An 18-year-old man has shot and killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in the US state of Texas. The children range in age from seven to ten. The gunman was shot dead by police officers on the spot. In an initial response, Governor Greg Abbott spoke of a horrific and incomprehensible act.
There were also injuries at the school in the town of Uvalde, a town of more than 16,000 people in western Texas, less than 100 kilometers from the border with Mexico.
The University Hospital in San Antonio reported shortly after the shooting that it had admitted two victims with gunshot wounds. Both patients, a 66-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl, were in critical condition. Two of the officers approaching the shooting were also hit by gunfire, although their injuries were not serious, according to the governor.
Just before the massacre at the school, a 66-year-old woman was shot in her apartment in Uvalde. She is believed to be the grandmother of the gunman, who is believed to have shot her. However, whether there is a connection between the shooting in the apartment and the shooting at the school is still under investigation.
The gunman, Salvador Ramos, is an 18-year-old man from Uvalde. He drove a pickup truck to the school, which he entered armed with a rifle and pistol. The school has just under 600 students and only has a second, third and fourth grade.
It is still unknown what Ramos’ motive was for the mass murder.
US President Biden gave an emotional speech on the events in Uvalde last night after returning home from Asia. “I’m sick and tired of this,” the president said. “We have to do something. And don’t tell me we can’t control this kind of massacre. Why do we let this happen all the time?” Watch Biden’s response here:
The Texas shooting was the deadliest in a U.S. school since that at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012. A gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, ages five to 10. In 2018, a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 students and teachers.