15 killed in Texas school shooting; an armed man was killed
Eugene Garcia and Daria Lopez-Mills
WALDE, Texas (AP) – An 18-year-old gunman opened fire Tuesday at a Texas elementary school, killing 14 children, one teacher and injuring others, Gov. Greg Abbott said, and the gunman was dead.
It was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. elementary school since the shocking attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, nearly a decade ago.
An armed man entered Rob Elementary School in Uwalde with a handgun and possibly a rifle, Abbott said. Officials did not disclose the motive for the shooting, but Abbott identified him as Salvador Ramas and said he is a resident of the community, which is about 85 miles (135 kilometers) west of San Antonio.
Abbott said the shooter was probably killed by officers in charge, but events are still under investigation. Uwalde Independent School District Police Chief Pete Aredonda told a news conference that the gunman acted alone.
It was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history. It came four years after a gunman fatally shot dead 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area and less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. killing 10 black shoppers and workers. as a hate crime.
“He shot, horribly, incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher,” the governor said, adding that two officers had been shot and wounded but were expected to survive.
It was not immediately clear how many people, other than the dead, were injured, but Aredonda said there were “several injured”. Earlier, the Uwalde Memorial Hospital reported that 13 children had been taken there. Another hospital reported that the 66-year-old woman was in critical condition.
Rob’s primary school has just under 600 students, and Arredondo said it serves second, third and fourth graders. He did not name the age of the shot children.
On Tuesday afternoon, the school was surrounded by a large police station, officers in heavy vests distracted traffic, and FBI agents went in and out of the building.
White House spokeswoman Caryn Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden had been informed of the school shooting on Air Force One when he returned from a five-day trip to Asia and would continue to receive updates. Jean-Pierre said Biden would make remarks Tuesday night at the White House.
Uwalde is home to about 16,000 people and is the seat of government for Uwalde County. The city is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the border with Mexico. Robb Elementary is located in a predominantly residential area of modest homes.
A border guard agent who was one of the first law enforcement officers to arrive at the scene was shot and wounded by an armed man, according to a federal law enforcement spokesman who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. The agent is hospitalized in good condition, the official said.
The tragedy in Uwald has added a grim number of mass shootings in Texas that have been among the deadliest in the United States in five years. A year before the Santa Fe school shooting in 2018, a gunman at a Texas church killed more than two dozen people during a Sunday service in the small town of Sutherland Springs. In 2019, another gunman at Walmart in El Paso killed 23 people in a racist attack.
The shooting came days before the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Houston. Abbott and both U.S. senators from Texas were among the Republican officials elected who were scheduled to speak at Friday’s Leaders’ Forum, sponsored by the NRA’s lobbying unit.
Associated Press authors Jake Blaiberg of Dallas, Ben Fox of Washington, Paul J. Weber of Austin and Juan Lausanne of Houston contributed to this report.