toddler.
The shooting began after the gunman fled a traffic stop and began shooting at people while he was driving. Police were able to stop the shooter before he could inflict more harm and kill more people. They shot and killed the shooter in the parking lot of a movie theater in Odessa, according to the New York Times. According to USA Today, the gunman had also previously failed a gun background check, but “authorities have not yet said how he obtained the firearm he used.” Authorities have simply described the weapon he used during the shooting as “AR-style.”
The motive behind why he decided to shoot people in Odessa and Midland is still unclear. Officials are speculating it could have been due to being a disgruntled employee (the gunman had been fired from his job on Saturday morning), mental health issues, and so forth.
Regardless of speculation about his motives, one thing is clear. The gunman’s victims were mainly from the Latinx community.
This is just the latest in a string of mass shootings that have been plaguing the country. We should not be numb to these acts of violence, and we cannot be in denial. According to CBS News, mass shootings are now occurring more than once a day. “As of September 1, which was the 244th day of the year, there have been 283 mass shootings in the U.S.”
As much as these gunmen continue to inflict death, we must not forget the victims. We highlighted the victims in Odessa and Midland so we never forget their names.
Leilah Hernandez, 15
Leilah Hernandez, she was 15 yr old high school student. She was murdered by Odessa Mass Shooter on Sat. Her brother Nathan was shot in the arm when he tried to wrap his arms around his little sister to protect her from the gunfire. — He could not save her. 😔😥 pic.twitter.com/CDU7jzCzey
— Becca From Texas⭐️ (@BeccaFromTX) September 3, 2019
Leilah Hernandez had recently celebrated her quinceañera. On the day of the shooting, she, her family, and her boyfriend went to the car dealership where they were planning on picking the new car she’d been saving up for. The shooter first shot her brother on his arm — he was trying to protect his sister. The gunman then shot her in the collarbone, and it took too long for the ambulance to arrive. She lost too much blood and died from her wound.
“I will always love you, baby sis,” her brother said on Twitter. “I wish [it] would of been me. You still had your whole life ahead of you.”
Mary Granados, 29
This is Mary Granados pic.twitter.com/88SwGCobzW
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) September 1, 2019
Mary Granados was unfortunately at the wrong place at the wrong time. When the gunman ditched his car and tried to flee, he shot and killed Mary Granados who was in her U.S. Postal Service vehicle.
The 29-year-old was on her cell phone with her twin sister when the killer shot her. “It was very painful. I just wanted to help her and I couldn’t. I thought she had got bit by a dog or something. I tried calling her name and she wouldn’t answer,” her sister said, according to the Huffington Post. Her coworkers described her as “beautiful inside and out, with a great heart and always ready to be a friend, always had a smile on her face!”
Brownwood Raul Garcia, 35
Not many details have been revealed about the 35-year-old from El Paso, Texas.
However, Odessa Mayor David Turner released these touching words at a vigil on Sunday night. “We’re a very friendly community, we’re also a very tight community because being an oil field you see the ups, you see the downs and so you have to be close,” Turner said, according to ABC News. “And I believe that’s going to get us through, fortunately. We are going to have to mourn for a week or so, and then we’re going to have to continue to love on those individuals to make sure they realize they have people that care.”
Edwin Peregrino, 25
Edwin Peregrino had just moved to San Antonio but returned to visit family when he was killed, according to GoFundMe. His brother-in-law was also shot. Edwin's sister told the Washington Post he was a beloved uncle to two nephews and a niece.
Rest in peace, Edwin. pic.twitter.com/MPMRFHdk7A
— NewsWest9 (@newswest9) September 3, 2019
Edwin Peregrino had just moved back home from San Antonio, Texas to be closer to his family. The shooter shot Peregrino and his brother-in-law as they stepped out into their backyard. Unfortunately, Peregrino didn’t make it.
“Edwin, as you know, was SO FULL OF LIFE!” Bianca Peregrino, his sister-in-law wrote on a Gofundme account. “Every room he walked in he always had that room lit up with a smile and laugh. He made a difference in every soul he met. He made a mark. On behalf of the Peregrino family, we would like to say thank you for the countless messages, text, calls, and support from you all.”
Rodolfo Julio Arco, 59
This is Rodolpho Arco. He was gunned down in the #OdessaMassShooting while driving his truck. An immigrant from Cuba, he was a doting father & grandfather.
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) September 2, 2019
Rodolfo Julio Arco was a husband and father of three and was on his way home when he was shot and killed. His wife told the Washington Post they had been married for 23 years and “Now he’s gone,” she said. The family had just moved to Odessa from Las Vegas.
The other two victims include Joe Griffith who was 40 and Kameron Karltess Brown who was 30-years-old. ABC News reports that this latest shooting is the “fifth high-profile mass shooting in Texas since September 2017 that have left a combined 72 people dead and 79 wounded.”