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'All We Can Do Is Keep Going,' Resident Says At Vigil For Texas Shooting Victims


In Odessa, Texas, people are trying to make sense of a man taking to their streets and randomly shooting people on Saturday afternoon. Thirty-six-year-old Seth Aaron Ator started firing after a failed traffic stop. He took off through the West Texas city, killing at least seven people, injuring 22 more before police finally killed him. Marfa Public Radio's Mitch Borden went to a vigil where hundreds of people came to mourn and to try to move forward.

MITCH BORDEN, BYLINE: Standing together at a local college campus, Odessans gathered to support each other and remember the fallen.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) I once was lost...

BORDEN: It was only a day since the shooting, and local school bus driver Olga Jacobo is scared to leave her house.

OLGA JACOBO: I'm looking at everybody now. I'm just scared for everybody and of everybody.

BORDEN: But Jacobo did come out because she wanted to be with her community. Like Jacobo, Carolyn Ransom said she didn't think this could ever happen in a place like this.

CAROLYN RANSOM: I can't believe this. You know, I travel that street all the time. I know the area that the shooter was going. I'm always around in that area.

BORDEN: At the vigil, Odessa's mayor, David Turner, told the gathering crowd that they can get through these tragic times.

DAVID TURNER: Yesterday was a horrible day that shook us to our very foundation. But this will not break us. In West Texas, you have to be tough.

BORDEN: Among the wounded were three police officers and a 17-month-old baby girl. The youngest killed was a 15-year-old high school student. Jerry Morales, the mayor of the neighboring city, Midland, said the two communities need to come together during this ordeal.

JERRY MORALES: We're going to talk about healing. We're going to talk about love. We're going to talk about coming together as one. And we're going to continue praying.

BORDEN: People have faith Odessa will heal. Marcos Olivas spent yesterday afternoon laying on his floor trying to stay safe while the shooting took place. Today, he is holding a candle and standing up for his community.

MARCOS OLIVAS: We have to come out. We can't - we can't stay in hiding, you know? So we're here. That's all we can do is just keep going.

BORDEN: After singing and praying together, the night ended with people talking, hugging and comforting one another as they filtered back to their cars. For NPR News, I'm Mitch Borden in Odessa.

(SOUNDBITE OF LEAVV'S "VALLEY") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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