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At least 19 children and three adults were slaughtered after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire Tuesday inside a Texas elementary school, television station KSAT reports. An untold number of people were injured.
State police say the shooting at Robb Elementary School in the small town of Uvalde is the deadliest shooting at an American elementary school since the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.
“My heart was broke today,” Superintendent Hal Harrell said in an evening update, adding that the rest of the school year has been cancelled, and plans for graduation ceremonies and all other activities have been put on hold.
TX State Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D) tells CNN that Texas Rangers briefed him on an updated death toll in the Uvalde, Texas school shooting:— The Recount (@therecount) May 24, 2022
“Eighteen children have passed on. And three adults… The [shooter’s] grandmother is still holding on… she was airlifted to San Antonio.” pic.twitter.com/B403QEC0SE
Police officers are believed to have killed the gunman, Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference. The governor later said that the gunman had been a student at a nearby high school.
“Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde,” Abbott said. “Cecilia and I mourn this horrific loss and we urge all Texans to come together to show our unwavering support to all who are suffering. We thank the courageous first responders who worked to finally secure Robb Elementary School. I have instructed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers to work with local law enforcement to fully investigate this crime. The Texas Division of Emergency Management is charged with providing local officials all resources necessary to respond to this tragedy as the State of Texas works to ensure the community has what it needs to heal.”
Rey Chapa, 42, of Uvalde, told The New York Times that his nephew was in the school when the shooting occurred and was not injured. “This is just evil,” he said. He was waiting to hear back from family and friends on the conditions of other children, scrolling through Facebook for updates. “I’m afraid I’m going to know a lot of these kids that were killed.”
Uvalde is a city of about 16,000 people about 84 miles west of San Antonio.
The New York Times reports two adults who were injured in the shooting were taken from Uvalde to Brooke Army Medical Center, a U.S. Army hospital at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. They were in critical condition.