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Marfa Public Radio 2020 Breaking News Murrows Submission

In Odessa on August 31st, the day out started like a lot of slow Saturdays. The weather was warm and sunny and locals were ready to enjoy their labor day weekend. Some were heading out of town for a vacation while others were getting ready to have a lazy retreat at home.

Any thoughts of a fun holiday though came to a tragic end later that day when a lone gunman tore through the streets of Odessa shooting at cars and pedestrians seemingly at random — killing seven and injuring over 20.

This shooting shook the oil community to its core. Both the young and old were killed during the hour the shooter was at large. The youngest to die was a 15-year-old high school freshman who was out with her family car shopping for her brother.

Eventually, the gunman was cornered by law enforcement outside of a movie theater where he was killed while facing off with officers. This is when the mass shooting officially ended, but then Odessa had to begin the hard process of dealing with the death and destruction left behind by this mass murder.

Marfa Public Radio hit the ground running on this story. Reporter Mitch Borden was on the scene before the police had even found the shooter to begin tracking down witnesses and figuring out what had happened. MPR's news director Carlos Morales and reporter Sally Beauvais coordinated coverage and reported out the details to West Texas from Marfa as the story unfolded.

The week after the shooting, our team worked hard and fast to get the facts straight about this tragedy. That consisted of going to press conferences, filing national and statewide stories, and finding the sources that could give the most up to date information on the situation.

In this submission, you'll hear the stories and interviews our reporters filed following the August 31st, 2019 Odessa Mass Shooting.

Mitch Borden is Permian Basin Reporter & Producer at Marfa Public Radio.