A juvenile gunman killed 18 young children in a shooting at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday, in the deadliest shooting at a US school in years.
The attack in Uvalde, Texas — a small community more than an hour from the Mexican border — is the latest in a string of deadly shootings in America, where horror at the cycle of gun violence has failed to prompt action to end it.
The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, speaking before a news conference, said the 18-year-old gunman allegedly shot and killed his grandmother before walking to Robb Elementary School around noon, exiting his vehicle and entering with a handgun and possibly also a rifle.
The governor said the suspect, whom he identified as Salvador Ramos, a local resident and US citizen, was also dead, adding that “responding officers are believed to have killed him.”
“He shot and killed, horrific and incomprehensible,” Abbott said. He attacked, although it was unclear whether that toll included the shooter.
The footage showed small groups of children walking weaving through parked cars and yellow buses, some holding hands as they fled under police escort from the school, which has students aged around seven to ten.
It was the deadliest incident of this kind since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut, which killed 20 children and six employees.
The White House ordered flags to be raised in mourning for the victims – whose deaths sparked a wave of shock to a country still reeling from the horrors of Sandy Hook. President Joe Biden was briefed on the shooting and was scheduled to address the nation later Tuesday.
The Robb Elementary School — which educates more than 500 mostly Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students in second through fourth grades — urged parents
“Students are accountable before they are released into your custody. You will be notified to pick up the students once all are accounted for,” the said School shortly after the attack on their website.
“Happens nowhere else”
“Enough is enough,” Vice President Kamala Harris said after the tragedy. “Our hearts keep breaking.
“We must have the courage to take action.”
Ted Cruz, a Republican gun rights senator from Texas tweeted that he and his Woman “lift up in prayer the children and families of the horrific Uvalde shooting.”
But Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook shooting took place, passionately called for concrete action to to prevent further violence.
“This is not inevitable, these children were not unlucky. That only happens in this country and nowhere else. Nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking they might get shot that day,” Murphy said on the Senate floor in Washington.
“I’m here on this floor to beg, to literally come down on my hands and knees and please my colleagues: find a way forward here. Work with us to find a way to pass legislation that makes this less likely.”
The deadly attack in Texas follows a series of mass shootings across the United States this month.< /p>
Next On May 14, an 18-year-old man shot and killed 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
The self-proclaimed white supremacist wore heavy body armor and carried an AR-15 gun and livestreamed his attack after reportedly targeting the store because of the large African American population in the area.
The following day, a man blocked the door of a church in Laguna Woods, California, and opened fire on the Taiwanese-American community, killing one and wounding five.
Despite repeated mass shootings, several initiatives to reform gun laws in the US Congress have failed, leaving the state Governments and local governments need to strengthen – or weaken – their own restrictions.
The National Rifle Association has been instrumental in the fight against tougher US gun laws Abbott and Cruz are listed as speakers at a forum to be held later this week held by the powerful lobby in Houston, Texas.
The United States suffered 19,350 firearm homicides in 2020, nearly 35 percent more than in 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its latest data.