• March 28, 2020

Witness opens up about postal worker’s death - Odessa American: Law Enforcement

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Witness opens up about postal worker’s death

Hill offers apology to family members

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Posted: Friday, February 7, 2020 5:40 pm

Hill detailed in a police report from Odessa Police Department officer Taylor Box the gunman, Seth Aaron Ator, shot at her vehicle and then she blindly followed him to the 3600 block of Adams Avenue where she saw him murder 29-year-old postal worker Mary Granados.

For the first time in last six months, Hill talked at length about the events she witnesses on Aug. 31, 2019, and admitted she still suffers from PTSD over what she saw. Hill also said she hasn’t been able to go to the grocery store without someone by her side.

Hill offered an important message to Granados’ family at the end of the interview.

“I’m sorry that I didn’t do more,” Hill said. “I’m sorry. I wish I did more. I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.”

According to the police report from Box, Hill was at a red light facing east at 38th Street and Dixie Boulevard and she was behind Ator while he was still inside his 1999 gold Toyota Camry.

Hill stated in the police report that she saw Ator step out of his vehicle and began shooting at the vehicle in front of his gold Toyota. Hill stated that Ator turned around and fired once toward her while she was sitting inside of her blue 1997 GMC Yukon XL.

In the police report, Hill stated she ducked down inside of her vehicle and heard Ator leaving the scene in his vehicle. Hill stated she drove while still ducking down and had turned down North Adams Avenue, thinking it was her street.

“I heard him peel off and I popped up for a moment and he was gone,” Hill said during the phone interview. “I didn’t see anywhere that he turned down and I’m panicking. I was looking down at my phone trying to call 911. I just floored it. I was supposed to turn and he was in the turning lane also. I thought he turned, so I went straight and I turned down the first street I could. I took a left turn and then I saw him. I slammed on my brakes.”

Hill reportedly looked up and saw Ator, not knowing she was following him, get out of his gold Toyota, pull Granados out of her mail truck and shoot her in the head. Hill stated that Ator saw her and shot toward her again, shot Granados again, and drove off in the mail truck.

Hill stated she stayed at the scene and called OPD, but the lines were too busy, the report stated. She stated she then called Ector County Sheriff’s Office. Hill stated she took a photograph of Ator before he drove off.

“I have nightmares,” Hill said during the phone interview. “I see him in my dreams. I can see (Granados’) stare and her ringtone going off over and over and over again. I got to go home to my babies and it kills me that she doesn’t. I keep thinking if I did something different would she be home.”

Another witness in the 3600 block of Adams Avenue that was listed in Box’s report was Odessa Regional Medical Center nurse Amanda Castellanos.

The nurse reportedly saw Ator grab Granados out of her mail truck, shot her and drove off in the mail truck. Castellanos told her son to call the police while she ran outside to check on Granados.

Castellanos stated she checked Granados’ pulse but couldn’t find one and her eyes had a blank stare. Castellanos reportedly told dispatch of Granados’ condition and went back inside her residence.

There were 556 shell casings located on the street in the 3600 block of Adams Avenue, a police report from OPD’s Patrick Harris detailed. There were also bullet fragments and four black 556 PMAG 30-round magazines and a set of keys with a Batman key ring located inside Ator’s Camry.

In a report from OPD’s Scottie Smith, there were some wires in the trunk of Ator’s Camry that were up under a bag. Smith reportedly didn’t know if the wires had gone to anything or if there were any explosive devices in the vehicle.

Smith reportedly searched the vehicle and didn’t locate any explosive devices or anything believed to be explosive in the front of the vehicle. As he was searching the front or passenger sides of the vehicle, he saw numerous spent rounds lying in the back seat on top of clothing. Smith had to move the clothing around so he could see underneath and there were no explosive devices. Smith saw four empty rifle magazines in the front passenger seat.

The wires that were located in the trunk didn’t connect to anything and no explosive devices were found, the report stated.

Odessa, TX

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