On Tuesday, an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at the Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas, killing at least 19 children and 2 adults. This has been the deadliest shooting in the US in almost a decade.
The suspect was identified by officials as Salvador Ramos, who was killed apparently by police. He had also shot his grandmother before heading to the elementary school to commit an atrocious crime. The motive remains yet unclear.
According to CNN, Ramos worked at the local Wendy’s and was considered as “the quiet type, the one who doesn’t say much. He didn’t really socialize with the other employees.”
Authorities mentioned the suspect acted alone. In addition, Governor Greg Abbott, said the suspect was killed by police and two officers were struck by gunfire, though their injuries were not serious.
Marsha Espinosa, DHS spokesperson, explained via Twitter: “risking their own lives, these Border Patrol Agents and other officers put themselves between the shooter and children on the scene to draw the shooter’s attention away from potential victims and save lives.”
Pete Arredondo, chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department, mentioned the school is attended by children in the second, third and fourth grades. This means, the victims likely ranged in age from 7 to 10.
University Hospital in San Antonio tweeted it had received two patients from the shooting in Uvalde, a 66-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl, both listed in critical condition.
Uvalde Memorial Hospital informed 15 students were treated in their emergency room and two were transferred to San Antonio.
The US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus stated: On behalf of the entire CBP workforce, I extend my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims (…). CBP responded immediately to the incident with local law enforcement. Many of our local CBP personnel live in Uvalde; they call this community home, and they work to protect their families, friends and neighbors every single day.”
President Joe Biden addressed the massacre and mourned the loss of the victims. He spoke to the nation saying it is “time to act.”
“As a nation we have to ask, ‘When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name do we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?”
“If an 18-year-old can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons, it’s just wrong. What in God’s name do you need an assault weapon for except to kill someone? Deer aren’t running through the forests with kevlar vests on, for God’s sake. It’s just sick,” he said.
Biden also said it was time to stand up to the lobbies and act. “It’s time to turn this pain into action.”
“The gun manufacturers have spent two decades aggressively marketing assault weapons, which make them the most and largest profit,” he said. “For God’s sake, we have to have the courage to stand up to the industry.”
The US President also acknowledged most people support gun laws and closing background check loopholes.
“It’s time for those who obstruct or delay or block the common-sense gun laws, we need to let you know that we will not forget,” he said.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a declaration on Twitter saying, “Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde. 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.”
Senator Ted Cruz also tweeted “today is a dark day. We’re all completely sickened and heartbroken. As of now, 15 innocent people are dead. 14 were children. Others are still in critical condition or otherwise injured, and we are all praying for each of them.”
Joe Biden’s speech was supported by Nancy Pelosi who also said “for too long, some in Congress have offered hollow words after shootings while opposing all efforts to save lives. It is time for all in Congress to heed the will of the American people & join in enacting the House-passed bipartisan, commonsense, life-saving legislation into law.”
Most Americans recognize thoughts and prayers are not enough and it is urgent to act upon this matter. Another school shooting renews the gun laws debate, as the families of students and teachers mourn the tragic death of their loved ones.