Texas gunman fired from job before massacre; victim IDs emerge, media report

Sept 2 (Reuters) - The man who killed seven people and wounded 22 others in a rolling rampage across West Texas on Saturday was fired from his trucking job hours before the massacre, media and officials reported.

Details about the Labor Day weekend shooting and the names of some of the victims were emerging online and from officials on Sunday and early Monday. Police continued to comb through 15 different crime scenes in neighboring Midland and Odessa, Texas.

The gunman, identified by police as Seth Aaron Ator, 36, of Odessa, had been fired from his truck-driving job in Odessa on Saturday morning, the New York Times and other media reported.

Hours later, Ator was pulled over in Midland by Texas state troopers on Interstate 20 for failing to use a turn signal, police said.

Armed with an AR-type rifle, Ator fired out the back window of his vehicle, injuring one trooper. Then he drove away spraying gunfire indiscriminately, the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

At one point, Ator abandoned his vehicle and hijacked a U.S. postal van and mortally wounded the postal carrier, identified postal officials as Mary Grandos, 29.

Ator was later cornered by officers in the parking lot of a cinema complex in Odessa. He was shot and killed.

"There are no definitive answers as to motive or reasons at this point, but we are fairly certain that the subject did act alone," Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said at a news conference.

Online court records showed Ator had convictions in 2002 for criminal trespass and evading arrest. The Midland Reporter-Telegram newspaper quoted a state lawmaker, Rep. Tom Craddick, as saying he had previously failed a background check.

Gerke offered his condolences to their families of the dead and wounded.

"My heart aches for them all," he said.

Among the dead was Grandos, who various news media reported was at the end of her shift and on the telephone with her twin sister Rosie Grandos.

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Mass shooting in Odessa, Texas
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Mass shooting in Odessa, Texas
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gestures during a news conference concerning Saturday's shooting Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Odessa, Texas. From left are Christopher Combs, FBI Special Agent in Charge, San Antonio, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke and Abbott. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke announces that he does not want to speak the name of the shooter from Saturday's shooting during a news conference Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Odessa, Texas. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke, center, answers a question concerning Saturday's shooting during a news conference Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Odessa, Texas. From left are Christopher Combs, FBI Special Agent in Charge, San Antonio, Gerke, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, right, pats Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke, left, on the shoulder during a news conference about Saturday's shooting, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Odessa, Texas. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Law enforcement officials process a scene involved in Saturday's shooting, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Odessa, Texas. The death toll in the West Texas shooting rampage increased Sunday as authorities investigated why a man stopped by state troopers for failing to signal a left turn opened fire on them and fled, shooting more than a dozen people as he drove before being killed by officers outside a movie theater. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A city of Odessa police car, left, and a U.S. mail vehicle, right, which were involved in Saturday's shooting, are pictured outside the Cinergy entertainment center, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Odessa, Texas. The death toll in the West Texas shooting rampage increased Sunday as authorities investigated why a man stopped by state troopers for failing to signal a left turn opened fire on them and fled, shooting over a dozen people as he drove before being killed by officers outside a movie theater. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
A U.S. Mail vehicle, right, which was involved in Saturday's shooting, is pictured outside the Cinergy entertainment center Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Odessa, Texas. The death toll in the West Texas shooting rampage increased Sunday as authorities investigated why a man stopped by state troopers for failing to signal a left turn opened fire on them and fled, shooting over a dozen people as he drove before being killed by officers outside a movie theater. A police vehicle is partially blocked at left. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Agentes acordonan un tramo de acera en una calle en Odessa, Texas, el sábado 31 de agosto de 2019, después de que un hombre armado secuestrara un vehículo del servicio postal y baleara a más de 20 personas, según las autoridades. (Mark Rogers/Odessa American vía AP)
Un hombre reza ante la unidad de urgencias del Medical Center Hospital en Odessa, Texas, el sábado 31 de agosto de 2019 tras un tiroteo en la zona de Odessa y Midland, en el oes de Texas. (Mark Rogers/Odessa American via AP)
Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke talks to the media in the Odessa Police Department in Odessa, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, after a man fired at random in the area of Odessa and Midland. Several people were dead after a gunman who hijacked a postal service vehicle in West Texas shot more than 20 people, authorities said Saturday. The gunman was killed and a few law enforcement officers were among the injured. (Mark Rogers/Odessa American via AP)
ODESSA, TX - SEPTEMBER 1: A damaged police vehicle and U.S. Postal Service van blocked off with tape nearby to where a gunman was shot and killed at Cinergy Odessa movie theater following a deadly shooting spree on September 1, 2019 in Odessa, Texas. Seven people had been killed, in addition to the gunman and at least 21 others were wounded, including three law enforcement officers after a gunman went on a rampage. The man who has not been identified fled from state troopers who had tried to pull him over. The gunman then hijacked a United States postal van and indiscriminately fired from a rifle at people before the authorities shot and killed him outside a movie theater in Odessa. (Photo by Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)
ODESSA, TX - SEPTEMBER 1: A damaged police vehicle and U.S. Postal Service van blocked off with tape nearby to where a gunman was shot and killed at Cinergy Odessa movie theater following a deadly shooting spree on September 1, 2019 in Odessa, Texas. Seven people had been killed, in addition to the gunman and at least 21 others were wounded, including three law enforcement officers after a gunman went on a rampage. The man who has not been identified fled from state troopers who had tried to pull him over. The gunman then hijacked a United States postal van and indiscriminately fired from a rifle at people before the authorities shot and killed him outside a movie theater in Odessa. (Photo by Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)
ODESSA, TX - SEPTEMBER 1: A damaged police vehicle and U.S. Postal Service van blocked off with tape nearby to where a gunman was shot and killed at Cinergy Odessa movie theater following a deadly shooting spree on September 1, 2019 in Odessa, Texas. Seven people had been killed, in addition to the gunman and at least 21 others were wounded, including three law enforcement officers after a gunman went on a rampage. The man who has not been identified fled from state troopers who had tried to pull him over. The gunman then hijacked a United States postal van and indiscriminately fired from a rifle at people before the authorities shot and killed him outside a movie theater in Odessa. (Photo by Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)
ODESSA, TX - SEPTEMBER 1: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott leaves a press conference with local and federal law enforcement at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) following a deadly shooting spree on September 1, 2019 in Odessa, Texas. Seven people had been killed, in addition to the gunman and at least 21 others were wounded, including three law enforcement officers after a gunman went on a rampage. The man who has not been identified fled from state troopers who had tried to pull him over. The gunman then hijacked a United States postal van and indiscriminately fired from a rifle at people before the authorities shot and killed him outside a movie theater in Odessa. (Photo by Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)
ODESSA, TX - SEPTEMBER 1: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott holds a press conference with local and federal law enforcement at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) following a deadly shooting spree on September 1, 2019 in Odessa, Texas. Seven people had been killed, in addition to the gunman and at least 21 others were wounded, including three law enforcement officers after a gunman went on a rampage. The man who has not been identified fled from state troopers who had tried to pull him over. The gunman then hijacked a United States postal van and indiscriminately fired from a rifle at people before the authorities shot and killed him outside a movie theater in Odessa. (Photo by Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)
ODESSA, TX - SEPTEMBER 1: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott holds a press conference with local and federal law enforcement at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) following a deadly shooting spree on September 1, 2019 in Odessa, Texas. Seven people had been killed, in addition to the gunman and at least 21 others were wounded, including three law enforcement officers after a gunman went on a rampage. The man who has not been identified fled from state troopers who had tried to pull him over. The gunman then hijacked a United States postal van and indiscriminately fired from a rifle at people before the authorities shot and killed him outside a movie theater in Odessa. (Photo by Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)
ODESSA, TX - SEPTEMBER 1: Flowers hang on the Odessa Police Department sign following a deadly shooting spree on September 1, 2019 in Odessa, Texas. Seven people had been killed, in addition to the gunman and at least 21 others were wounded, including three law enforcement officers after a gunman went on a rampage. The man who has not been identified fled from state troopers who had tried to pull him over. The gunman then hijacked a United States postal van and indiscriminately fired from a rifle at people before the authorities shot and killed him outside a movie theater in Odessa. (Photo by Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)
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"She didn't deserve this," a tearful Rosie Grandos said in an interview with CNN late Sunday. "I was talking to her on the phone and she said she heard gunshots but didn't know where they were coming from.

"I heard her screaming," she said. "I was hearing her cry and scream for help. I didn't know what was happening."

Rosie Grandos said got in her car and drive to her sister. By the time she arrived, she saw her sister lying on the ground, she said.

The Washington Post reported that others among the dead were Edwin Peregrino, 25, who was killed outside of the home he moved into a few weeks ago.

Also killed was Leilah Hernandez, 15, who had just celebrated a coming of age party, the newspaper reported.

Joseph Griffith, 40, was killed as he waited at a traffic light with his wife and two children, the newspaper reported.

Among the wounded was a 17-month-old girl, Anderson Davis, who was shot in the face, according to officials and an online fundraising campaign started by her family.

In numerous media interviews, her family that the child underwent surgery and will recover.

Three police officers were shot and wounded - one from Midland, one from Odessa and one state trooper - and were in stable condition.

It was the second mass shooting in Texas in four weeks . On Aug. 3, a gunman from the Dallas area killed 22 people in another Saturday shooting at a Walmart store about 255 miles (410 km) west of Midland in the city of El Paso, Texas.

President Donald Trump called the Odessa-Midland shooter "a very sick person," but said background checks on gun buyers would not have prevented recent U.S. gun violence. 

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