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O’Rourke, Castro condemn fatal Texas mass shooting

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Democratic presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro condemned a mass shooting in Odessa and Midland, Texas, on Saturday that left at least five people dead and 21 injured, according to Midland police.

“Our hearts are with Midland, Odessa, and everyone in West Texas who has to endure this again. More information is forthcoming, but here’s what we know: We need to end this epidemic,” O’Rourke wrote.

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“Heartbreaking news out of Odessa and Midland, Texas as police search for an active shooter at-large. Stay indoors and monitor news alerts and safety protocols,” Castro wrote.

The lone shooter was killed by police, the Associated Press reported.

Initial reports from Midland police said there may have been one or more suspects who opened fire at random from a stolen postal vehicle. The University of Texas Permian Basic campus went into lockdown.

The shooting comes four weeks after two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The El Paso shooting is thought to have targeted Hispanics, leaving 22 people dead and dozens injured. Some 13 hours later in Dayton, nine people were killed and dozens were injured in a separate shooting in a popular nightlife district.

After the El Paso shooting, O’Rourke left the campaign trail, returning to his hometown, which is just 300 miles from Midland. Castro is a former lawmaker from San Antonio.

“Don’t know what the motivation is, do not yet know the firearms that were used or how they acquired them, but we do know this is fucked up,” O’Rourke said in Fairfax Station, Virginia, during a rally for Dan Helmer, who is running for Virginia House 40th District. “We do know that this has to stop in this country. There is no reason that we have to accept this as our fortune, as our future, as our fate, yet functionally right now we have.”

President Donald Trump tweeted: “Just briefed by Attorney General Barr about the shootings in Texas. FBI and Law Enforcement is fully engaged. More to follow.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted: “We are closely following the developing situation in Odessa & Midland, Texas. Our prayers are with all who have been impacted and the first responders working to save lives. #EndGunViolence #DoSomething.”

Texas Rep. Will Hurd tweeted: “WEST TEXAS: Please stay safe in Odessa and Midland as we monitor the situation and follow the Midland Police Department Facebook page for updates.”

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