Texas school shooting: death toll has risen to 21, including 18 children, says state senator – latest updates | Texas


Texas school shooting: key facts

It is a horrific day for gun violence once again in the US, after an 18-year-old man in Texas opened fire in an elementary school, killing 18 students and three teachers. Here’s what we know.

  • The shooting occurred in Uvalde, Texas, a town of about 15,000 people about 85 miles west of San Antonio in south-west Texas
  • The shooter opened fire at at Robb Elementary school. Its school district, Uvalde school district, has an enrollment of just under 600 students.
  • Texas governor Greg Abbott said on Tuesday that the suspected gunman was an 18-year-old man named Salvador Romas. Abbott said that shooter is “deceased and it is believed responding officers killed him”.
  • The man had a handgun and “may have also had a rifle”, the governor said.
  • Authorities said earlier that 15 people were killed (14 students and 1 teacher), but the death toll later rose to 21, according to a Texas state senator who was briefed by police.
Officers wearing khaki green helmets and vests stand in a group near a sign reading 'School buses only'.
Law enforcement personnel stand outside Robb elementary school. Photograph: Dario Lopez-Mills/AP

Biden’s speech has begun

Joe Biden has begun his remarks at the White House on today’s mass shooting.

“I had hoped when I became President I would not have to do this, again. Another massacre,” he began.

Live stream is here.

‘One education under desks’: Poet and activist Amanda Gorman shares a poem on Texas shooting

US national youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman shared a poem on Twitter on Tuesday following the news of a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

“Schools scared to death,” the poem reads. “The truth is, one education under desks, Stooped low from bullets; That plunge when we ask Where our children Shall live & how & if.”

Schools scared to death.
The truth is, one education under desks,
Stooped low from bullets;
That plunge when we ask
Where our children
Shall live
& how
& if

— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) May 24, 2022

The number of casualties from the shooting has reportedly risen to 21 as of Tuesday evening, including 18 children and three educators. Another woman, the grandmother of the deceased gunman, is in critical condition.

Biden to share statement on the Texas shooting

Joe Biden will be speaking from the White House momentarily about the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Biden has ordered the flag of the US flown at half-staff at the White House and all federal grounds until sunset 28 May. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden had been briefed on the matter and “his prayers are with the families impacted by this awful event”.

He also spoke with Texas governor Greg Abbott to offer assistance in the wake of the massacre.

President Biden just spoke with Governor Abbott to offer any and all assistance he needs in the wake of the horrific shooting in Uvalde, TX. pic.twitter.com/u3yMHFtcJJ

— Kate Bedingfield (@WHCommsDir) May 24, 2022

Stay tuned for more updates.

Texas state Senator Roland Gutierrez says death toll is now 21 in mass shooting

The death toll in a mass shooting targeting an elementary school on Tuesday has now risen to 21, according to Texas state senator Roland Gutierrez, including 18 children and three adults.

Speaking on CNN, Gutierrez relayed the new numbers as he was told by Texas police officials in a private briefing.

#BREAKING: Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez (D) — who represents Uvalde, Texas where the elementary school shooting took place — says on CNN that the death toll is now *21* people, including 18 children. pic.twitter.com/0eF5PXhJMx

— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) May 24, 2022

Gutierrez called the event “devastating”.

“I can’t imagine what it would mean to send your child off to school in the morning and not have them return,” he said.

The senator also relayed a number of new details in how Tuesday’s horrific events unfolded. He said the suspect, 18-year-old Salvador Romas, shot his grandmother at her home in the morning and fled the scene by car before wrecking his vehicle outside the elementary school.

“He ran into the school and all this carnage proceeded to unfold after that time,” Gutierrez said.

Romas’ grandmother has been airlifted to a hospital in San Antonio and is in critical condition, he added.

Texas shooting the latest in a long line of mass violence in the US

The shooting on Tuesday marks just the latest of a seemingly ceaseless series of major mass casualty events in US history.

Just one week ago an 18-year-old man opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York in a racist attack targeted at the predominantly Black neighborhood. He killed ten and injured more.

A motive has not yet been revealed in Tuesday’s mass shooting. In Texas alone there have been eight mass shootings since 2009, including Tuesday’s, according to the Texas Tribune.

In this Dec. 14, 2012 file photo, parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
In this Dec. 14, 2012 file photo, parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Photograph: Jessica Hill/AP

The shooting in Uvalde marks the deadliest school shooting since 2018, when three teachers and 14 students were killed in Parkland, Florida and the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, in which 20 elementary school children and six faculty members were killed.

In 2022 thus far there have been at least 199 mass shootings across the United States, according to NPR, including the most recent two to shake the country.

At least 2,000 people have been killed or injured by mass shootings in the US since 1999, when shooters opened fire at Columbine High School in what was considered then an unprecedented attack.

In 2020, firearms surpassed auto accidents as the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 19 years old.

‘When will this end?’: rage after second mass shooting over failure to tackle gun violence

Ed Pilkington

Ed Pilkington

The second US mass shooting in 10 days, which left 14 young children and a teacher dead at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday, led to an outpouring of disbelief and potent rage at America’s persistent failure to tackle its epidemic of gun violence.

Tuesday’s horrifying attack in Uvalde, a small, largely Hispanic community outside San Antonio, came just 10 days after the events in Buffalo, New York. There 10 grocery shoppers, most of them African American, were gunned down in a supermarket.

The horror of two large-scale gun tragedies collided just a few months before the 10th anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. That assault in December 2012 took the lives of 20 six- and seven-year-olds as well as six school employees.

Sandy Hook Promise, the advocacy group to end gun violence that was set up by families of the school victims, said on Tuesday that they were “devastated about reports that multiple people are dead, including children [in Texas]. Our hearts are with the families and community as this tragic story unfolds.”

Officers escort a woman down a street near the scene of the shooting.
Officers walk near the scene of a shooting at Robb elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Photograph: Marco Bello/Reuters

In a searing speech from the floor of the Senate just hours after the Texas shooting happened, Murphy vented 10 years of pent-up outrage at the lack of action on the part of his congressional colleagues despite the litany of violent gun deaths. “What are we doing?” he asked.

Days after Buffalo, the country faces yet another Sandy Hook, he said. “There are more mass shootings than days in the year. Our kids are living in fear. This happens nowhere else but here in the United States of America and it is a choice, it is our choice to let it continue.”

Read more …

Kamala Harris speaks on Texas shooting

At an event Tuesday evening, Vice-president Kamala Harris commented on the Uvalde shooting.

“Our hearts keep getting broken,” she said at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies 20th Annual Awards Gala. “Enough is enough.”

President Joe Biden will make remarks on the mass shooting at the White House on Tuesday evening in about an hour.

“As a nation we have to have the courage to take action and understand the nexus between what makes for reasonable and sensible public policy,” Harris said.

Lawmakers respond to Texas shooting

As the nation reels from yet another mass shooting on US soil, current and former lawmakers are weighing in with thoughts, prayers and calls for action.

US Republican senator John Cornyn of Texas said in a statement he is in touch with local officials in Uvalde and will continue to monitor the situation.

The shooting at Robb elementary school in Uvalde is every parent and teacher’s worst nightmare. No parent, child, or teacher should ever have to wonder whether it’s safe to go to school.

California governor Gavin Newsom said his own state is an example of the effectiveness of gun control laws.

Commonsense gun safety laws work. In CA, we have cut our gun death rate in half since the 1980’s. We won’t solve this overnight – but let’s stop pretending that these mass shootings are an inevitable horror we have to experience on a regular basis.

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who herself was a victim of a mass shooting in 2011, said she is “horrified” at inaction surrounding gun violence in the US.

How many more children will be killed by guns? How many young lives cut short, families shattered, communities traumatized because our leaders refuse to act on gun violence? Gun violence is a uniquely American problem – and it is now the leading cause of death for American children. I’m devastated that more precious young people have lost their lives in a horrific mass shooting today. I won’t rest until children can go to school without fearing for their lives. Our elected leaders must have the same resolve. Enough is enough.

Former congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell of Florida said the shooting shows how little has changed since the Majory Stoneman Douglas high school attack in her home state in 2018.

Today, our nation witnessed yet another school shooting, the deadliest school shooting since the 2018 tragedy near my home at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school. Tragically, little has changed since then. Our elected leaders have been more interested in listening to the gun lobby than protecting our children – and until that changes, we will continue to see devastating incident after devastating incident. Without real action, our country will more closely resemble the violence I left behind in Ecuador than the safe haven I sought in the United States.

US house of representatives majority leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland called for the passage of bills being blocked by Republicans that would “our schools, houses of worship, malls, entertainment venues, and streets safer from deadly gun violence”.

How many more times must Americans watch innocent children die in mass shootings at elementary schools before we decide as a nation to do something about gun safety? How many more times will we send our thoughts and prayers to parents burying their small children? How many more times will Senate Republicans express outrage at horrific shootings like the one today in Uvalde, Texas and then block meaningful, bipartisan background-check legislation supported by nine out of ten Americans and most responsible gun owners? How many more times?

The House has passed HR 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, along with Whip Clyburn’s legislation to close the Charleston Loophole and other bills aimed at making our schools, houses of worship, malls, entertainment venues, and streets safer from deadly gun violence.

Senate Republicans continue to block them, even though they have overwhelming support from the American people, who are sick and tired of turning on the news to see images like those we see today of ambulances where there ought to be school buses and tearful first responders where there ought to be beaming teachers. These images are indefensible, as is the news of everyday violence from firearms in communities across America that do not make national headlines.

I will be keeping the families who lost a child in my heart today, as I will the law enforcement and other first responders who have had to answer this difficult call. How many more of them will there be? How many more times must our nation be thrown into such shock and grief?

People sit on the curb outside of Robb elementary school as state troopers guard the area in Uvalde, Texas.
People sit on the curb outside of Robb elementary school as state troopers guard the area in Uvalde, Texas. Photograph: Allison Dinner/AFP/Getty Images

Activist groups respond to Texas mass shooting event

A coalition of gun control advocacy groups have issued statements of outrage and devastation following the shooting at Robb elementary school, calling school shootings the product of “inaction and cowardice” by lawmakers to pass gun control laws.

  • “A hate-fueled shooting in Buffalo, a school shooting in Texas, and a supreme court on the verge of putting existing gun laws in jeopardy – these are all symptoms of our nation’s profoundly broken approach to guns,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, the nation’s largest gun control group.
  • “We are heartbroken for everyone impacted by this senseless act of violence in a predominantly Latinx community,” said Rena Estala, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Students Demand Action. “School is the last place where kids should have to worry about gun violence. We need leaders at every level to prioritize gun safety now.”
  • “We’re devastated by this horrific act of gun violence that will forever traumatize the Uvalde community,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, a grassroots organization that is part of Everytown. “School shootings are not acts of nature, they’re man-made acts of inaction, of cowardice, of corruption by all lawmakers who refuse to pass laws proven by data to stop preventable, senseless shootings like in Uvalde. We cannot and will not accept a reality in which our children aren’t safe in schools or their communities.”
A group of officers escort families away from a building.
People leave the Uvalde civic center after a shooting earlier in the day at Robb elementary school left 14 students and one teacher dead. Photograph: William Luther/AP

White House lowers flag to half-staff following elementary school shooting

The White House on Tuesday has lowered its flag to half-staff to honor the lives of 14 children and one adult killed in Tuesday’s mass shooting.

Biden will address the nation this evening from the White House after returning from his trip to Asia.

The flag flies at half-staff at the White House on Tuesday.
The flag flies at half-staff at the White House on Tuesday. Photograph: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Lauren Gambino

Lauren Gambino

Connecticut senator Chris Murphy makes emotional appeal for gun violence reform

Moments after learning that 14 students had been massacred at an elementary school in Texas, Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, delivered an emotional appeal for gun control on the Senate floor.

“What are we doing here?” Murphy asked, tears brimming in his eyes.

“Why are we here?” Sen. Chris Murphy says passionately on the Senate floor following the Texas elementary school shooting.

“I am here on this floor, to beg, to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues…find a way to pass laws that make this less likely.” pic.twitter.com/aiS6maad7G

— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 24, 2022

Speaking on the Senate floor, Murphy clasped his hands together and begged Republicans to work with his party to pass meaningful gun reform legislation.

“I am here on this floor to beg, to literally get down on my hands and knees to beg my colleagues: find a path forward here,” he said.

Few senators understand the horror mass shootings inflict on a community quite like Murphy, who spent the hours after the killing at Sandy Hook elementary school consoling families who had lost children and loved ones.

A man wearing a purple tie speaks into a microphone.
Senator Chris Murphy begged Republicans to work with Democrats to pass meaningful gun reform legislation on Tuesday. Photograph: Reuters

On the floor, he spoke about the lasting trauma these tragedies have on the students, schools and communities. Since that massacre 10 years ago, Murphy has made it his mission to enact gun control reform only to be disappointed again and again as the bills fail to overcome the Senate filibuster.

In his speech on Tuesday, Murphy asked Republicans: “Why do you go through all the hassle of getting this job, or putting yourself in a position of authority if your answer is that, as this slaughter increases, as our kids run for their lives, we do nothing.”

He asked again: “What are we doing?”

Police officials in Uvalde hold brief press conference

Police officials with the Uvalde Consolidated Independent school district (CISD) where Tuesday’s mass shooting occurred shared more details about the tragedy in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Pete Arredondo, Uvalde CISD chief of police, confirmed in a public statement that at 11.32 am on Tuesday a shooter opened fire at Robb elementary school, killing and injuring a number of victims.

The gunman was not named in the press conference but has been identified as Salvador Romas, an 18-year-old man from Uvalde. He is now dead, Arredondo confirmed, and he said it is believed Romas acted alone.

Robb elementary school has students in second, third and fourth grades, Arredondo said, and families of victims are now being notified. Law enforcement is working to safely evacuate remaining students in the school district.

“We do want to keep all their families in our prayers,” he said. “I hope you do as well.”

Police officials did not take any questions and said they would provide more details as they emerge.

Biden has been briefed on the incident

Joe Biden has not yet made a public statement about the mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas today, but White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the president has been briefed on the situation and will address the nation from the White House this evening.

President Biden has been briefed on the horrific news of the elementary school shooting in Texas and will continue to be briefed regularly as information becomes available.

— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) May 24, 2022

“His prayers are with the families impacted by this awful event,” she said, adding that he will return from his trip to Asia to address the country tonight.

The speech will reportedly be televised at 8.15 ET, 5.15 PT.

Texas school shooting: key facts

It is a horrific day for gun violence once again in the US, after an 18-year-old man in Texas opened fire in an elementary school, killing 18 students and three teachers. Here’s what we know.

  • The shooting occurred in Uvalde, Texas, a town of about 15,000 people about 85 miles west of San Antonio in south-west Texas
  • The shooter opened fire at at Robb Elementary school. Its school district, Uvalde school district, has an enrollment of just under 600 students.
  • Texas governor Greg Abbott said on Tuesday that the suspected gunman was an 18-year-old man named Salvador Romas. Abbott said that shooter is “deceased and it is believed responding officers killed him”.
  • The man had a handgun and “may have also had a rifle”, the governor said.
  • Authorities said earlier that 15 people were killed (14 students and 1 teacher), but the death toll later rose to 21, according to a Texas state senator who was briefed by police.
Officers wearing khaki green helmets and vests stand in a group near a sign reading 'School buses only'.
Law enforcement personnel stand outside Robb elementary school. Photograph: Dario Lopez-Mills/AP

Hello readers, Kari Paul here in Oakland to keep you posted on the news in the aftermath of a tragic mass shooting that just occurred in Texas. More updates to come shortly.





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