West Texas Shooting Victims: an Army Vet, a 15-Year-Old Girl, a Mail Carrier and Others
Seven people were killed and at least 25 were injured in a drive-by mass shooting in West Texas
On Saturday afternoon, a motorist in West Texas who’d been pulled over by police shot a state trooper. Then, he fled the scene in his vehicle while randomly shooting at pedestrians, shoppers and other motorists, and also killing a mail carrier whose truck he stole.
The gunman was later killed by police in a shootout near a movie theater in Odessa, but not before he fatally shot seven people and injured at least 25.
The drive-by massacre marked a sad bookend to a month marred by an earlier mass shooting in Texas, when a gunman opened fire in an El Paso Walmart and killed 22. Less than 24 hours after that, in the early morning of Aug. 4, a man opened fire on a crowded nightlife street in Dayton, Ohio, killing nine.
The mass shootings are the latest high-profile example of the epidemic of gun violence in the United States: Every day, approximately 100 Americans are killed with guns and hundreds more are shot and injured, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Below is a list of the fatal victims of the West Texas attack.
Edwin Peregrino, 25
Peregrino was visiting his parents’ home in Odessa — a house he had recently moved out of — when he heard the sound of gunfire and ran outside to investigate. He was subsequently shot and killed.
Peregrino’s sister, Eritizi Peregrino, told The Washington Post that she and her family were still in shock at how suddenly it happened. “It happened at our home. You think you’re safe at your own house,” she said.
Eritizi told The Post her brother had recently moved to San Antonio to start fresh and begin a new job. But he mainly wanted to start his own family, she told the newspaper. “You could always count on him for anything.”
Raul Garcia, 35
Garcia’s wife, Perla, told KVIA that Garcia was a truck driver who was killed while “on his way home to be with his kids.”
Perla told the station, “Just like my son said, ‘Mom, now he’ll be a truck driver in heaven.’”
KTSM reports Garcia was from El Paso, and he was killed along I-20 as the shooter fled a traffic stop.
His sister Angie told KVIA, “He would be there for everybody.”
Joe (Joseph) Griffith, 40
Griffith was in his car, stopped at a traffic light with his wife and children, when he was shot and killed in front of them. His sister Carla Byrne told The Washington Post that her family was “so broken” in the wake of the tragedy.
“This maniac pulled up next to him and shot him, took away his life, murdered my baby brother. Like nothing,” Byrne said.
Byrne said her brother, a former math teacher, worked six days a week to support his family, to whom he was extremely devoted. In fact, the family was going to get their portrait taken together on the day of the shooting, according to The Odessa American.
A GoFundMe for the family mentions that Griffith was a “Godly man who faithfully loved the Lord, his family and his church.”
In a Sunday Facebook post, his wife Becky Griffith asked people to “pray for those still fighting for their lives, pray for those devastated by what they witnessed yesterday.”
Mary Granados, 29
Granados was nearing the end of her shift as a United States Postal carrier on Saturday when she was killed.
Her twin sister Rosie told CNN she was on the phone with Granados at the time of the shooting, and recalled hearing her sister scream.
“It was very painful. I just wanted to help her and I couldn’t, I thought she had got [bitten] by a dog or something. I tried calling her name and she wouldn’t answer,” Rosie told CNN.
The twins lived together in Odessa, Texas.
A GoFundMe page arranged by one of Granados’ former colleagues on behalf of her family is seeking donations to help with the memorial and funeral services.
“I had the privilege to work with Mary before she started her career at USPS, she was beautiful inside and out, with a great heart and always ready to be a friend, always had a smile on her face!” the fundraising page read. “Keep her family in your prayers.”
Kameron Karltess Brown, 30
According to a GoFundMe page shared on Facebook by Brown’s employer, Brown was an Army veteran who had served in Afghanistan.
A Brownwood, Texas, resident, Brown had been an employee of Standard Safety & Supply for over a year, according to the GoFundMe.
“We are deeply saddened to confirm that a member of our team died tragically as a victim of the senseless and horrifying shootings that occurred in and around Odessa on Saturday,” wrote the company, which provides health, safety and environmental services to oil and gas industry service providers.
The Coleman County Chamber of Commerce in Coleman, Texas, posted a message on Facebook saying Brown attended school in the county and “proudly served his country in the Army.”
Rodolfo Julio Arco, 57
Arco’s son, Ardy Arco, told Fox 5 Las Vegas his father had recently moved to Odessa from Las Vegas.
He said his dad was an entrepreneur who owned several Super Burrito restaurants and was working as a truck driver when he was fatally shot returning from work.
“If you were stranded on the side of the road he would help you change your tire,” Andy Arco said. “A person who would always just give, give, give.”
A GoFundMe page started to benefit his family says, “Rudy was a father and friend whose life was ended way too soon.”
Leilah Hernandez, 15
Among the victims of Saturday’s West Texas shootings was a 15-year-old girl. Several people on social media have identified her as Leilah (or Leila) Hernandez, and the girl’s family is currently asking for support on a GoFundMe page.
Hernandez’ grandmother, Nora Leyva, recalled celebrating the teen’s quinceañera in May. “It was like a dream for her,” Leyva told the Washington Post.
On Saturday, Hernandez and her brother Nathan, 18, were picking up a truck for which he had been saving up for, according to Leyva, who said the pair was walking out of the car dealership when the gunman started randomly shooting. Nathan wrapped his arms around his sister, taking a bullet in his right arm, Leyva said.
“Help me, help me,” Hernandez said before she died, according to Leyva, who told the Post: “I’m not going to be seeing her no more.”