By ACACIA CORONADO and JIM VERTUNO
UVALDE, Texas (AP) – An 18-year-old gunman was shot dead at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday, killing at least 19 children as he walked from classroom to classroom, officials say, the worst school shooting in nearly a decade and the last tragic massacre for a country scarred by one. The assailant was killed for law enforcement.
Two adults were also included in the death toll, authorities said. Governor Greg Abbott said one of them was a teacher.
The December 2012 robbery at a U.S. school in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was the deadliest attack on Robb Elementary School since it killed 20 children and six adults.
Within hours of the attack, families were still waiting for their new children.
Outside the town center, where families were told to gather, the silence was repeatedly broken by screams and cries. “No! Please don’t! ” one man shouted as he hugged another man.
“I broke my heart today,” said Hal Harrell, the school district’s principal. “We are a small community, and we need your prayers to overcome this.”
Adolfo Cruz, a 69-year-old air conditioning repairman, was out of school while the sun was still shining, looking for news of his 10-year-old great-grandson Elijah Cruz Torres.
He went to the scene after receiving a terrifying call from his daughter shortly after the first news of the shooting. He said other relatives were at the hospital and civic center.
Waiting, he said, was the hardest moment of his life.
“I hope to be alive,” Cruz said.
The attack came after a deadly and racist racism in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and for many years many murders were added to churches, schools, and stores. And the prospects for any reform of the nation’s arms regulations seemed bleak, if not more so than after the Sandy Hook deaths.
But President Joe Biden appeared ready to fight, and called for new arms restrictions within a few hours of the attack and an address to the nation.
“As a nation, we have to ask ourselves, when will we face the arms lobby in the name of God? When will we do what is right in God’s name? ” Biden asked. “Why are we willing to live with this massacre?”
Many of the injured were taken to Uvalde Memorial Hospital, where staff in the bush and relatives of the devastated victims could be seen crying as they left the complex.
Officials did not immediately explain the motive, but identified the attacker as Salvador Ramos, a resident of the community, 135 miles west of San Antonio. He said he acted alone.
The attack happened when Robb Elementary was counting down to the last days of the school year, with some themed days. Tuesday was going to be “Footloose and Fancy,” with students dressed and wearing nice shoes.
The school has nearly 600 students in the second, third and fourth grades. The majority of students are Latino.
Ramos said there could be an attack on social media, according to state senator Roland Gutierrez, and he was informed by state police. He stated that the gunsmith had “suggested that the children be careful.”
Before going to school, Ramos killed his grandmother with two military-style rifles he bought on his birthday, Gutierrez said.
“That was the first thing he did on his 18th birthday,” she said. Other officials said her grandmother was later survived and was being cared for because her condition was unknown.
The attack began around 11:30 a.m. when the shipowner collided with the car outside the school and struck the building, according to Texas Public Safety spokesman Travis Considine. A neighbor who heard about the accident called 911, and two local police officers exchanged gunfire.
The two agents were shot, although it was not immediately clear where the confrontation took place on campus, or how long it took for more authorities to arrive at the scene.
Meanwhile, a group of Border Patrol agents went to school, including 10 to 15 members of a SWAT-type tactical and counterterrorism unit, said Jason Owens, a senior regional patrol officer.
A Border Patrol agent who was working in the area at the start of the shooting entered the school without waiting for a backup and shot and shot him, who was behind a barricade, as a police officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not have permission. talk about it.
The agent was injured but was unable to get out of school, a law enforcement source said.
Owens confirmed that an agent suffered minor injuries, but did not provide details of the clash.
He said some nearby agents had children at Robb Elementary.
“We have Border Patrol children who go to this school. He hit everyone, ”he said.
It was not immediately clear how many were injured, but Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo said there were “several injured”. Earlier, Uvalde Memorial Hospital said 13 children had been taken there. Another hospital reported that a 66-year-old woman was in serious condition.
Uvalde, home to about 16,000 people, is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the Mexican border. Robb Elementary is located in a prime neighborhood of humble homes.
The Uvald tragedy was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, and added to a gruesome state story that has been one of the deadliest shootings in the U.S. in five years.
In 2018, a gun shot down 10 people at Santa Fe High School near Houston. A year earlier, a shipowner in a Texas church killed more than two dozen people at a Sunday church service in the small town of Sutherland Springs. In 2019, another shipowner at a Walmart in El Paso killed 23 people in a racist attack on Hispanics.
The shooting happened a few days before the annual convention of the Rifle Association began in Houston. Abbott and two U.S. senators from Texas were among the elected Republicans who were scheduled to speak at Friday’s NRA lobbyist-led leadership forum.
In the years since Sandy Hook, the arms control debate in Congress has intensified and diminished. Efforts by lawmakers to significantly change U.S. arms policy have continually challenged the influence of Republicans and outside groups like the NRA.
One year after Sandy Hook, Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat and Pennsylvania Republican Patrick J. Toomey negotiated a two-party proposal to expand the national background check system. But the measure failed in the Senate vote without enough support to overcome the 60-vote hurdle.
President Barack Obama, who put central control of gunfire at the administration’s targets in the aftermath of the Newton shooting, said Congress had failed to act “a rather embarrassing day for Washington.”
Last year, the House passed two bills to expand its background checks on firearms purchases. An invoice would close the gap for private and online sales. The other would extend the background check period. Both languished in the 50-50 Senate, where Democrats need at least 10 Republican votes to overcome the inconveniences of a filibuster.
Eugene Garcia and Dario Lopez-Mills in Uvalde, Jake Bleiberg in Dallas, Ben Fox, Michael Balsamo and Eric Tucker in Washington, Paul J. Weber in Austin, Juan Lozano in Houston, Gene Johnson in Seattle and Rhonda Shafner in New York. this report.
More information about the Uvalde (Texas) school shooting: https://apnews.com/hub/school-shootings
Gunman kills 19 children in Texas school rampage – Times-Herald Source link Gunman kills 19 children in Texas school rampage – Times-Herald