The 36-year-old man who terrorised two West Texas towns with an assault-style rifle on Saturday had been fired from his trucking job a few hours before he led authorities on a chaotic high-speed chase that ended with his death and the deaths of seven others.

Along a 15-mile stretch between the sister cities of Midland and Odessa, the aftermath of the gunman’s rampage — in which he indiscriminately fired at motorists and police officers with an AR-15-style rifle while driving — clashed with the typically serene and dusty rural landscape of the region.

On Sunday, authorities continued to collect evidence from more than 15 crime scenes, scattered along highways, car dealerships and shopping malls, marked by police tape, bullet-riddled cars and a wrecked postal van the gunman had hijacked.