No less than 14 schoolchildren and one trainer have been killed in a taking pictures at a main faculty within the US state of Texas, Governor Greg Abbott mentioned, within the newest mass taking pictures in the USA.
Chatting with reporters on Tuesday afternoon, Abbott mentioned an 18-year-old gunman opened hearth at Robb Elementary Faculty in Uvalde, a small neighborhood simply over an hour west of San Antonio.
“He shot and killed – horrifically, incomprehensibly – 14 college students and killed one trainer,” Abbott mentioned.
Abbott mentioned the gunman was himself killed, apparently by cops responding to the scene.
“The shooter was … an 18-year-old male who resided in Uvalde. It’s believed that he deserted his car and entered into the Robb Elementary Faculty in Uvalde with a handgun and he might have additionally had a rifle, however that isn’t but confirmed,” the governor mentioned.
Uvalde Memorial Hospital had mentioned on Fb earlier on Tuesday that 13 youngsters had been transferred there for remedy. It mentioned two individuals have been deceased on arrival.
Gun violence has been an issue throughout the US for many years, drawing condemnation and requires harder restrictions, particularly within the aftermath of mass shootings at faculties.
The US reported 19,350 firearm homicides in 2020, up practically 35 % in comparison with 2019, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) mentioned in its newest information.
The nation has seen 212 mass shootings up to now this yr, in keeping with a tally by the Gun Violence Archive, a US non-profit that defines a mass taking pictures as any incident during which 4 or extra individuals are shot or killed, not together with the attacker.
The taking pictures in Uvalde drew condemnation and sorrow on social media, in addition to renewed requires motion to stem gun violence within the nation.
“We stay in a society the place energy completely refuses to guard our youngsters. What number of extra children must die earlier than energy makes radical modifications to those horrific circumstances?” US creator and professor Ibram X Kendi wrote on Twitter.
“We’re a damaged nation, stuffed with violence. It’s simply sickening to suppose that children who went to high school this morning won’t come again dwelling tonight,” mentioned College of Pennsylvania professor Anthea Butler.
The Uvalde Consolidated Unbiased Faculty District (UCISD) tweeted that “all district and campus actions, after-school packages, and occasions are canceled” following the lethal assault.
In a information convention shared on Fb, Uvalde CISD police chief Pete Arredondo mentioned the incident started at roughly 11:32am native time at Robb Elementary Faculty. He mentioned the college has college students in grades two, three and 4.
“I can affirm proper now that now we have a number of accidents, adults and college students, and we do have some deaths. The suspect is deceased,” Arredondo mentioned. “At this level, the investigation is main to inform us that the suspect did act alone throughout this heinous crime.”
He added that officers have been notifying affected households.
In the meantime, in Washington White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre mentioned President Joe Biden had been briefed “on the horrific information” in south Texas.
“His prayers are with the households impacted by this terrible occasion, and he’ll converse this night when he arrives again on the White Home,” Jean-Pierre tweeted. Biden had been in Japan and South Korea on his first tour of the area since taking workplace in January of final yr.
His prayers are with the households impacted by this terrible occasion, and he’ll converse this night when he arrives again on the White Home.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) May 24, 2022
The US president has denounced mass shootings as a “nationwide embarrassment” and promised to enact stricter gun laws. However Biden faces an uphill battle in opposition to gun foyer teams and legislators who’re against extra restrictive gun legal guidelines.
Final month, Biden unveiled a brand new US Division of Justice rule that he mentioned would crack down on the prevalence of so-called “ghost weapons” – privately-made firearms with out serial numbers that legislation enforcement businesses discover at crime scenes.
On the similar time, he urged Congress “to do its job” and go finances allocations and different laws to cut back gun crime.
The college taking pictures in Uvalde is the newest in a string of lethal acts of gun violence over the previous two weeks within the US.
A gunman attacked a grocery retailer in a predominantly Black neighbourhood of Buffalo, New York, on Might 14, killing 10 individuals, whereas in California that very same weekend, a person opened hearth on Taiwanese-American church congregants, killing one man.
There have been 61 “lively shooter” incidents within the US in 2021, in keeping with newly launched FBI information – a 52 % enhance from the earlier yr and the best on report.