A More Detailed Picture Of The West Texas Shooter Emerges

Authorities say the man who killed seven and injured more than 20 in Midland and Odessa had been on a downward spiral before the shooting.

By Rhonda Fanning & Terri LangfordSeptember 3, 2019 7:09 am, ,

Journalists and authorities are learning more about the life of the shooter who killed seven people and injured more than 20 others in Midland and Odessa on Saturday.

Mitch Borden, a Midland-based reporter for Marfa Public Radio says the shooter, Seth Ator, had gotten into a dispute with his employer on the day of the massacre. Both parties called 911. The shooter had left his place of employment before police arrived.

“Later in that day … he called the FBI tip line,” Borden says. “No threats were made; a lot of rambling is what the FBI told reporters yesterday.”

Shortly after calling the FBI, the shooter was pulled over by state troopers for a minor traffic infraction. 

“That’s when the shooting began,” Borden says. “He turned around and started shooting the DPS [Department of Public Safety] officers, and he hit one of them.”

Borden says authorities aren’t certain how the shooter obtained the assault-style weapon he used. An FBI official has said in news reports that  the shooter’s life had been “on a long spiral of going down.” Borden says the FBI also indicated that Ator’s house was in poor condition.

“They did allude to that this could be some sort of mental issue,” Borden says. “They did say they still did not know the motive. They said there was no letter of any kind. Law enforcement said yesterday we may never know a motive.”

Borden says law enforcement officials do not yet know how the shooter obtained the weapon he used.


Written by Shelly Brisbin.