19 children killed in a shooting at primary school in a small community in southern Texas; the latest in a string of recent gun attacks.
- At least 19 children and two adults have been killed after a gunman opens fire in a Texas primary school.
- The attack took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, a small community about 135km (85 miles) west of San Antonio in the southern part of the state.
- The gunman, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was shot dead by police.
- US President Joe Biden tells Americans it is time to take on the gun lobby.
Here are all the latest updates:
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Family grieves teacher Eva Mireles who was killed in shooting
Eva Mireles has been named as the teacher who was killed in the shooting.
She was trained in bilingual and special education, and taught children of nine and 10 years old, according to a report from Reuters news agency.
“My beautiful cousin! Such a devastating day for us all! My heart is shattered into a million pieces,” Cristina Arizmendi Mireles wrote on Facebook.
In a short biography posted on the school district’s website, Mireles had written she had “a supportive, fun, and loving family” including her husband, her college graduate daughter, and “three furry friends.”
Her husband, Ruben Ruiz, is a police officer at the school district’s police force, the agency investigating the shootings.
Her aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado, grieved for her niece in a Facebook post.
“I’m furious that these shootings continue. These children are innocent. Rifles should not be easily available to all. This is my hometown, a small community of less than 20,000. I never imagined this would happen to especially loved ones,” Martinez Delgado said in a statement.
McConnell says ‘horrified and heartbroken’ at Uvalde shooting
The Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has tweeted his shock at the shooting in Uvalde.
He says the entire country “is praying” for all those affected.
He doesn’t mention anything about the need for gun reform.
Attacked acted alone, killed grandmother before heading to school
The gunman’s motive is not yet clear.
It seems Ramos was a local man and killed his grandmother before heading to the school with two military-style rifles he had bought to celebrate his birthday.
“That was the first thing he did on his 18th birthday,” State Senator Roland Gutierrez was reported as saying by the Associated Press news agency.
Ramos had hinted on social media that an attack could be coming, Gutierrez added, noting that “he suggested the kids should watch out.”
Another child dies from injuries after Ulvade shooting
It seems the death toll on the shooting has been revised.
News agencies, citing local officials, say at least 19 children were killed as the gunman went from classroom to classroom at the school.
The attacker also killed two adults, one of them confirmed to be a teacher.
The school had about 600 children aged between five and 12 years old.
‘Enough is enough’: Gun control activists demand action
Hollye Dexter, a long-term advocate for gun control, has told Al Jazeera that politicians in Congress who continue to back the gun lobby after so many mass shootings should be held to account, singling out Republicans in particular.
“This should not have happened,” she said. “Enough is enough. We cannot be polite anymore. We’ve got to call these people out for not standing up to the NRA.”
Nancy Pelosi joins call for legislative action after ‘monstrous’ shooting
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says it’s time for Congress to join together to enact gun control legislation after what she described as the “monstrous” shooting in Ulvade.
“Across the nation, Americans are filled with righteous fury in the wake of multiple incomprehensible mass shootings in the span of just days,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“This a crisis of existential proportions – for our children and for every American. For too long, some in Congress have offered hollow words after these shootings while opposing all efforts to save lives. It is time for all in Congress to heed the will of the American people and join in enacting the House-passed bipartisan, commonsense, life-saving legislation into law.”
Kamala Harris says it’s time for ‘courage’
Vice President Kamala Harris has called on the US to have the “courage to take action” and prevent a repeat of the mass shooting at Uvalde.
‘Why are we here if not to solve a problem as existential as this?’: Senator Chris Murphy
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy has called on his fellow politicians to take action on guns.
“What are we doing?” the Democrat asked on the floor of the House.
“There are more mass shootings than days of the year. Our kids are leaving in fear every time they set foot in a classroom because they fear they will be next. Why are we here if not to solve a problem as existential as this?”
Biden says time to take on the gun lobby
Biden made impassioned comments calling for United States elected representatives to pass ‘common sense’ gun control legislation.
“When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby,” he asked. “When in God’s name are we going to do what we know in our gut needs to be done.”
Biden noted that it had been 10 years since he had been to Sandy Hook where 26 people were killed, 20 of them children.
‘I’m sick and tired. We must act’: Biden
Biden opens his speech with his voice sounding as if it was about to break, talking of the children who had watched their friends die “as if on a battlefield” and parents who will never see their children again.
“[These] parents will never be the same again,” he said. “To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped out.”
Biden, himself, lost an infant daughter in a car crash and his adult son to cancer.
He says it’s time for the US to take action.
“I’m sick and tired. We have to act. Don’t tell me we cannot have an impact on this carnage.”
Joe Biden begins his address
Texas shooting follows record year for attacks in 2021
The latest shooting comes just a week after a white gunman killed 10 Black people in a racist attack on a Buffalo supermarket.
The FBI has said 2021 was the worst year ever for gun attacks.
The Reuters news agency has compiled a list of some of the most serious recent shootings.
New York: April 12 – In one of the most violent attacks in the history of New York’s transit system, 23 people were wounded when a 62-year-old man activated a smoke bomb and opened fire on the subway. He was taken into custody the next day.
Oxford, Michigan: November 30, 2021 – Four students were killed, and seven other people were wounded after a teenager opened fire at a high school in Oxford, Michigan.
Indianapolis: April 16, 2021 – A former FedEx employee who had been under psychiatric care shot eight people dead and injured several others at an Indiana facility of the shipping company before taking his own life.
Los Angeles: March 31, 2021 – Four people were killed, one of them a child, in a shooting at an office building in suburban Los Angeles before the suspect was taken into custody.
Boulder, Colorado: March 22, 2021 – A mass shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, left 10 people dead, including a police officer.
Atlanta, Georgia: March 16, 2021 – Eight people, including six women of Asian descent, were shot dead in a string of attacks at day spas in and around Atlanta. A male suspect was arrested.
Death toll climbs to 21: Texas Senator Roland Gutierrez
An update on the death toll from the shooting.
Texas state Senator Roland Gutierrez has told CNN that 18 children had been killed, and three adults.
He cited the Texas Rangers state police for the figures.
‘Part of the culture’: Why the US is so attached to guns
Kenneth Williams, a professor at South Texas College of Law, has said it is hard to change gun laws in the US because gun ownership is “part of the culture”.
Williams noted that there are more guns in the country than there are people.
US President Joe Biden to address nation
US President Joe Biden is back in the United States after his visit to South Korea and Japan.
He is due to address the country at 8:15pm (00:15 GMT).
Biden has already ordered flags to be flown at half-mast until sunset every day until May 28 in response to the tragedy.