Fourteen students and one teacher were fatally shot at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday, according to Governor Greg Abbott.
Police have identified the now-deceased 18-year-old Salvador Romas, a resident of Uvalde and student of the district’s high school, as the gunman.
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“He shot and killed, horrifically, incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher,” Governor Abbott told reporters during a briefing on Tuesday. “Mr Romas, the shooter, himself is deceased and it is believed that responding officers killed him.”
A 10-year-old girl, a 66-year-old woman, and others are in treatment at San Antonio’s University Health hospital, as authorities ask immediate family members to assemble in the facility’s cafeteria.
The governor said the teen shot his grandmother, before abandoning his vehicle outside of the school and opening fire with a handgun, as well as potentially a rifle, though information about his weaponry is not fully confirmed.
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“When parents drop their kids off to school they have every expectation to know that they’re going to be able to pick their child up when that school day ends,” Mr Abbott added. “There are families who are in mourning right now. The state of Texas is in mourning with them, for the reality these parents are not going to be able to pick up their children.”
Students have been evacuated to Uvalde’s Willie DeLeon Civic Center, where parents are allowed to pick up their children.
Some students reportedly crawled out of windows to escape the violence.
Border Patrol agents were involved in response to the shooting, though officials have confirmed Romas was a US citizen.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and San Antonio Police Department have said they are sending resources to aid in the police response.
The Houston office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting in the investigation, as are the state Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers.
The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center has called on local residents to donate blood, as hospitals in the area were already facing a blood shortage before the shooting occured.
The shooting is thought to be the 27th at a school this year, and follows multiple horrific mass tragedies this month alone.
On 14 May, a white supremacist killed 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in a predominantly Black neighbourhood.
The following day, a shooting at a church in Southern California against a group of largely Taiwanese congregants left one dead and many injured.
Photo Credit: Getty