Gunman kills 19 children and 2 adults in Texas school riot – thereporteronline

Authors ACACIA CORONADO and Jim Vertuna

WALDE, Texas (AP) – An 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two adults while walking from class to class at a Texas elementary school, officials said, adding to a horrific long series of massacres in churches and schools. and shops.

According to a law enforcement official, the attacker was killed by a border guard who broke into the school without waiting for support.

On Tuesday, an attack on Robb Elementary School in Uwalde with a Latin American population 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.

Hours after the attack, families were still waiting for news of their children. In the city center, where some gathered, 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.”

Governor Greg Abbott said one of the two adults killed was a teacher.

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 shortly after the first reports of the shooting. He said other relatives are in the hospital and community center.

Waiting, he said, was the hardest moment of his life.

“I hope she’s alive,” Cruz said.

The attack was the last gloomy moment for a country damaged by a series of massacres, and came just 10 days after a deadly racist rage at a Buffalo supermarket in New York City. And the prospects for any reform of national gun rules seemed as bleak, if not bleak, than after Sandy Hook’s death.

But President Joe Biden proved ready for a brawl, calling for new gun restrictions in appealing to the nation hours after the attack.

“As a nation, we have to ask if for God’s sake we will oppose the arms lobby? If in the name of God we do what needs to be done? ” Biden asked. “Why are we willing to live with this slaughterhouse?”

It was not immediately clear how many people were injured, but Uwalde Police Chief Pete Aredonda said there were “several injured”.

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.

Officials did not immediately reveal the motive, but they identified the attacker as Salvador Ramas, a resident of the community about 85 miles (135 kilometers) west of San Antonio. Law enforcement officials said he acted alone.

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.

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 noted that the armed man “suggested the children be careful” and that he bought two “assault weapons” after turning 18 years old.

Before heading to school, Ramos shot his grandmother, Gutierrez said.

Other officials said the grandmother survived and was being treated, but her condition is unknown.

Investigators believe Ramas posted on Instagram photos of the two pistols he used in the shooting, and they were investigating whether he was making statements online hours before the attack, a law enforcement spokesman said.

Law enforcement officers on Tuesday night handed out several search warrants and collected phone and other records, the official said. Investigators also tried to contact Ramas’ relatives and track firearms.

The official was unable to publicly discuss the details of the investigation and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The attack began around 11:30 a.m. when a gunman crashed his car near the school and drove into the building, according to Travis Considine, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Homeland Security. A resident who heard the collision called 911, and two precinct police officers shot themselves with a gunman.

Both officers were shot. It was not immediately clear where this confrontation took place on campus and how much time passed before other staff arrived on the scene.

One of the border guards, who was working nearby when the shooting started, stormed the school without waiting for support and shot dead a gunman behind the barricade, a law enforcement official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized. talk about it.

The agent was injured but was able to leave the school, a law enforcement spokesman said.

Meanwhile, groups of border service agents, including 10 to 15 members of a tactical and anti-terrorist unit similar to the special forces, rushed to the school, said Jason Owens, a senior regional border patrol official.

He said some area agents have children in Robb Elementary.

“It hit the house for everyone,” he said.

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, who is at war with Russia after the Moscow invasion, said his nation also knows the “pain of losing innocent young lives.”

The Uwalde tragedy was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, and it added to the grim count in the state, which has been the site of some of the deadliest shootings in the U.S. in five years.

In 2018, gunmen shot dead 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area. A year earlier, a gunman at a Texas church had 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 targeting Latinos.

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.

In the years since Sandy Hook, the debate over gun control in Congress has grown and weakened. Lawmakers ’efforts to substantially change U.S. gun policy are constantly facing obstacles from Republicans and the influence of outside groups such as the NRA.

A year after Sandy Hook, Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, and Patrick J. Tumi, a Republican from Pennsylvania, discussed a bipartisan proposal to expand the country’s history verification system. But the measure failed during a Senate vote, not receiving enough support to overcome the 60-vote barrier.

Last year, the House of Representatives passed two bills to expand the inspection of firearms purchases. One bill would close the loophole for private and online sales. Another would extend the verification period of the certificate. Both were bored in the 50-50 Senate, where Democrats need at least 10 Republican votes to overcome the writer’s objections.


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.


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