A gunman killed 19 kids at a Texas elementary faculty Tuesday within the deadliest taking pictures at a U.S. grade faculty since the 2012 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Carrying physique armor and firing lots of of rounds, the 18-year-old gunman killed 19 kids and two academics, Texas Division of Public Security Lt. Chris Olivarez stated. A U.S. Border Safety agent, certainly one of a number of responding to the scene, shot and killed the gunman, a senior Division of Homeland Safety official instructed USA TODAY on Tuesday evening.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Gov. stated the gunman killed his grandmother after which walked into Robb Elementary College in Uvalde round 11:30 a.m. Central time and opened fireplace.
Federal regulation enforcement officers instructed the Related Press that the demise toll was anticipated to rise. They spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to launch investigative particulars.
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“This was a tragic and mindless occasion at this time, and my coronary heart was broke at this time,” stated Hal Harrell, the college system superintendent, who stated at a information convention that grief counselors could be out there and lessons have been canceled for the yr. “We’re a small neighborhood and we’ll want your prayers to get us by this.”
Abbott stated two responding officers have been struck by gunfire however weren’t significantly injured.
Officers haven’t revealed a motive for the taking pictures, however have stated the shooter was a resident of the neighborhood. Abbott recognized the gunman as Salvador Ramos.
The gunman appeared to have acted alone, Uvalde Consolidated Unbiased College District Chief of Police Pete Arredondo stated at a information convention.
Uvalde is a metropolis of about 16,000 individuals about 85 miles west of San Antonio. The taking pictures got here 4 years after a gunman fatally shot 10 individuals at Santa Fe Excessive College within the Houston space.
President Joe Biden in a Tuesday evening information convention decried “one other bloodbath” that had left ache dad and mom in unfathomable ache: “To lose a toddler is like having a chunk of your soul ripped away,” he stated.
Biden additionally known as for a renewed push for gun management measures, lamenting the shortage of progress regardless of repeated shootings.
“Why are we prepared to stay with this carnage?” he stated. “Time to show this ache into motion.”
A U.S. homeland safety official, who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate an ongoing investigation, stated that the agent who killed the gunman was assigned to an area staff inside Customs and Border Safety’s particular operations group, BORTAC or Border Management Tactical Unit. The agent was shot within the foot or decrease leg when confronting the gunman, and was handled an area hospital for his accidents, the DHS official stated.
In Uvalde Tuesday, anxious dad and mom have been reuniting with surviving kids all afternoon, with some seen in pictures breaking down in tears close to the college.
It was not instantly clear how many individuals, along with the lifeless, have been injured within the taking pictures. Arredondo stated there have been “a number of accidents.”
The college contains college students in second, third and fourth grades, he stated.
“Households are being notified and we’re offering companies to them,” he stated of those that misplaced kids. “We wish to maintain all our households within the prayers.”
A number of regulation enforcement businesses including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been on scene Tuesday afternoon.
Outdoors the college, information video confirmed police in physique armor, brokers in FBI jackets, ambulances and yellow tape stretched across the property.
“We’re conscious of this tragic incident,” FBI Particular Agent Carmen Portillo stated in a press release. “At the moment, it is too quickly to find out the extent of our involvement.”
Earlier, the district stated that each one colleges within the district have been locked down due to gunshots within the space.
Robb Elementary College has an enrollment of just below 600 college students.
There have been 249 shootings on faculty grounds final yr – greater than another yr since no less than 1970 – and 137 to date this yr, stated David Riedman, lead researcher on the Ok-12 College Taking pictures Database on the Naval Postgraduate College’s Heart for Homeland Protection and Safety.
Vice President Kamala Harris stated Tuesday that American leaders have to take motion to make sure one other incident just like the Uvalde faculty taking pictures doesn’t occur once more.
First Woman Jill Biden Tweeted: “Lord, sufficient. Little kids and their instructor. Surprised. Indignant. Heartbroken.”
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg requested residents on Twitter to hitch town in flying flags at half-staff to recollect lives misplaced. “Pray for the misplaced, their households, and Uvalde,” he wrote.
Contributing: The Austin-American Statesman; The Related Press; Kevin Johnson, Josh Meyer, and Grace Hauck, USA TODAY