Attorney General Merrick Garland called it an "act of unspeakable violence."
A shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday killed 21 people, including 19 students and two adults.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott first said that 14 children and their teacher were killed in their classroom, but Sgt. Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety subsequently verified the death toll was 18 students and the teacher, according to CNN. The shooter, named Uvalde resident Salvador Romas, 18, is dead, according to Abbott. It is believed that the police shot him down.
Sgt. Erick Estrada of the Texas Dept of Public Safety tells @andersoncooper the shooter crashed his car near the school, got out with a gun and wearing body armor, was engaged by law enforcement, but made his way into the school anyway and went classroom to classroom shooting.— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) May 25, 2022
On Tuesday, there were two incidents of shootings involving Romas. First, he shot his grandmother who was airlifted to a hospital and survived, according to Estrada. Secondly, he crashed a vehicle near the Elementary School. He added, "That’s where he exited his vehicle with what I believe was a rifle and that’s when he attempted to enter the school where he was engaged by law enforcement." Romas was successful in entering the school premises, "and then from there that’s when he entered several classrooms and started shooting his firearm."
According to authorities, the children killed were in the second, third, and fourth grades, reports PEOPLE. A 66-year-old lady and a 10-year-old girl are in serious condition, according to University Health San Antonio.
At least 18 children and two adults are dead after a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The tragedy echoes other school shooting tragedies in recent years. https://t.co/BkBCumFR2c pic.twitter.com/fXw7A8Gh0f— ABC News (@ABC) May 25, 2022
According to Estrada, the gunman was carrying a "long rifle and backpack." He was also wearing body armor and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is investigating the kind of firearm involved in the shooting. This was the deadliest school shooting since the Newtown, Connecticut, tragedy in 2012, per The New York Times.
The incident occurred just after 11:30 A.M. The district ordered distraught parents to stay away from the school for most of the day as information circulated. Robb Elementary educates around 500 kids, most of whom are between the ages of 7 and 10. According to district figures, around 90% of the pupils are Hispanic, with the remainder being entirely Caucasian. According to census data, more than 40% of inhabitants in the school's neighborhood have lived in the same residence for at least 30 years. And, well above the national average, more than a quarter of Uvalde's 15,000 people are children. Moreover a third of the population lives at or near the federal poverty level.
“What are we doing?!”— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 25, 2022
Nearly 10 years after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, begged his colleagues to take action on gun control after Tuesday’s shooting in Uvalde, Texas.https://t.co/bYy0oDF3OU pic.twitter.com/r4tFQU4e3e
Congressman Tony Gonzales, who represents the region, issued the following 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."
President Biden also addressed the country after this horrific shooting. He said during the speech, "Beautiful, innocent, second, third, and fourth graders. And how many scores of little children who witness what happened, see their friends die, as if they're on a battlefield for God's sake." He added, "So tonight, I ask the nation to pray for them, to give the parents and siblings the strength in the darkness they feel now. As a nation, we have to ask when in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?"
Pres. Biden addresses nation on Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting: "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." https://t.co/wchRmZjYn4 pic.twitter.com/YC8IAqPD6d— ABC News (@ABC) May 25, 2022
President Biden further said, "I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don't tell me we can't have an impact on this carnage." Tuesday's horrific shooting was described as an "act of unspeakable violence" by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
After hours of the massacre in Uvalde, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and majority leader, pushed to open the way for votes on legislation to improve background checks for gun sales as early as Thursday. He is attempting to resurrect measures with broad popularity that Republicans have already opposed in the past.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Jordan Vonderhaar