UVALDE, Texas: Fourteen children and one teacher were killed in a shooting at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday (May 24), and the 18-year-old gunman was dead, Governor Greg Abbott said.
Abbott said a local man opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, about 137km west of San Antonio. ”He shot and killed, horrifically, incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher,” said the governor.
The gunman was a resident of the community and entered the school with a handgun, and possibly a rifle, and opened fire, Abbott said. He said the shooter was likely killed by responding officers but that the events were still being investigated.
Uvalde Memorial Hospital said earlier that 13 children were taken by ambulance or bus to that facility and another hospital reported a 66-year-old woman was in critical condition. It was not immediately clear how many people, in addition to the dead, were injured in the shooting
Earlier, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District had said an active shooter was reported at the school, which has an enrolment of just under 600 students.
A heavy police presence surrounded the school on Tuesday afternoon, with officers in heavy vests diverting traffic and FBI agents coming and going from the building. School and city officials did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
The district said that the city’s civic centre was being used as a reunification centre.
The shooting in Texas came less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 black shoppers and workers in what officials have described as a hate crime.
Uvalde is home to about 16,000 people and is the seat of government for Uvalde County. The town is about 120km from the border with Mexico. Robb Elementary is in a mostly residential neighbourhood of modest homes. There is a funeral home across the street from the school.