A postal worker, a former math teacher, a 15-year-old girl and a man visiting his family from out of town were among seven people killed Saturday during a shooting in the west Texas cities of Odessa and Midland.
Twenty-two people, including a 17-month-old girl, were injured after a traffic stop turned deadly Saturday afternoon.
Odessa police Chief Michael Gerke said the shooting suspect, identified as Seth Aaron Ator, 36, abandoned his vehicle after a traffic stop and stole a United States Postal Service truck. He was shot and killed by police officers outside a busy movie theater in Odessa.
Here is what we know about the slain victims:
RODOLFO "RUDY" JULIO ARCO, 57
It breaks my heart knowing one of my coworkers fathers has passed away due to the horrific acts that took place yesterday. A go fund me has been created to help her family throughout this rough time. Any donations and prayers are highly appreciated. https://t.co/0XFL7Y1yhP— perla (@perlamloya) September 1, 2019
Rodolfo Arco, who owned a trucking company in Odessa, left his Las Vegas home after the anniversary of a 2017 mass shooting during a music festival, his sister, Maria Arco, told the Arizona Republic.
“He felt that Odessa was the place to go,” Maria Arco told the newspaper. “He sold everything in Vegas and moved there, in the hopes that things would be safer for him and the family.”
Rudy Arco was driving Saturday when three bullets were fired at his truck, Maria Arco told the Republic. Two went through the cab and one came through the window, killing him instantly, she told the newspaper.
Rudy Arcos' wife, Bari Arco, told NBC News the couple had been married for 20 years and have three daughters, ages 3, 6 and 23.
Their oldest daughter, Julieanna, works at Music City Mall in Odessa, the Republic reported. After the lockdown was lifted at the mall, Julieanna Arco headed home and saw her father's truck parked on the side of the road, Maria Arco told the newspaper.
KAMERON KARLTESS BROWN, 30
Kameron Brown's mother, Mary, told KTXS in an exclusive interview that she forgives the shooter.— KTXS News (@KTXS_News) September 2, 2019
You can watch it tonight on KTXS News at 6.https://t.co/eBaWUNO9el
Kameron Brown was a U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan. His death was confirmed by his employer, Standard Safety & Supply, an Odessa-based first-aid and fire protection service. The company linked to a GoFundMe page for Brown, which was set up by one of his colleagues, Standard Safety & Supply spokesman Sean Murphy told CNN.
"We are deeply saddened to confirm that a member of our team died tragically as a victim of the senseless and horrifying shootings that occurred in and around Odessa on Saturday," the company wrote on its Facebook page. "We ask that the privacy of our team member and his family be respected during this most difficult time."
According to the GoFundMe page set up for Brown, he was a native of Brownsville, Texas. He had been employed by Standard Safety & Supply for about a year.
MARY GRANADOS, 29
Mary Granados, 29.— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) September 2, 2019
Worked for @USPS in Odessa, TX
Had an identical twin sister.
Was working Saturday, & on the phone with her sister, when she was shot along her delivery route.
Her sister heard her scream.
A man hijacked her mail van & went thru town shooting people. pic.twitter.com/DKCyQtMsar
Mary Granados was employed by the USPS and was killed when accused shooter Seth Aaron Ator, hijacked her mail carrier truck, according to The Associated Press.
Post office officials said the Odessa resident was alone in the truck at the time and the company's law enforcement is working with authorities.
Granados' twin sister, Rosie Granados, told CNN she heard Mary Granados scream while the women were talking on the telephone.
“It was very painful,” Rosie Granados told the network. “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.”
The Granados sisters moved from Juarez, Mexico, to Odessa when they were 14, according to CNN. Mary Granados had been employed by the USPS for about a year, her sister said.
Mary Granados did not feel well Saturday but still went to work, her sister told CNN. She enjoyed traveling with her boyfriend and spending time with her family, Rosie Granados told the cable news network.
"She was so special," Rosie Granados told NBC News. "I don't know what I'm going to do without her."
A GoFundMe page has been created to collect donations to cover memorial expenses.
JOSEPH GRIFFITH, 40
10. Joe Griffith, a father and husband and teacher who was driving with his family when the shooter pulled up next to them ending his life. pic.twitter.com/k5qI3mEBSt— Alejandra Guzman, UNIVISION (@AlejandraG_TV) September 2, 2019
Griffith, a former math teacher, was in his vehicle with his wife and two children when he was killed by the gunman, his sister, Carla Byrne, told The Washington Post.
“This maniac pulled up next to him and shot him, took away his life, murdered my baby brother. Like nothing,” Byrne told the newspaper. “We are so broken.”
Griffith was known for his sense of humor and his ability to impersonate anyone, Byrne told the Post.
Byrne said a former student approached Griffith on Friday to tell him what an "awesome teacher he was,” the newspaper reported.
LEILAH HERNANDEZ, 15
Rest easy mamas I will always love you baby sis it’s sad it had to happen to you I wish I would of been me you still had your whole life ahead of you. Things are going to change from now on but you will always be right next to me I did my best to protect you im sorry baby. pic.twitter.com/LyBsPvfPiu— Nathan (@Nathan_H001) September 1, 2019
Leilah Hernandez celebrated her quinceañera in May, according to The Washington Post.
On Saturday, Hernandez, a student at Odessa High school, was walking out of a car dealership with her 18-year-old brother, Nathan, who was picking up a truck, the newspaper reported.
Nathan had the keys in his hand when the gunman opened fire, Nora Leyva, Hernandez's grandmother, told the Post.
“I guess he was just looking for someone to kill,” Leyva told the newspaper.
Nathan wrapped his arms around Hernandez and was shot in the arm. Another bullet struck the girl near her collarbone, according to The Associated Press.
Hernandez played volleyball at her high school and was concerned she was not good enough in the sport, her grandmother told the Post. Leyva said Leilah was mostly a happy girl who was excited to begin catechism classes this week, the newspaper reported.
"It's just so hard," Leyva told the Post. "I'm not going to be seeing her no more."
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.— NewsWest9 (@newswest9) September 3, 2019
Rest in peace, Edwin. pic.twitter.com/MPMRFHdk7A
Edwin Peregrino was in west Texas for the weekend to talk about his new job and new life in San Antonio, his sister, Eritizi Peregrino, told The Washington Post.
Peregrino was killed after he walked outside the house after hearing shots, his sister told the newspaper. He died when the gunman sped by and opened fire, Peregrino's sister said.
"It happened at our home. You think you're safe at your own house," Eritizi Peregrino, 23, told the Post. "You're not even safe at your own house."
RAUL GARCIA, 35
The family of Raul Garcia told KVIA the El Paso, Texas, resident "was a great dad."
"He was on his way home to be with his kids," his wife, Perla, told the local news station. "He didn't get to make it here."
Garcia's family said the truck driver died working to provide for his family. His wife said the family does not plan to ask the El Paso community for help with burial costs, but La Paz - Perches Funeral Homes will pay for the funeral service, his family said.
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