Photo Shows Seth Ator, Odessa Mass Shooting Suspect: Report Says Gunman Failed Earlier Background Check

Cengiz YarGetty Images

Seth Ator, the 36-year-old mass shooting suspect who reportedly killed at least seven on Saturday — and wounded nearly two dozen others — as he fired seemingly at random from a moving vehicle in Odessa, Texas, had previously failed a background check, according to a report by The Midlands Reporter Telegram. The Midlands Reporter Telegram cited Texas Representative Tom Craddick as the source of the report.

Ator had only a minor criminal record, with misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing and evading arrest, according to a CNN report. Both of those offenses were charged in 2001, the report said. Ator also received a traffic citation last year for “a federal motor carrier safety violation,” CNN reported. But whether any of those offenses would have caused Ator to fail a background check remains unclear.

Police released a photo of Ator on Sunday, though they made few other details of the alleged gunman’s background public and said that they had not determined any possible motive for Attar’s killing spree. As The Inquisitr reported, after Ator abandoned his original vehicle, which was pulled over by police shortly after 3 p.m. on Saturday — the incident which appeared to spark Ator’s deadly rampage — he stole a United States Postal Service vehicle. He was later killed in a shootout with police in the parking lot of a Cinergy movie theater in Odessa.

Per a Daily Beast report, FBI agents were seen searching what appeared to be a metal shack in West Odessa. The structure reportedly served as Ator’s home, or was at least linked to him in some way.

Police search gunman's home/
The FBI searches a shack believed to be the home of Odessa mass shooter Seth Ator.Featured image credit: Cengiz YarGetty Images

FBI agent Christopher Combs told CNN that investigators were conducting searches “to make sure that there is nobody else even possibly connected to this.”

According to social media reports, online information about Ator stated that he was employed as a truck driver, though that detail has not been confirmed. The private foundation Cryptome, which archives official government documents mainly related to national security, posted the photo of Ator on its Twitter account, noting that in the photo, Ator appears to be wearing a work uniform similar to those worn by employees of Schlumberger, which according to Reuters is “the world’s largest oilfield services provider.”

A significant portion of the company’s activities involves hydraulic fracturing, the controversial oil drilling process known as “fracking.”

Police did not specify the weapon used by Ator in his mass shooting, but said that it was an “A-R type” firearm, per Reuters. How and where Ator obtained the weapon has not been publicly revealed.