Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the man accused of killing seven people and wounding 25 others on Saturday had failed a background check to purchase a gun and wasn’t screened when buying the gun he used in the Odessa shooting.
Abbott announced the revelations in a tweet Monday without stating why or when the gunman had failed the background check or where the weapon used in the shooting Saturday police described as an AR-style firearm had been purchased.
“We must keep guns out of criminals’ hands,” he said, echoing the comments he made a day before during a press conference.
On Sunday, Abbott said solutions need to be found to “keep guns out of the hands of criminals… while also ensuring that we safeguard our Second Amendment rights.”
Police identified the slain gunman as 36-year-old Seth Aaron Ator, who was shot and killed by police after having driven roughly 10 miles through Odessa and Midland, randomly shooting at people along the way.
The announcement of Ator’s failed background check came as Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said during a press conference that Ator was fired from his job the morning of the shooting.
Gerke said that both Ator and his boss at Journey Oilfield Services had called 911 Saturday to complain about the other, though Ator only gave a “rambling statement” that did not resemble a threat.
Ator then made a second call, this time to the FBI’s tip line, Gerke said.
Trooper Chuck Pryor was unaware of these calls when he pulled Ator over for a minor traffic violation that ignited the shootings.
Police also identified the victims from Saturday’s shooting Monday as Odessa residents Joe Griffith, 40; Mary Granados, 29; Edwin Peregrino, 25 and Rodolfo Julio Arco, 57. Kameron Karltess Brown, 30, of Brownwood, and Raul Garcia, 35, of El Paso, were also identified as victims.
The youngest victim was a 15-year-old girl from Odessa who was not named.