"We're not going to let this one monster control and ruin our lives. He's not going to win. We're going to win, and we're going to persevere. And we're going to keep on living, and we're going to become stronger."
20. A fair attendee walks inside a netted attraction as the sun retreats
The mass shooting in West Texas spread terror over more than 10 miles as the gunman fired from behind the wheel of a car.
Seth Ator zigzagged through Midland and Odessa, two closely intertwined cities now brought closer by tragedy.
The attack began along the oilfields that are the economic lifeblood of the region. It also cut into the neighborhoods where the petroleum boom has made housing expensive and scarce.
Seven people were killed and around two dozen wounded before police cornered and killed the assailant outside a crowded movie theater.
A vigil for the victims was held Tuesday evening at the First United Methodist Church of Odessa, where Rev. Todd Salzwedel told mourners that "those events that happened this last weekend do not define us.
"But our response to it might. For we are a people of hope. And hope wins," he said.
In the days since the attack, the community, known collectively as the Permian Basin, has rallied together.
"We're a strong community, and we're going to rise from this," Midland police Sgt. Jimmy Young said. "We are very lucky to live here."
An upcoming football game featuring the Permian High School football team, made famous by the book and film, "Friday Night Lights," may provide a respite for some.
Others, including Chloe Jackson, are enjoying the Permian Basin Fair, which runs through the weekend.
"It's definitely a tight-knit community. Everybody knows everybody. And out here everyone's hard-working, resilient, quick to lend a hand," said Jackson, who was at the fair Tuesday night with her husband and three boys.
While it continues to very much be a community in mourning, Odessa/Midland vows to remain strong.
"We're not going to let this one monster control and ruin our lives. He's not going to win," Odessa resident Judi Hernandez said. "We're going to win, and we're going to persevere. And we're going to keep on living, and we're going to become stronger."