The Latest: Source: Mental health reason for 2014 gun denial

National News

Katelyn Cooper pets a comfort dog during a vigil, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, in Odessa, Texas, for victims of a shooting spree the day before. (Jacy Lewis/Reporter-Telegram via AP)

ODESSA, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the shooting rampage in West Texas (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

A law enforcement official says the gunman who killed seven people in Texas has failed a background check in 2014 because of a “mental health issue.”

The official tells The Associated Press on Tuesday that Seth Ator had attempted to purchase a firearm in 2014 but was denied after a federal background check.

The official said Ator was able to obtain the rifle used in Saturday’s rampage in West Texas through a private gun sale, skirting the background check process.

Authorities said Ator killed seven people and injured around two dozen others during his rampage on Saturday in Odessa, Texas.

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2:15 p.m.

A law enforcement official says a gunman who killed seven people in West Texas had obtained his AR-style rifle through a private sale, evading a federal background check.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Tuesday because the person was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Officials said Seth Aaron Ator had previously tried to obtain a gun but failed a federal background check.

Obtaining the weapon through a private sale, as opposed to buying it through a licensed gun dealer, would’ve allowed Ator to skirt the background check.

Authorities said Ator killed seven people and injured around two dozen others during his rampage on Saturday in Odessa, Texas.

— Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo reported from Washington, D.C.

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12 a.m.

A neighbor of the gunman who killed seven people in West Texas described him as “a violent, aggressive person” that would fire his guns at all hours of the night.

Rocio Gutierrez told The Associated Press on Monday that her family has lived near Seth Ator for the past five months. But she says they were afraid of him.

Gutierrez says Ator would go out at night and shoot at animals, mostly rabbits.

FBI special agent Christopher Coombs also said Monday that the 36-year-old Ator lived at “a strange residence” and that the condition of his home reflected “what his mental state was going into this.”

Ator was killed by police outside an Odessa movie theater on Saturday after opening fire on state troopers during a traffic stop and then fleeing, shooting at random passers-by and vehicles.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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