US: 18 students, 3 adults killed in Texas school shooting
By Darren Lyn and Servet Gunerigok
HOUSTON, Texas (AA): At least 18 students and three adults were killed at an elementary school in the US state of Texas after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire, Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez said Tuesday.
US President Joe Biden called the deadly mass shooting “another massacre” and said it is time to act against future carnage.
“I can’t imagine what it would mean to send your child off to school in the morning and not have them return. It’s devastating,” Gutierrez told CNN.
The shooting happened at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, about 83 miles (133 kilometers) west of San Antonio.
“He shot and killed horrifically, incomprehensibly 14 students and killed a teacher,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at an earlier news conference.
“It is believed that he abandoned his vehicle and entered into the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde with a handgun and he may have also had a rifle,” continued Abbott.
The shooter was identified as Salvador Romas from Uvalde, who was wearing body armour, was believed to have been shot and killed by police who exchanged gunfire. Before the carnage at the school, the shooter wounded his grandmother.
“Mr. Romas the shooter…he himself is deceased,” said Abbott.
The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District issued a statement on Twitter immediately after the shooting took place at about noon local time.
“There is an active shooter at Robb Elementary. Law enforcement is on site. Your cooperation is needed at this time by not visiting the campus,” said the statement.
“Our hearts keep getting broken. Every time a tragedy like this happens, our hearts break and our broken hearts are nothing compared to the broken hearts of those families,” said Vice President Kamala Harris in an address in Washington, DC
Following the shooting, President Joe Biden ordered that the US flag be flown at half-staff at the White House and on all public buildings and at all military posts and naval stations.
“I had hoped, when I became president, I would not have to do this, again. Another massacre. Uvalde, Texas. An elementary school. Beautiful, innocent, second, third, fourth graders,” Biden said late Tuesday in an emotional address at the White House after returning from a trip to Asia.
“To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away. There’s a hollowness in your chest. You feel like you’re being sucked into it,” he added.
The president said these kinds of mass shootings rarely happen elsewhere in the world, adding that those with mental problems or those “who were lost” exist in other nations.
“But these kinds of mass shootings never happen at the kind of frequency that they happen in America. Why? Why are we willing to live with carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?” said Biden.
“Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it? It’s time to turn this pain into action,” said the president, calling for standing up to the gun lobby.
“It’s time for those who obstruct and delay or block the common sense gun laws — we need to let you know that we will not forget. We can do so much more, we have to do more,” he added.
The shooting comes 10 days after a racist killing in Buffalo, New York, which saw 10 people murdered in a predominantly Black community. It is nearly 10 years since the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting that killed 26 people.
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