17-Month-Old Injured in West Texas Shooting Spree Is Recovering From Surgery

By Wire Service Content

Seventeen-month-old Anderson Davis was one of the 22 people injured in a shooting spree in West Texas. Despite her injuries, she’s expected to make a full recovery, her parents said.

Anderson is at home recovering from surgery for her injuries, which include shrapnel in her chest, a hole through her bottom lip and damage to her front teeth, Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis said Monday, Sept. 2.

Seven people were killed after a gunman went on a shooting spree Saturday that began during a traffic stop in Midland and continued as he drove into Odessa, some 20 miles away. Odessa police confronted him in a movie theater parking lot and killed him in a shootout.

“We hurt so badly for the families whose loved ones didn’t survive this tragedy,” Kelby and Garret Davis said in a statement emailed to CNN later Sunday. “We are thankful for our beautiful baby girl and look forward to reuniting her at home with her twin brother soon.”

Seventeen-month-old Anderson Davis
A campaign has been set up to help 17-month-old infant Anderson Davis with medical costs following the Odessa-Midlands shooting on Aug. 31, 2019. (GoFundMe)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a press conference Sunday that Anderson’s mother had texted him an update about her daughter’s condition.

“‘Toddlers are funny because they can get shot but still want to run around and play,'” Davis wrote, according to the governor.

Abbott said Davis told him Anderson would have surgery Monday to remove the shrapnel from her chest, fix her lip and mouth and “get a better look at her tongue.” The damage to her mouth was “pretty bad,” but can be fixed, Abbott said.

Governor Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a memorial service for the victims of the Aug. 3 mass shooting on Aug. 14, 2019, at Southwest University Park, in El Paso, Texas. (Jorge Salgado/AP Photo)

On Saturday, a spokesman for University Medical Center in Lubbock told CNN that Anderson was in satisfactory condition after the shooting.

Shooter Identified

Authorities identified the shooter as Seth Aaron Ator, 36, of Odessa. Online court records show Ator was arrested in 2001 for a misdemeanor offense that would not have prevented him from legally purchasing firearms in Texas, although authorities have not said where Ator got his weapon.

Seth Aaron Ator
Seth Aaron Ator, the man who the police said was responsible for the Aug. 31, 2019 shooting spree, after failing to stop for police at a traffic stop in Odessa, West Texas. (Ector County Sheriff’s Office)

Ator acted alone and federal investigators believe the shooter had no ties to any domestic or international terrorism group, FBI special agent Christopher Combs said. Authorities said those killed were between the ages of 15 and 57 years old but did not immediately provide a list of names.

Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said there were still no answers pointing to a motive for the chaotic rampage, which began Saturday afternoon when Texas state troopers tried pulling over a gold car on Interstate 20 for failing to signal a left turn.

The shooting came at the end of an already violent month in Texas, where on Aug. 3 a gunman in the border city of El Paso killed 22 people in a mass shooting at a Walmart. Sitting beside authorities in Odessa, Abbott ticked off a list of incidents that have now killed nearly 70 since 2016 in his state alone.

Carmen Roldan brings some flowers to honor the memory of the victims of the mass shooting occurred in Walmart on Saturday morning in El Paso on Aug. 4, 2019. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Saturday’s shooting brings the number of people killed in such incidents this year to 142, surpassing the 140 people who were killed last year, according to The AP/USATODAY/Northeastern University mass murder database. The database tracks homicides where four or more people are killed, not including the offender.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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