Steph Deschamps / May 25, 2022
An 18-year-old opened fire Tuesday at an elementary school in Texas, killing 19 young students and two adults, a tragedy that has plunged America back into a chronic nightmare, with Joe Biden urging a surge to regulate guns.
He shot and killed, in a horrific and incomprehensible manner, fourteen children and a teacher. When the governor of Texas spoke on Tuesday, little was known about the circumstances of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in the small town of Uvalde. Authorities waited to contact and inform parents before releasing the horrific death toll, which later rose to 18 schoolchildren and three adults killed.
The shooting occurred shortly after 11:30 a.m., according to police, who then cordoned off the area. The nearby civic center served as a rallying point, where parents could pick up children evacuated from the school. Summer vacation was expected in two days, in this elementary school that hosts about 530 children, from the American equivalent of second grade to fourth grade, mostly aged 7 to 10 years.
Very little information has been released about the shooter. The shooter is believed to be an 18-year-old American student at Robb’s High School, identified by some officials as Salvador Ramos. He abandoned his vehicle near Robb Elementary School, where he entered with a handgun, a rifle and paramilitary gear. He appears to have acted alone, and while authorities have announced that he is dead, it is not yet known whether he was shot or committed suicide. Sources say he shot his own grandmother shortly before entering the school to commit one of the worst school shootings in American history.
The city of Uvalde, located 120 km west of San Antonio and about 100 km east of Mexico, has a population of just over 15,000, the majority of whom are Hispanic. 90% of the students at Robb School are Hispanic, and 81% are considered economically disadvantaged. In total, more than 500 children are enrolled in the school.
Several injured children are being treated at Uvalde Hospital. A 66-year-old woman, in critical condition, and a 10-year-old child were transferred to San Antonio Hospital. Two police officers are also among the injured, including one who reportedly suffered a head injury during the response at the school.
The shooting occurred while Joe Biden was on his way back from his tour in Asia. He spoke in the evening, upon his arrival at the White House. When in God’s name are we going to confront the gun lobby? he said, saying he was sick and tired of the litany of school shootings. Enough is enough, said Vice President Kamala Harris, calling for action on the issue of gun violence, a national scourge.