In a news conference on Monday, state law enforcement officials revealed that the Odessa gunman, Seth Ator, had previously failed a background check when attempting to buy a gun legally, Reuters reports.
ATF agent John Wester confirmed that when Ator had tried to purchase a gun, “his name was run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System,” after which he was denied the purchase. He previously had “convictions in 2002 for criminal trespass and evading arrest.”
Reflecting this revelation, President Donald Trump emphasized that background checks alone are not a solution, as they would not have prevented most mass shootings such as the Odessa rampage, with the president referring to Ator as “a very sick person.”
Shortly after being fired from his trucking job, Ator first opened fire on state troopers who pulled him over on the interstate, then continued firing “indiscriminately” as he drove through the cities of Odessa and Midland. He killed seven people and injured 23 others before he was shot and killed by police.