Uvalde, Texas. An 18-year-old teenager opened fire Tuesday at a Texas elementary school, killing 18 children in the deadliest US school shooting in years.
Three adults were also killed in the attack, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, though it was not clear if that number included the attacker.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott reported that the suspect, whom he identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was apparently killed by responding police officers, two of whom were injured but not seriously.
Authorities said the suspect acted alone.
Details about the circumstances of the shooting at press time were still sketchy after the attack on Robb Elementary School in the city of Uvalde, in the state of Texas, about 130 kilometers west of San Antonio.
“He horribly, incomprehensibly, shot and killed 14 students and a teacher. Mr. Ramos, the gunman, was killed. Responding officers are believed to have killed him,” Abbott told a news conference after giving the first balance.
“It is believed that he got out of his vehicle and entered Robb Uvalde Elementary School with a firearm, and may also have had a rifle, but that is still unconfirmed based on my most recent report,” Abbott added.
The school’s student body is made up of second, third and fourth graders, according to Pete Arredondo, chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department.
More than 500 children were enrolled at the school during the 2020-2021 school year, according to state data.
The school asked parents not to pick up their children until all children had been accounted for.
San Antonio University Hospital reported on Twitter that it had received two patients from the Uvalde shooting. Both a 66-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl were in critical condition.
Biden in flight
The White House said that President Joe Biden was briefed on the issue.
“His prayers are with the families affected by this terrible event and he will speak tonight when he returns” from his trip to Asia, presidential spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said.
“Enough is enough,” Vice President Kamala Harris said, calling for “action” on gun control. “Our hearts keep breaking. We have to have the courage to act.”
The deadly violence at this Texas school follows other mass shootings in the United States this month.
On May 14, an 18-year-old man shot and killed 10 people at a Buffalo, New York grocery store. Wearing a heavy bulletproof vest and carrying an AR-15 rifle, the self-proclaimed white supremacist reportedly live-streamed his attack.
The next day, a man blocked the door of a church in Laguna Woods, California and opened fire on his Taiwanese-American congregation, killing one person and wounding five.
The shooter, a security guard in Las Vegas, targeted people out of “politically motivated hate…(and) was upset about tensions between China and Taiwan.”
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