Among the seven people killed on Saturday when a gunman opened fire after a random traffic stop was Odessa High School student Leilah Hernandez, age 15.
Ector County Independent School District confirmed that one of their students had died in the shooting before friends posted tributes on Facebook, saying they were heartbroken at the news that the young teen died. “We still don’t want to believe it,” Joanna Levva wrote on her Facebook page. “We are grateful to have been a part of her life, and it hurts our hearts greatly that she is no longer with us on this earth.”
Hernandez’s brother was also injured in the shooting but is expected to recover.
Police on Sunday said the victims killed during the shooting that spanned a 20-mile stretch from Odessa to Midland ranged in age from 15 to 57 years old. Almost 20 more were injured.
Among the other victims was Mary Granados, the postal worker who was killed when her mail truck was hijacked by the shooter. Friends of Grandos set up a GoFundMe page with the help of her twin sister, Rosie Grandos, to help create a memorial fund. “I had the privilege to work with Mary before she started her career at USPS,” a friend wrote. “She was beautiful inside and out, with a great heart and always ready to be a friend, always had a smile on her face!”
Her sister, with whom she lived, told CNN she was on the phone with Mary when she was killed. "It was very painful,” Rosie Granados said. “I just wanted to help her and I couldn’t. I thought she had got bit by a dog or something. I tried calling her name and she wouldn't answer.” She knew her sister’s mail route and got in her car and eventually found her.
Along with three police officers, the injured included 17-month-old Anderson Davis, who was shot in the face and chest, but who is expected to survive. Friends of her family had already raised nearly $115,000 by Sunday through a GoFundMe page to help her family pay for expenses.
Her mother wrote a message for the page in which she explained her daughter’s injuries. “Anderson is 17 months old, has shrapnel in her right chest, which thank God is superficial,” her mother wrote. “She has a hole through her bottom lip and tongue and her front teeth were knocked out. She is alive. When others today are not alive.”
The mother then went on to ask for prayers the dead, injured and even the shooter. “I ask you to continue praying for our hearts as we experience this, pray for complete healing of Anderson, pray for every other family in our same situation, or worse, today and pray for the shooters,” she wrote. “Pray that whatever is causing them to do this will be defeated by God and they will stop shooting.” (Early reports indicated that there might have been more than one shooter, but that has since been corrected.)
Midland Police Officer Zack Owens was also shot multiple time in his arm and hand as he tried to neutralize the shooter. His own GoFundMe page had already raised nearly $40,000 by Sunday. The page also noted that his worst injury was glass shards in his eye.
On Sunday night, a vigil for victims was held at the local University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB). Hundreds were in attendance to honor the dead. The university screenprinted T-shirts that read, "Permian Basin Strong" and handed them out for free. Meanwhile, the evangelical organization Gideons International was on hand passing out Bibles. For weeks, they'd also been distributing the holy books in El Paso after the mass shooting there earlier this month. One Gideons member remarked, "Sister cities for all the wrong reasons."
Two friends of Leilah Hernandez, who were attending the vigil, had made a posterboard full of silly and sweet pictures of the teen—the latest victim of America's mass shooting epidemic.
With additional reporting by Justin Hamel in Odessa