More than a dozen were killed in a school shooting in Texas; 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 at least 18 children as he walked from class to class, officials said, at the last horrific moment for a country damaged by a series of mass riots. murders. The attacker was killed by police.
According to State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who said he was informed by state police, the death toll also includes three adults. But it was not immediately clear whether the attacker was included.
The massacre at Rob Elementary School in Uwalde, which has many Latinos, has been the deadliest shooting at U.S. elementary school since gunmen killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, nearly a decade ago. .
The attack came just 10 days after a deadly racist riot at a Buffalo supermarket in New York City, which added to a long series of mass killings in churches, schools and shops. And the prospects for any reform of national gun rules seemed at least as bleak as after Sandy Hook’s death.
“My heart is broken today,” said Hal Harel, head of the school district, announcing that all school activities had been canceled until further notice. “We are a small community and we will need your prayer to survive this.”
An armed man, who was wearing a body armor and hinted on social media about the impending attack, crashed his car near the school and went inside armed, sergeant. This was reported by CNN’s Eric Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
He killed his grandmother before heading to school, with two military-style rifles he purchased for his birthday, Gutierrez said.
“It was the first thing he did on his 18th birthday,” he said.
Officials did not immediately disclose the motive, but the governor identified the attacker as Salvador Ramos and said he was a resident of the community about 85 miles (135 kilometers) west of San Antonio.
A border guard agent, who was working nearby when the shooting started, stormed the school without waiting for support and shot the militant, who was behind the barricade, a law enforcement officer 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 source said.
School District Police Chief Pete Aredonda said the attacker acted alone.
It was not immediately clear how many people 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. It was the last week of school classes before the summer holidays.
Heavily armed law enforcement officers rushed to the school, officers in tactical vests distracted traffic, and FBI agents went in and out of the building.
White House spokeswoman Caryn Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden was informed of the shooting at Air Force One when he returned from a five-day trip to Asia. Biden was due to make remarks Tuesday night at the White House.
Uwalde, home to about 16,000 people, is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the Mexican border. Robb Elementary is located in a predominantly residential area of modest homes.
The Uwalde tragedy was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history and added to the grim number of mass shootings in the state, which has been one of the deadliest in the United States for the past 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.
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 as the measure was close to being put to the Senate for a vote, it became clear that it would not get enough votes to remove the 60-vote barrier.
Then-President Barack Obama, who made gun control central to his administration’s aftermath of the Newtown shooting, called Congress’ refusal to act “a rather disgraceful day for Washington.”
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.
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.