An 18-year-old gunman opened fire on Tuesday at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing at least 19, most of them children, as he went from classroom to classroom, the officials have said, in the deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade and the latest gruesome moment for the country scarred by a string of massacres. The attacker, identified as Salvador Ramos, was killed by the police on the spot.
According to the initial reports, the attacker opened fire on the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, a mostly Latino community about 85 miles to the west of San Antonio near the Mexican border, and killed 19 children. The attacker, 18-years-old, had bought two assault rifles on his 18th birthday. The police have said that this was the first thing he did after turning 18. The attacker also shot his grandmother at her home earlier in the morning before he set out to carry out the rampage at the elementary school.
Officials have said that the motive of the attack is not clear and it is believed that he has acted alone. Police said that the gunman had hinted on social media that an attack could becoming. “He suggested the kids should watch out”, the police said.
A fourth-grade teacher was confirmed as one of the adults killed in the attack. Another adult was also killed in the but they are yet to be identified. Hours after the attack, the family members are still awaiting word on their children inside the school.
The assault at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde is the deadliest shooting at a U.S. school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.
Tuesday’s attack came 10 days after a deadly, racially-motivated rampage at a superstore in Buffalo, New York, that killed 11 people – all of them black except for one woman – and wounded two. The attack was carried out by an eighteen-year-old teenager who was identified as Peyton Gendron, a white supremacist. Gendron live-streamed the attack on Twitch where he could be seen shooting his way inside the supermarket. In the video, Gendron says “Sorry!” to a white man crouched on the floor and moves on to kill more black people.
The attack has spread rage and anger over gun violence in the United States and sparked a new debate over gun control. Joe Biden addressed the nation on Tuesday night after shortly returning to the White House from his five-day trip to Asia. The president said: “As a nation we must ask: When in God’s name will we stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name will we do what needs to be done? I’m sick and tired of it. We have to act.” Biden called for “common sense” gun laws and said: “It’s time to turn this pain into action.”
US Senator Chris Murphy, who came to Congress representing Sandy Hook, begged his colleagues to finally pass legislation addressing the nation’s gun violence problem. “What are we doing?” Murphy said. “I’m here on this floor to beg to literally get down on my hands and knees to beg my colleagues. Find a path forward here. Work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely.”
The family members of the people killed in the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting have also pleaded for action on gun control in the wake of the horrific massacre at the Robb elementary school.