Gov. Greg Abbott called for keeping weapons “out of criminals’ hands” as he noted the Odessa shooter had failed a background check.
The Texas governor tweeted his remarks with a link to a Statesman article reporting that the shooter who killed seven people and wounded nearly two dozen more over the weekend had a criminal history.
“Not only did the Odessa gunman have a criminal history…” Abbott tweeted Monday, “he also previously failed a gun purchase background check in Texas.”
The 36-year-old, who was shot and killed by police after his shooting rampage on Saturday following a routine traffic stop, “didn’t go thru a background check for the gun he used in Odessa,” Abbott added.
Not only did the Odessa gunman have a criminal history…
…he also previously failed a gun purchase background check in Texas…
…& he didn’t go thru a background check for the gun he used in Odessa.
We must keep guns out of criminals’ hands. https://t.co/vgrqcHtBtF
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 2, 2019
According to online records from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Seth Ator had a criminal history in Central Texas that preceded the Saturday rampage which stretched for miles in a police chase as he randomly fired at motorists and police.
Ator had reportedly been fired from his job at a trucking company just hours before, but he had a history of run-ins with the law before being stopped for failing to signal when making a left turn.
In August 2001, when he was 18 years old, the shooter was arrested on charges of evading arrest and criminal trespass in McLennan County. DPS records showed that at the time, he pleaded guilty to both Class B misdemeanor charges, and sentences in both cases were deferred in 2002.
Previous addresses were found for Ator in Lorena and Waco.
“I’m heartbroken by the crying of the people in the state of Texas. I’m tired of the dying of the people of the state of Texas,” Abbott said addressing the latest in a string of mass shootings in his state.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks in Odessa after the state’s latest mass shooting: “I have been to too many of these events…Too many Texans are in mourning” https://t.co/H9n7JKbYS7 pic.twitter.com/DCqvgp1M0M
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 1, 2019
Abbott addressed the shooting at a press conference in Odessa on Sunday, saying that the state needed to “broaden our efforts” to prevent similar tragedies from occurring again.
At a Sunday press conference in Odessa, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott listed off recent mass shootings that have happened in the state and called for lawmakers to “broaden our efforts” to prevent such tragedies. Full story –> https://t.co/Bbx9aiJAci pic.twitter.com/fw4sFo3oMo
— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) September 1, 2019
“And we must do so quickly,” he said.
“We need solutions that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals, like the killer here in Odessa, while also ensuring that we safeguard Second Amendment rights, and we must do it fast,” he added.
Abbott went on to say that he was “heartbroken” over the tragedies befalling the people of Texas.
“Too many Texans are in mourning. Too many Texans have lost their lives,” he said. “The status quo in Texas is unacceptable and action is needed.”