Nineteen children and two adults have been confirmed dead in a shooting at a primary school in south Texas, of the United States Tuesday night.
The gunman opened fire on Robb Elementary School, where young children aged seven to 10 are being taught, in the city of Uvalde before he was killed by law enforcement, officials said.
Accoding to a BBC report, investigators say the 18-year-old suspect had a handgun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazines.
The teenager is suspected of shooting his grandmother before the rampage and local media report he may have been a high school student in the area.
Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Chief of Police Pete Arredondo said the shooting began at 11:32 local time on Tuesday, and that investigators believe the attacker “did act alone during this heinous crime”.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the shooter, whom he named as Salvador Ramos, abandoned a vehicle before entering the school to “horrifically, incomprehensibly” open fire.
One of the adults killed was a teacher, who has been named in the US media as Eva Mireles. Her page on the school district’s website said she has a daughter in college and loved running and hiking.
Nearly 500 pupils are enrolled in the predominantly Hispanic school around 85 miles (135km) west of the city of San Antonio.
The Associated Press news agency reports that a US Border Patrol official who was nearby when the shooting began rushed into the school and shot and killed the gunman, who was behind a barricade.
Border Patrol is a federal agency that guards US ports of entry. Uvalde, which is fewer than 80 miles from the border with Mexico, is home to a Border Patrol station.
Two border agents were reportedly shot in an exchange with the gunman. One agent was shot in the head, officials say, adding that both were now in a stable condition in hospital.
According to CBS News, the attacker was wearing body armour as he carried out the attack. Another 18-year-old who is suspected of attacking a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, on 14 May was also wearing body armour and carrying a semi-automatic rifle – both of which are commercially available in the US.
The Uvalde Memorial Hospital posted on Facebook earlier that 13 children had been taken to hospital “via ambulances or buses”.
A 66-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl were in a critical condition at a hospital in San Antonio, University Health hospital officials said.
There have already been 27 school shootings this year alone. Young school children routinely rehearse what to do if a gunman enters their classroom.
It’s only 10 days since ten people were killed in a mass shooting in New York.
Politicians recognise this a problem almost unique to America, where guns have overtaken car crashes as the leading cause of death for children and teenagers. But it’s a problem that politics seem incapable of solving. Deeply entrenched views on gun control are not changed in response to events like the tragedy in Uvalde.
“Why do we keep letting this happen?” asked President Biden. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage?”
But there is no sign that Democrats will get any closer to passing tighter gun control legislation. Some Republicans are already accusing of them of using this latest school shooting to cynically further their own political objectives.
Robb Elementary School will join the roll call of school shootings along with Sandy Hook and the Parkland shooting. The killing of innocent schoolchildren has reignited the debate over guns in America, but has not brought it any closer to a resolution.
As evening fell police remained outside the community centre in Uvalde braving an intense rainstorm.
Earlier, cries and sobs could be heard from outside as family members who gathered there received the devastating news that their children had been killed.
Others were asked to give DNA samples to help identify some of the young victims.
Just a few blocks from the Robb Elementary school, a small vigil was held for the victims and survivors of the attack.
Karla Bohman’s voice cracked as she told the group about a family friend whose young daughter, a student at the school, was among those still unaccounted for.
“They don’t know if she’s in surgery or one of the fatalities, but they know she’s a victim of some sort because she’s missing,” Bohman cried. “I can’t believe this.”
Cheryl Juhasz, a lifelong resident of Uvalde, quietly wept during the prayer.
“You can’t comprehend evil like this. No matter where it happens, but it’s harder when it happens at home.”
School district superintendent Hal Harrell said the school year had been ended early in the wake of the shooting.
In a speech from the White House, US President Joe Biden said he was “sick and tired” of responding to mass shootings, as he called for gun control.
“How many scores of little children who witnessed what happened – see their friends die, as if they’re in a battlefield, for God’s sake,” he said. “They’ll live with it the rest of their lives.”
He ordered that flags at the White House and other US federal buildings be flown at half-mast in honour of the victims in Uvalde.
School shootings have become recurring emergencies in the US, with 26 recorded last year, according to EdWeek, an education trade publication.
Brazilian Returnee Arrested With Cocaine In Private Part, NDLEA Seizes London-Bound Consignment
Bauchi man lures teenager to farm, plucks out eyes for ritual
The Bauchi State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of a suspected ritualist, Isaac Ezekiel, for allegedly plucking the eyes of a 16-year-old boy, Uzairu Salisu.
Two accomplices, Nensok Bawa, 38, and Yohana Luka, aka Doctor Samu, 52, were also arrested in connection with the crime, which happened at Yelwa community, in the Bauchi area of the state.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the incident happened around 9am on June 24 when Ezekiel lured Salisu to do a casual job for him on a farm in the community.
Salisu was said to be doing the job when the suspect allegedly used a wire to strangulate him till he lost consciousness.
Afterwards, the 32-year-old reportedly used a knife to pluck out the two eyes of the minor and abandoned him on the farm.
- Make Judicial Reform Your First Task, NBA President Urges Acting CJN Ariwoola
- ALERT: SIM Registration Agents Are Selling Customers’ Details
- Why We Killed Gulak, Suspect Opens Up
The ward head, Mohammed Lawal, who was among the people who found the minor writhing in pain, alerted the police to the incident.
The victim was said to have identified Ezekiel as the culprit, leading to his arrest.
Make Judicial Reform Your First Task, NBA President Urges Acting CJN Ariwoola
Nyako denies Kanu fresh bail, says application abuse of court process
As Mercedes cuts dealerships, Nigerian traders may be axed
Latest seven-seater Range Rover SV unveiled for Nigerian market
CCECC completes Apapa port link to Lagos-Ibadan railway
Customs: Vehicle tariff reduction to begin next week
Biden, Treasury Secretary say Republicans COVID-19 aid too small
[UPDATED]Conflicting Reports Over Viral Video Of Soldiers Evacuating ‘Bandits’ In Kaduna + Video
Lagos mother fights off suspected ritualist attempting to abduct kids + VIDEO
General Overseer nabbed for drug trafficking in viral video performing miracles + Video
metro21 hours ago
DSS storms ECWA Church, takes out 21 Muslim boys allegedly being forcefully converted to Christianity
News5 days ago
FG shops for new accountant-general, asks qualified workers to apply
metro6 days ago
Nigerian Arrested in Morocco for Sexual Exploitation of Migrants
metro5 days ago
For Failing to Give SARS N100,000 Bribe, Lagos Bus Driver Spends 4 Years in Prison
metro5 days ago
Headless Body Of Abducted Ex-Anambra Lawmaker Found
Entertainment5 days ago
‘Buga’ video hits one million views in 24 hours
Education6 days ago
Anambra commissioner under attack for calling jobseeker idiot
metro5 days ago
Lawyer storms supreme court proceeding dressed like a native doctor + Photos