A shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, left at least 21 dead, 19 of them students, reported today, Tuesday night, Sergeant Erick Estradafrom the state Department of Public Safety.
The death toll also included two adults, authorities said. Gov. Greg Abbott said one of the two was a teacher.
Hours earlier, the president of Texas indicated that the alleged shooter, an 18-year-old boy whom he identified as Salvador Ramos, was also killed by agents.RELATED
In addition, the official said that two police officers were shot, one of them in the head, but that they are expected to survive.
The events occurred at Robb Elementary School, a campus that only serves second through fourth grade students. This was the last week of school before the summer break.
According to Estrada, the attacker crashed his car near the school after allegedly also shooting his grandmother.
The attacker entered the school with a pistol, and possibly a rifle, and opened fire. Shortly after, Ramos, who lived in Uvalde, was shot dead by police officers who came to the scene, Abbott added.
“At this point, the investigation is leading us to tell us that the suspect acted alone,” school district Police Chief Pete Arredondo said later at a brief news conference in which they did not take questions from the press.
The gunman had a bulletproof vest, the rifle and a backpack. In addition, he carried out detonations in different rooms of the school, Estrada said.
“He horribly, incomprehensibly shot and killed 14 students and killed a teacher,” the governor initially stated.
Although none of the victims has been officially identified, one of the fatalities would have been Eva Mireles, a fourth grade teacher, confirmed to abcnews her aunt Lydia Martínez Delgado.
According to the relative, Mireles had been a teacher in the school district for approximately 17 years.
Authorities respond to a fatal shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022. (Dario Lopez-Mills)
Police personnel walk outside Uvalde High School after a shooting was reported earlier in the day at the city’s elementary school. (William Luther)
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the death toll at 15. (Dario Lopez-Mills)
Abbott added that the alleged shooter, an 18-year-old man, was also killed. (Dario Lopez-Mills)
An officer assists people to cross the street at the Uvalde Memorial Hospital, where the injured people were transported. (Billy Causeway)
Robb Elementary School serves students in second through fourth grades. (William Luther)
The initial number of minors injured was 13. At first it was also reported that the attacker was in custody. (Dario Lopez-Mills)
The attacker was identified as Salvador Ramos, 18 years old. (Dario Lopez-Mills)
Initially, it was reported that there were two fatal victims of the shooting. (Dario Lopez-Mills)
This Thursday was the last day of school at Robb Elementary School. (Billy Causeway)
Police and emergency personnel gather outside the school in Uvalde. (Dario Lopez-Mills)
Abbott reported that the shooter had a pistol and possibly a rifle. (Dario Lopez-Mills)
If the tragic death toll in the majority-Latino city is confirmed, it would be the worst shooting at an elementary school in the United States since the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, nearly a decade ago, in which 20 minors died. and six adults.
It would also be the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, and it came four years after a person killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston metro area.
“My heart is broken today,” said Hal Harrell, the school district’s superintendent. Next, he announced that all school activities were canceled until further notice. “We are a small community and we are going to need your prayers to get through this.”
The newspaper The New York Times, which has consulted the records of the educational center, pointed out that 90% of the student body is Latino, while most of the remaining 10% are white.
“When parents drop off their children at school, they have every expectation of knowing that they will be able to pick them up at the end of the school day. There are families that are grieving right now, and the State of Texas is grieving with them because of the reality that these parents will not be able to pick up their children,” the Republican governor told reporters.
Abbott is a strong supporter of firearms and in 2021 signed a series of state laws that made Texas a “sanctuary” for this type of weaponry.
For his part, state senator Roland Gutiérrez assured that the shooter entered the school with two military-style rifles that he had bought for his birthday.
“That was the first thing he did on his 18th birthday,” he said.
Ramos had hinted on social media that an attack could be coming, Gutierrez said, noting that he “suggested that children should be careful.”
The White House was quick to react, with its spokeswoman, Karine Jean-Pierre, tweeting that US President Joe Biden was briefed on “the horrible news of an elementary school shooting in Texas” while flying back from a five-day tour of Asia.
“I hereby order that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all Federal Government warships in the United States. District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its territories and possessions until sunset on May 28, 2022,” Biden stipulated.
In the first instance, the Uvalde Memorial Hospital confirmed to abcnews that at least two minors had died, due to presumed gunshot wounds caused in the incident.
The hospital institution had also indicated that it received 13 children who were transferred by ambulance or bus, and another hospital reported that a 66-year-old woman was in critical condition.
It is unclear at this time how many people, other than those killed, were injured in the shooting. However, Arredondo said there were “several injuries.”
The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District had previously noted on its Twitter account that there was an “active shooter” at the school, which has just under 600 students enrolled, and that security forces had moved into the area.
All schools in the district imposed lockdowns due to the shooting in the area.
A heavy police presence was seen at the school Tuesday afternoon, with officers in heavy vests diverting traffic and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) walking in and out of the building.
The district said the city’s civic center was being used as a reunification center.
There is an active shooter at Robb Elementary. Law enforcement is on site. Your cooperation is needed at this time by not visiting the campus. As soon as more information is gathered it will be shared.
The rest of the district is under a Secure Status.
— Uvalde CISD (@Uvalde_CISD) May 24, 2022
Less than two weeks ago, a gunman shot and killed 10 black shoppers and workers at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in what authorities have described as a hate crime.
Uvalde has about 16,000 residents and is the seat of government for Uvalde County. The city is about 75 miles from the Mexican border. Robb Elementary School is located in a mostly residential neighborhood of modest homes.