A gunman kills 19 children, 2 teachers at a Texas school – Reading Eagle
Authors ACACIA CORONADO and Jim Vertuna
WALDE, Texas (AP) – An 18-year-old gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school, barricaded himself in a classroom and “started shooting everyone in his path,” authorities said on Wednesday, detailing the latest massacre has shaken the US
Eventually, law enforcement officers stormed the classroom and killed an armed man. Police and others who responded to Tuesday’s attack also smashed windows at the school to allow students and teachers to escape, Lt. Christopher Olivares of the Texas Department of Public Safety said Wednesday on NBC Today.
Olivares told CNN that all the victims were in the same fourth grade class at Robb Elementary School.
The killer “barricaded himself by locking the door and just started shooting at children and teachers who were in the classroom,” he said. “It just shows you a complete evil arrow.”
Investigators did not immediately reveal the motive, but identified the attacker as Salvador Ramas, a resident of the community about 85 miles (135 kilometers) west of San Antonio. Olivares said investigators are cooperating with the FBI and browsing social media to find out if there were any “red flags” before the shooting.
Ramos hinted on social media that the attack could be, according to state senator Roland Gutierrez, who said he was informed by state police. He said the armed man “suggested the children be careful” and that he bought two “assault weapons” after turning 18.
Investigators believe Ramos posted on Instagram photos of the two pistols he used in the shooting.
The attack in the Latin American city of Uwalde was the deadliest shooting at an American school after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.
Families waited for hours for reports of their children. In the city center, where some gathered on Tuesday night, the silence was repeatedly broken by shouting and crying. “No! Please don’t! ” Cried one man, embracing the other.
“My heart is broken today,” said Hal Harel, head of the school district. “We are a small community and we will need your prayers to survive this.”
Adolfa Cruz, a 69-year-old air conditioning repairman, was still near the school while the sun set, searching for words about his 10-year-old great-granddaughter Elijah Cruz Torres.
He arrived at the scene after receiving a terrible call from his daughter about the first reports of the shooting. Waiting, he said, was the hardest moment of his life.
“I hope she’s alive,” Cruz said.
On Wednesday morning, it was observed that volunteers arrived at the community center with a Bible and dog therapists.
The attack was the latest in a seemingly endless series of mass killings in churches, schools, shops and other places in the United States. Just 10 days earlier, 10 black people were shot dead in a racist riot at a Buffalo supermarket in New York State.
In a grim address to the nation hours after the bloodshed in Uwalde, President Joe Biden called for new gun restrictions.
“As a nation, we must ask: if in the name of God will we oppose the lobby of arms? If in the name of God we do what needs to be done? ” Biden asked. “Why are we willing to live with this slaughterhouse?”
But the prospects for any reform of national weapons regulations have been bleak. Repeated attempts over the years to expand scrutiny and impose other gun restrictions have met with Republican resistance in Congress.
Before the attack, Ramos shot and wounded his grandmother, then fled the scene, crashed his car into a school and made his way inside, authorities said.
Olivares said the gunman had just started shooting at many children and teachers who were in the classroom, ignoring human life. … He just started shooting everyone who was in his way. “
He said a tactical group broke into the classroom and “they were also met by guns, but they were able to shoot and kill the suspect.”
Earlier, a law enforcement official said that one of the border guards, who was working nearby when the shooting started, broke into the school without waiting for support and shot dead an armed man. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to speak about it.
The agent was injured but was able to leave the school, a law enforcement spokesman said.
Jason Owens, a senior regional border patrol official, said some district agents have children at Robb Elementary School.
“It hit the house for everyone,” he said.
On the way out of the Uwalde Memorial Hospital, where it was said that 13 children had been taken there, one could see scrub staff and relatives of the devastated victims crying. Another hospital reported that the 66-year-old woman was in critical condition.
Uwalde, home to about 16,000 people, is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the Mexican border. Rob Elementary School, which has nearly 600 second-, third-, and fourth-graders, is located in a predominantly residential neighborhood of modest homes.
The attack came at a time when the school was counting down to the last days of the school year with a series of themed days. Tuesday was supposed to be “Footloose and Fancy,” and the students were dressed in beautiful outfits.
Law enforcement officers investigating the bloodshed began handing out search warrants and collecting phone and other records. They also tried to contact Ramas’ relatives and trace the weapon.
Condolences poured in from leaders around the world. Pope Francis is convinced that it is time to say “enough” to the non-electoral arms trade! ” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said his nation also knows the “pain of losing innocent young lives.”
Texas, which has some of the safest laws in the country, has been the site of some of the deadliest shootings in the U.S. in five years.
In 2018, a gunman killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area. The year before, gunmen shot dead more than two dozen people during a Sunday service in the small town of Sutherland Springs. In 2019, an armed man at Walmart in El Paso killed 23 people in a racist attack aimed at Latinos.
The shooting came days before the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Houston. Governor Greg. Ebat and both U.S. senators from Texas were some of the Republican officials elected who were scheduled speakers at Friday’s NRA-sponsored leaders’ forum.
This story was first published on May 24, 2022. It has been corrected to reflect what state Senator Roland Gutierrez said a gunman shot his grandmother before heading to school; he did not say the gunman killed his grandmother. It has also been updated to correct the spelling of the 10-year-old great-granddaughter’s name.
Eugene Garcia and Daria Lopez-Mills in Uwalde, Jake Blaiberg in Dallas, Ben Fox, Michael Balsam and Eric Tucker in Washington, Paul J. Weber in Austin, Juan Lausanne in Houston, Gene Johnson in Seattle and Ronda Schaffner in New York this report.
More about school shooting in Uwald, Texas: https://apnews.com/hub/school-shootings