On Tuesday, a shooter opened fire at an elementary school in the majority Latino Texas city, killing 20 people, including 18 children. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, “He was shot in a horrendous, unfathomable way.”
At a press conference on Tuesday, Abbott claimed that the gunman, Salvador Ramos, 18, was armed with a pistol and maybe a rifle when he entered Rob’s Elementary School in Uvalde. It’s around 85 miles distant, in a working-class town of about 16,000 people. West of San Antonio in the morning.
The gunman, who was a student at a local high school, is thought to have been killed by police, according to Abbott. Police Chief Pete Arredondo of the Uvald Integrated Independent School District said Tuesday afternoon that investigators believe “the suspect acted alone in this horrible crime.” Ramos shot and wounded his grandmother before starting elementary school, according to authorities.
Surveillance cameras recorded Ramos, clad in black, approaching the school with at least one apparent pistol. Investigators investigated the gunman’s home and other places belonging to his family, as well as a black SUV he had left near the school just before the attack.
It was the deadliest mass shooting at a U.S. elementary school since a gunman at a Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut, killed 20 children and six adults in 2012.
“Everyone is heartbroken and shocked,” Uwald District Commissioner John Yecker said. “It’s a small town, so no one will be unaffected. No one will not know, directly or indirectly, whether family members or friends are affected.”
At least two officers were shot by the gunman and one was injured, law enforcement sources said.
Seventeen injured children were taken to Uwald Memorial Hospital by ambulance or school bus, and two died on arrival, according to the hospital’s chief executive, Tom Nordwick.
The hospital is also treating a man in his 40s who was slightly injured in the shooting, Nordwick said.
“He just said, ‘Treat the kids,’” Nordwick said, adding that 12 children were still being treated in the emergency room. Under what circumstances they were, he could not say.
Hospital officials said two children were taken to San Antonio Hospital and another was awaiting transport. A 66-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl are in critical condition at the hospital, San Antonio University Hospital said in a statement.
President Biden, who is scheduled to comment on the shooting tonight, issued a proclamation ordering flags to be flown at half-staff before sunset Saturday in honor of those killed in the attack.
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Robb Elementary School has nearly 600 students. Earlier Tuesday, the Uwald Integrated Independent School District said all schools in the area were on lockdown due to the shooting in the area.
The district ordered the parents of elementary school students to stay away from the school and gather at the Uwald Civic Center for a “reunion.”
“Please do not pick up students at this time,” the district’s website said in a statement. “Students must be held accountable until they are released into your care.”