Odessa/Midland Shooting


Local First Responders

Kyann Vargas, Writer

August 31 around 3:25 was just a regular day. Then for some people, it was life altering. It all started with a routine traffic stop that escalated. A white male  started shooting at random, killing 7 and leaving 21 injured. His motive? Nothing, other than him being frustrated because he just got fired and pulled over. This terrifying event ended in  the gunman being killed in the back of Cinergy, a local movie theater, by police.

Odessa and Midland are relatively smaller towns, so many people always thought mass shootings would never happen there, right? Sadly they were mistaken. An AMS student learned that first hand. Addi Smilie was just doing what she usually does when this horrible event started to unfold. Smilie goes to Midland or Odessa almost every Saturday. Smilie’s family went to Cinergy to watch the new Christian movie, Overcomer.

Her experience started when Addi’s sister (Nicole) texted their mom (Laura) that there was a shooter and asking where they were. Smilie’s dad told her mom to put her phone up because they were in a movie. Smilie’s mom told her to text Nicole that they were in Cinergy and were all right. About 5 minutes later, Smilie said a police officer came in and told them to stay calm and remain where they were. Smilie’s first initial thought was that they were about to be held hostage by the shooter or killed.

About a minute later, Smilie said that an Odessa SWAT officer came in with an AR 15 telling them to get out of the building. Most people were walking when the SWAT member yelled at them to run in a very stern voice. Smilie said she wondered why they didn’t go out the back exit, which was so much closer to their movie theater. Later Addi found out that’s where the gunman was killed by police fire.

Smilie’s says her heart goes out to the people and families affected by the shooting. She also thanks the first responders in Odessa and Midland. Most of all, she says that she thanks God for keeping her, her family, and everyone else in the movie theater safe from harm. She still thinks about what would have happened if he went into the Cinergy movie theater…..