Authorities in Texas have said that 21 children and a teacher have been shot and killed at an elementary school in the town of Uvalde in yet another mass shooting in the United States.
An 18-year-old man by the name Salvador Romas has been named as the shooter. He is said to have also shot his grandmother before arriving at the school and carrying out the massacre. He was shot and killed by police officers who arrived at the scene.
The Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement that the shooter had a handgun and a rifle but did not give the names or identities of those who had been murdered, though most are believed to be under 10 years old. He said the shooter:
“Shot and killed horrifically, incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher … the shooter, he himself is deceased and it is believed responding officers killed him.”
Police in the town, roughly 75 miles from the Mexican border, released a statement saying:
“At approximately 11:32am this morning there was a mass casualty incident at Robb elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, a school that has children that are in second, third-and fourth grade. We have several injuries, adults and students, and we do have some deaths. The suspect is deceased … and at this point the investigation is leading to tell us that the suspect did act alone during this heinous crime.”
The White House and President Joe Biden said afterwards that all flags in the US should be flown at half-mast. The statement read:
“As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on May 24, 2022, by a gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States … I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds.”
The shooting is likely to once again cause much public debate on the rights of gun-ownership in the United States just a week after a white supremacist shot dead 10 people in the state of New York.
The US has frequent school shootings, with these attacks often killing many individuals in one incident. In 2012, in what was one of the worst single attacks, 20 children and 6 adults were killed at a school in Newton, Connecticut.
In 2020 19,384 people were killed by firearms in the United States, with a significant proportion of these being homicides.
[Based on reporting by: The Guardian]