Police say that two of the seven victims in a two-hour highway mass shooting that happened in Texas over the weekend were truck drivers.
The shooting happened on Saturday, August 31, in Odessa and Midland, Texas.
The Odessa Police Department says that incident began around 3:25 p.m. when officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety attempted to initiate a traffic stop on I-20 between Midland and Odessa after 36 year old Seth Aaron Ator reportedly failed to use a turn signal.
Police say that Ator opened fire on state police with an assault rifle before fleeing the scene, wounding one officer.
Eyewitness video shows police responding to shooting victims along interstate near Midland/Odessa where active shooting took place on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/Mc7sEm2Esm
— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) August 31, 2019
Ator then went on a shooting spree, targeting pedestrians and other drivers seemingly at random in the city of Odessa, stealing a U.S. Postal Service truck, and driving to a Cinergy movie theater on Highway 19.
Ator opened fire on police near the movie theater and they returned fire, killing him.
Twenty-five people were injured and seven people — including two truck drivers — were killed in the mass shooting.
Fifty-seven year old Rodolfo “Rudy” Arco was killed instantly when three bullets were fired into the cab of his semi truck, USA Today reports. Arco owned a trucking company located in Odessa and was on his way home from work when the shooting occurred.
Thirty-five year old truck driver Raul Garcia was also killed in the shooting spree. “He was on his way home to be with his kids. He didn’t get to make it here,” his wife Perla told KVIA.
“Just like my son said, ‘Mom, now he’ll be a truck driver in heaven,'” said Perla in a tv interview.
A third semi truck driver, Efe Obayagbona, was shot multiple times in his truck while driving for work on I-20. He survived after being shot in the wrist, arm, and torso.
The 29 year old driver of the hijacked mail truck, Mary Granados, was also fatally shot by Ator.
Police later identified Ator as a truck driver who had been fired from his job at Journey Oilfield Services just hours before the shooting spree. Journey Oilfield Services called police following the firing but Ator had already left by the time police arrived.
The FBI says that Ator called a tip line and made “rambling statements about some of the atrocities that he felt that he had gone through” just 15 minutes before the shooting took place.
Police say that the motive for the shooting is still under investigation.