Officials search home of private gun seller believed to have sold weapon to Odessa shooting suspect

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter, AP Author, Cory McCord - Digital News Editor
CNN

Gunmen identified in West Texas mass shooting as Seth Ator 09-1-2019

ODESSA, Texas - KPRC 2 Investigates has learned from federal law enforcement sources that investigators served a search warrant at the Midland-Odessa area at the home of the private gun seller who sold the weapons used by Seth Ator.

Ator, 36, is accused of killing seven people and wounding 22 others during a shooting spree in West Texas last weekend.

The search was part of the investigation into the private sale of the gun used by Ator.

The name of the seller is not known.

Ator failed his background check several years ago when he was declared mentally incompetent. By failing the check, Ator was barred from possessing a firearm.

In Texas, private firearm sales do not require a background check.

What happened

The terrifying chain of events began when Texas state troopers tried pulling over a gold car mid-Saturday afternoon on Interstate 20 for failing to signal a left turn, Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said. Before the vehicle came to a complete stop, the driver "pointed a rifle toward the rear window of his car and fired several shots" toward the patrol car stopping him. The gunshots struck one of two troopers inside the patrol car, Cesinger said, after which the gunman fled and continued shooting.

The initial shooting set off a chaotic rampage during which Ator hijacked a mail carrier truck and fired at random as he drove in the area of Odessa and Midland.

Officials said he acted alone and a motive for the shootings is unknown.

Authorities said Ator might have entered an Odessa movie theater where the chase ended if police had not taken him down.

Ator was gunned down by police during a standoff outside the movie theater.

The victims

Authorities said those killed were between the ages of 15 and 57 years old. Three law enforcement officers were injured.

Deceased

  • Leilah Hernandez, 15, of Odessa
  • Joe Griffith, 40, of Odessa
  • Mary Granados, 29, of Odessa
  • Edwin Peregrino, 25, of Odessa
  • Rodolfo Julio Arco, 57, of Odessa
  • Kameron Karltness Brown, 30, of Brownwood
  • Raul Garcia, 35, El Paso

Injured

  • Quadri Fatai, 41, of Houston 
  • Nathan Hernandez, 18, of Odessa
  • Marc Gonzalez, 38, of Odessa
  • Zachary Owens, an officer at Midland Police Department 
  • Timmoth Beard, 55, of San Antonio 
  • James Santana, an officer at Odessa Police Department 
  • Glenda Dempsy, 62, of Odessa
  • Marco Corral, 62, of San Diego, CA.
  • Coy Edge, 53, of Odessa
  • Joseph Glide, 60, of Odessa
  • Anderson Davis, 17-months-old, of Odessa 
  • Daniel Munoz, 28, of Yuma, AZ. 
  • Robert Cavasoz, 38, of Alice, TX.
  • Maria Boado, 27, of Hialeah, FL. 
  • Efe Obayagbona, 45, of Rockport, TX.
  • Chuck Pryor, a trooper at the Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Timmothy, Hardaway, 54, of Brownwood 
  • Jesus Alvirez, 21, of Gardendale
  • Lilia Diaz, 46, of Odessa
  • Krystal Lee, 36, of Odessa
  • Larry Shores, 34, of Odessa
  • Juvenile male, 9, of Odessa

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