• February 18, 2020

Witnesses across Odessa saw Ator’s rampage - Odessa American: Law Enforcement

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Witnesses across Odessa saw Ator’s rampage

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Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2020 5:20 pm

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series of stories to detail the events of Odessa’s Aug. 31 mass shooting. The stories are based on police reports that were released Monday following months of records requests to the City of Odessa.

During his hour-long rampage throughout Odessa, the 36-year-old gunman who killed seven people and wounded 25 others used two vehicles.

Ator used his personal 1999 gold Toyota Camry and a USPS mail truck that he hijacked by murdering a postal employee.

The police reports were released by the City of Odessa on Monday and those statements from various Odessa Police Department officers don’t detail the distance Ator traveled to terrorize civilians and law enforcement agencies, but it gives an insight to the events that took place.

One witness, identified as Crystal Lopez, stated while she was facing north at a red light near the intersection of Dixie Boulevard and 36th Street, she saw a man exit an older model gold passenger car with a long black rifle and shoot a total of six rounds — three each — into two cars stopped at the red light.

Lopez stated she fled the area when she saw the shootings and when the man turned toward her vehicle with the rifle. She stated she fled the area and the man got back into his car and began to travel the same direction as her. Lopez stated she turned off of Dixie Boulevard into an apartment complex.

Another witness, identified as Odessa Furniture Exchange manager Joseph Mansanales, stated he was traveling in a company van south on Tanglewood Lane when he saw an older gold model vehicle run a red light. Mansanales stated the gold car was traveling west on Maple Avenue and was occupied by a man with shaggy hair.

Mansanales stated when the vehicle drove in front of him the driver pointed a hand gun at him and fired a round. The witness said the round struck his front windshield, penetrated his dashboard, but the round never exited the dashboard.

According to a police report from OPD officer Lauren Gonzales, surveillance footage was received near the intersection of 38th Street and Walnut Avenue from home owner Rene Robles. The video shows a man in a gold Toyota traveling on 38th Street from Walnut Avenue. The Toyota stopped behind several vehicle going west at the red light at 38th Street and Dixie Boulevard.

Gonzales reportedly saw a burst of smoke coming from the Toyota and driver door of the Toyota opened and the driver stepped out of the vehicle and another burst of smoke was seen. The vehicle in front of him drove off and the man got back into his car and drove west on 38th Street.

The intersection of 38th Street and Walnut Avenue is less than a half of a mile from the 3600 block of Adams Avenue where Ator ditched his Camry and murdered 29-year-old USPS postal worker Mary Granados for her company issued minivan.

There were 556 shell casings located in the street in the 3600 block of Adams Avenue, a police report from OPD’s Patrick Harris detailed. There were also four 30-round magazines located in the Camry.

Odessa, TX

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