The motive remains unclear in a weekend shooting spree in Odessa, Texas that left at least seven dead and over twenty wounded.

The New York Times reported that the gunman, identified as Seth Aaron Ator, 36, of Odessa, apparently used an AR-15-type rifle (a civilian police version of the M16) but it was not clear whether he had acquired the firearm legally.

[The Texas incident follows reports of a shooting at a football game in Mobile, Alabama, where a gunman wounded at least nine people before police took him in.]

One of the anomalies of the Texas case was how the shooting unfolded during a high-speed police chase. Police report the gunman opened fire on motorists and police officers while driving along a 15-mile stretch of highways and shopping centers, before police shot and killed him.

The Times reports, "the gunman fled from state troopers who had tried to pull him over, and then hijacked a United States Postal Service van, killing its driver before indiscriminately firing while he drove."

Authorities say the driver eventually pulled into a movie theater parking lot, where he shot two police officers before police bullets ended the rampage.

Over a dozen people were treated at area hospitals. Texas Governor Abbott issued a statement saying, "the status quo in Texas is unacceptable and action is needed.”

[Source: New York Times]