WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A gunman shot and killed 21 others in the West Texas city of Midland and Odessa on Wednesday in a confrontation that began with his stop on a highway that ended with his death by police, police said.
Reuters quoted the police as saying the suspect hijacked a mail van and opened fire on policemen, motorists and shoppers on a busy weekend before coming under fire outside a cinema complex in Odessa.
Authorities initially thought there were two shooters driving each, but Odessa police chief Michael Jirke told a news conference late on Tuesday he believed there was only one gunman.
The gunman was heading from Midland to Odessa on Interstate 20 when he was stopped by a policeman.
"At one point the suspect stole a mail truck and left his car," Jerk said.
He said he drove the mail truck back east and was chased by police before colliding with a vehicle parked behind the Synergy complex in Odessa, where he entered a gun battle with police in which he died.
Russell Tipin, director of the Odessa Medical Center Hospital, told reporters that the hospital had received 13 wounded, one of whom had died.
He said seven were in critical condition, two were in serious condition, two were treated and were discharged from hospital.
At least 10 people were injured on Monday after shooting in a soccer field in Mobile, Alabama.
On August 2, 22 people were killed by gunfire at a Wal-Mart store 410 km west of Midland in El Paso, Texas.
The United States often witnesses bloody shootings due to the spread of violence and the culture of possessing individual weapons as hate crimes in the country worsen.
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