Death toll from West Texas shooting rises to 7

People are evacuated from a Cinergy Odessa cinema following a shooting in Odessa, Texas. (Reuters pic)

WASHINGTON: The death toll in Saturday’s gun rampage in West Texas rose to seven on Sunday, local media reported, and police said they would hold a news conference later in the day.

Police had earlier said five people, including the gunman, were killed in the mass shooting that began with a traffic stop and ended when the shooter was cornered by officers in the parking lot of a cinema complex in Odessa, Texas.

Authorities have not named the victims or the gunman but said on Saturday that he was a white male in his 30s who was known to police. Twenty-one people were wounded.

The rampage between the cities of Midland and Odessa started on Saturday afternoon when state troopers pulled over a car on Interstate 20 and the lone occupant fired at their patrol vehicle with a rifle, wounding one of the troopers.

After fleeing the scene, the suspect hijacked a postal van and opened fire on police officers, motorists and shoppers on a busy Labour Day holiday weekend before being shot dead outside the Cinergy cinema complex in Odessa, police said.

Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said at a news conference on Saturday that the suspect was known to him, but he declined to comment on a motive for the shootings.