TEXAS, United States: A teenage shooter stormed into a Texas elementary school on Tuesday and killed at least 19 children and two teachers, making it the bloodiest school shooting in a decade.
An 18-year-old suspect, named by investigators as Salvador Ramos, opened fire on his own grandmother before leaving home.
An 80-mile drive west of San Antonio, Texas, Uvalde, the hamlet of Robb Elementary School is where he crashed his automobile after fleeing the scene.
It was not immediately evident what was going on.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Sergeant Erick Estrada, police spotted the shooter emerge from the smashed vehicle with a weapon and “engaged” the suspect, who nonetheless managed to charge into the building and begin fire.
Several hours later, a clearly disturbed US President Joe Biden spoke from the White House, urging Americans to take a stance against the politically strong US gun lobby, which he blamed for preventing the implementation of tighter gun safety regulations.
For the duration of Saturday’s sunset, Biden ordered the flags to be lowered to half-staff in honour of the victims.
At some point as a nation, we have to ask ourselves, ‘When will we stand up to this gun lobby?’ “Common-sense gun rules” should be reinstated, Vice President Joe Biden declared on national television.
There have been many public demonstrations and appeals for tougher background checks on gun purchases and other weapons prohibitions following mass shootings in the United States, but such legislation has continually failed due to strong Republican opposition.
The perpetrator in Tuesday’s killings is believed to have acted alone, according to police. The gunman was presumably killed by police who approached him at the school, according to Governor Greg Abbott, and two policemen were shot, but the governor stated their injuries were not life-threatening.
On Tuesday night, the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed that 19 schoolchildren and two instructors had died in the shooting.
Nearly 80 percent of the population is Hispanic or Latino, according to US Census data for the municipality, which is located in the state’s Hill Country area.
According to Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, the school’s student body comprises of students in the second, third, and fourth grades. Students in those grades would have been between the ages of 7 and 10 at the time.
Late in the day, school district superintendent Hal Harrell broke down in tears as he spoke to the media. “My heart is torn today,” he said. “This is a difficult time for our small town, and we need your prayers to get through it. “
Ten people were killed in a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, a primarily African-American area, 10 days before this. Officials have accused an 18-year-old who they say went hundreds of miles to Buffalo and opened fire on a grocery shop with an assault-style weapon.
A 66-year-old lady and a 10-year-old, both in serious condition, have been taken to University Hospital in San Antonio following the shooting in Uvalde.
A total of 15 pupils from Robb Elementary were treated at Uvalde Memorial Hospital’s emergency department, two of whom were sent to San Antonio for additional treatment, while a third patient transfer remained ongoing. It was not immediately known if all of the pupils had made it out alive.
A 45-year-old man who had been hit by a stray gunshot was also treated at Uvalde Memorial, according to the facility.
The school had been blocked off by police within hours of the attack.
Gun violence is on the rise
After a succession of catastrophic school shootings, supporters for stricter gun control and those who oppose any legislation that may undermine the US Constitutional right of Americans to carry arms have engaged in a ferocious discussion over the issue.
Since a shooter slaughtered 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012, the Texas massacre on Tuesday was the bloodiest at a U.S. school. An ex-student from Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School murdered 17 classmates and teachers in 2018.
According to a University of Michigan study published in the New England Journal of Medicine this month, firearms will overtake automobile accidents as the biggest cause of mortality for US children and adolescents starting in 2020.
Students at Robb Elementary School had been posting about their normal activities, such as a trip to the zoo and an invitation to an event for outstanding and talented students, on their Facebook page earlier this week.