Texas shooting: All of the Uvalde victims were in one 4th grade classroom
Updated: 1:18 p.m., May 25, 2022
A reported 21 people were killed in an attack by a lone gunman at an elementary school in the small town of Uvalde, Texas. At least 19 students and two adults were among the casualties.
Here's what we know:
- The 18-year-old gunman, a student at the local high school, was killed by law enforcement. He had barricaded himself in a 4th grade classroom.
- The attack at Robb Elementary occurred just two days before summer break. The school of about 600 taught students in grades 2 through 4.
- In emotional remarks last night, President Biden called for prayers and then angrily called for Congress to take on the gun lobby.
- Survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Columbine High School shootings took to Twitter to express their outrage. David Hogg, a survivor of the Stoneman Douglas shooting, tells Morning Edition these tragedies will continue until gun control measures are passed.
- Pope Francis called for stricter gun control in the U.S., and Ukrainian officials sent their condolences.
- There are ways to support survivors, victims' families and the community in Uvalde.
Here's what else we know.
Uvalde is a small community
Uvalde, Texas, is a community of around 16,000 people — most of whom are Hispanic, according to the U.S. Census data. The town sits about 85 miles west of San Antonio.
It's the kind of place where "interconnections are thick" and no one would have expected a mass shooting at the local school, Marc Duvoisin, the editor-in-chief of the nearby San Antonio Express-News, told NPR.
Uvalde is also best known as the hometown of Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey.
The shooter was from Uvalde
The 18-year-old gunman attended Uvalde High School — which had its graduation set for this coming Friday. Law enforcement said he acted alone.
State Sen. Roland Gutierrez told CNN Tuesday evening, following a briefing from Texas Rangers, that the shooter bought at least two assault rifles shortly after his 18th birthday.
"He had no problem accessing those weapons," Gutierrez said during his interview.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said during a press conference that it's believed that the shooter abandoned his vehicle and entered into the school with a weapon.
He added, the suspect also allegedly shot his grandmother before going to Robb Elementary.
A Border Patrol agent shot the school gunman
Local officers asked for backup after engaging with the gunman. A Border Patrol tactical unit responded to the scene, and one of its agents shot and killed the suspect, according to a source with the agency.
The school year is over and other events canceled
Graduation for the local high school is postponed for now, according to the Uvalde Consolidated School District Superintendent Hal Harrell. He spoke during a second press conference Tuesday.
Harrell clarified the district's school year is done, following the shooting, and that all other events are canceled.
Grief counseling is going to be provided for students and their families starting Wednesday morning at the local civic center, Harrell said.
Local hospitals respond and call for blood donors
Several of the patients had to be transferred to trauma centers in San Antonio for further treatment, Nordwick said.
Early Tuesday evening, local hospitals and other organizations put out a call for blood donors to respond to the tragedy.
University Health in San Antonio tweeted, "If you are looking for ways to help, please consider donating blood. Your donation can help ensure we have supplies immediately available for the victims of this tragic shooting."
The hospital said their donor room has availability through the week.
The Herby Ham Community Center also announced it would hold a blood drive Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., local time.
Biden and politicians respond
Biden ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at the White House and other government buildings following news of the tragedy.
Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, took to the Senate floor hours after news of the shooting broke. Newtown, Conn., in Murphy's state, is the location of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting during which 26 people — mostly six and seven year olds — were killed.
Murphy has aggressively called for gun reform following that incident.
Murphy implored, "What are we doing? Days after a shooter walked into a grocery store to gun down African American patrons, we have another Sandy Hook on our hands. What are we doing?"
He pleaded with his colleagues to act on gun control legislation now.
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