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Five dead and 21 injured as police kill gunman after Texas shooting rampage

A man prays outside of the Medical Center Hospital Emergency room in Odessa, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, following a shooting 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)

A man prays outside the Medical Center Hospital Emergency room in Odessa, Texas, where victims were taken (Picture: AP)

At least five people are dead after a gunman shot more than 20 people as he fled from police before being killed outside a cinema.

The shooting rampage began after the man was stopped at traffic lights by Texas state troopers for failing to signal a left turn.

He then hijacked a postal service vehicle and fired at random as he drove between Odessa and Midland, police said.

The two cities are in the heart of Texas oil country more than 300 miles west of Dallas.

Police initially reported possible multiple shooters, but Odessa police chief Michael Gerke later said there was only one male suspect in his thirties.

The suspect shot at innocent civilians all over Odessa, according to a statement from Odessa police which did not name the man or offer a motive.

Authorities cordon off a part of the sidewalk in the 5100 block of E. 42nd Street in Odessa, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. 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)

Authorities on 42nd Street in Odessa, Texas, after the mass shooting (Picture: AP)

US gunman in Odessa, Texas https://twitter.com/deizaQuinones/status/1167919418808004608 Picture: deizaQuinones

The suspect was eventually killed by police outside a cinema (Picture: DeizaQuinones)

People are evacuated from Cinergy Odessa cinema following a shooting in Odessa, Texas, U.S. in this still image taken from a social media video August 31, 2019. Rick Lobo via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

People were evacuated from the Cinergy Odessa cinema following the shooting (Picture: Reuters)

The terrifying chain of events began when state troopers tried pulling over a gold car on Interstate 20 for failing to signal a left turn.

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Before the vehicle came to a complete stop, the driver pointed a rifle towards the rear window of his car and fired several shots towards the patrol car stopping him, Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said.

The gunshots struck one of two troopers inside the patrol car after which the gunman fled and continued shooting.

Two other police officers were shot before the suspect was killed. The condition of the three officers injured was not immediately released.

Mr Gerke said there were at least 21 injured members of the public.

He said at least five people died.

Odessa and Midland police and sheriff's deputies surround the area behind Cinergy in Odessa, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, after reports of shootings. Police said there are "multiple gunshot victims" in West Texas after reports of two suspects opening fire on Saturday in the area of Midland and Odessa. (Tim Fischer/Midland Daily News via AP)

Police surround the area behind Cinergy cinema after the suspect was killed (Picture: AP)

7415079 BREAKING: Multiple injuries reported in active shooter incident in Odessa, Texas

Members of the public attend to a victim after the gunman fired shots from inside his car (Picture: La Caliente 101.3/Facebook)

Mr Gerke did not say whether the gunman was included among the five dead and it was not clear whether he was including the five among the at least 21 civilian shooting victims.

Witness Shauna Saxton was driving with her husband and grandson in Odessa and had paused at traffic lights when they heard loud pops.

Sobbing, she said: I looked over my shoulder to the left and the gold car pulled up and the man was there and he had a very large gun and it was pointing at me.

I started honking my horn. I started swerving and we got a little ahead of him and then for whatever reason the cars in front of me kind of parted.

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She said she heard three more shots as she sped away.

The cinema where the suspect was killed is more than 10 miles from where state troopers originally pulled him over.

MIDLAND, TEXAS - AUGUST 31: Police cars and tape block off a crime scene outside the Cinergy Odessa movie theater where a gunman was shot and killed on August 31, 2019 in Midland, Texas. Officials say the unidentified suspect killed 5 people and injured 21 in Midland and nearby Odessa. (Photo by Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)

Police said at least five people were killed during the shooting rampage (Picture: AP)
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