Fourteen students and one teacher were killed in a shooting Tuesday morning at a Texas elementary school, Gov. Greg Abbott said.
The suspected shooter, who might have had a handgun and a rifle, was fatally wounded in the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, about 83 miles west of San Antonio, he said.
“It is believed that he abandoned his vehicle, then entered into the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde with a handgun, and he may have also had a rifle,” Abbott said in a news briefing.
“He shot and killed, horrifically and incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher,” the governor said.
A woman reacts outside the Ssgt Willie de Leon Civic Center, where students had been transported from Robb Elementary School after a shooting, in Uvalde, Texas, May 24, 2022.
Marco Bello | Reuters
The mass casualty incident, reported shortly after 11:30 a.m., was no longer active Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. The suspected shooter was identified as Salvador Ramos, 18, multiple senior law enforcement sources said.
“The investigation is leading to tell us the suspect did act alone during this heinous crime,” Pete Arredondo, the chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, said at a news conference.
Families of the deceased were being notified, he said.
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the attack and will likely address the nation this evening, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Twitter.
“His prayers are with the families impacted by this awful event, and he will speak this evening when he arrives back at the White House,” she said.
Initial accounts indicated 13 children were taken to the emergency room at Uvalde Memorial Hospital after the shooting at Robb Elementary, according to a Facebook statement and hospital CEO Tom Nordwick. Two were transferred and one is pending a transfer, Nordwick said in a phone call.
People react outside the Sgt Willie de Leon Civic Center, where students had been transported from Robb Elementary School after a shooting, in Uvalde, Texas, May 24, 2022.
Marco Bello | Reuters
In addition, two people were pronounced dead before they arrived at the hospital, Nordwick said. Their names and ages were not released.
Two officers were struck when they apparently exchanged gunfire with the shooter, Abbott said. They sustained non-life-threatening injuries, he said.
University Health, based in San Antonio, said in a tweet that it was treating a child and a 66-year-old woman who is listed in critical condition. The child, a 10-year-old girl, was also in critical condition, the hospital said.
The school serves second through fourth grades in a city that’s nearly half non-English speaking, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
News of the suspect’s capture came less than an hour after the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District announced on Twitter that there was “an active shooter” at the elementary school.
“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 tweet said.
The public was urged to avoid the area, according to the police department’s Facebook post.
Students were being taken to Uvalde High School for reunification with parents, police and the school district said. But the district asked parents not to pick up their children. “You will be notified to pick up students once all are accounted for,” an update from the district said.
The district’s last day of school is Thursday.
The shooting occurred after new FBI statistics released Monday showed active shooter incidents in 2021 surged by more than 50 percent from 2020 and by nearly 97 percent from 2017.
Uvalde, incorporated in 1888 as a ranch and crossroads town, has a population of 8,921, according to the census.
This is breaking news. Check back for updates.
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