21 people are dead — 19 students, a teacher and one other adult are dead — after a shooting Tuesday at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Initially Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that 14 students and their teacher were gunned down in their classroom but later Tuesday Sgt. Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed the death toll was 19 students and two adults, according to CNN. The shooter has also shot his grandmother but she had survived the attack.
According to Abbott, the shooter, identified as Uvalde resident Salvador Romas, is dead. The shooter opened fire at Robb Elementary School at about 11:30 a.m. after abandoning his vehicle, and it is believed police killed him.
Police said at a Tuesday press conference they believe the shooter, who according to Abbott had a handgun and possibly a rifle, acted alone. The children killed were in the second, third and fourth grades, police said.
Uvalde is a small city of about 16,000 residents, approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio.
“He shot and killed — horrifically, incomprehensibly — 14 students and killed a teacher. [The shooter], he himself is deceased,” Abbott said. “And it is believed that responding officers killed him.”
Abbott also said the shooter shot his own grandmother, but did not give an update on her condition, reports ABC News.
University Health San Antonio tweeted there are two patients — a 66-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl — who are in critical condition.
Abbott said two responding officers were injured and expected to survive, according to ABC.
Congressman Tony Gonzales, who represents the area, said in a statement, “I am heartbroken for our South Texas community. It is devastating when our innocent children become the victims of senseless violence. We are devastated.”
In 2020, firearms became the leading cause of death for children and adolescents in the U.S., surpassing motor vehicle crashes, according to TheNew England Journal of Medicine.
The Newtown Action Alliance, a gun violence prevention organization launched after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which 26 innocent people were killed, issued a statement on Twitter saying, “We are devastated. Our hearts are breaking for Robb Elementary & Uvalde families & community. We are angry. These shootings are preventable but those whose stood with the NRA after Sandy Hook nearly 10 years ago did absolutely nothing to prevent these tragedies. We need change.”
March for Our Lives, the gun violence prevention organization founded by survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in which 17 people were murdered, wrote in a tweet: “Our hearts are utterly and completely broken. You can’t stop a bullet with thoughts and prayers. To honor those lost and save countless lives, we need action. We’re dying while we wait for it.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Biden will speak later this evening. Biden has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at federal government buildings.
“His prayers are with the families impacted by this awful event,” Jean-Pierre tweeted.
The mass shooting comes less than two weeks after an alleged white supremacist killed 10 people inside a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y. Authorities have said the Buffalo shooting was a hate crime in which the suspect targeted Black people.
We’re truly at a loss for words. Something needs to be done about gun violence in this country.