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Gunman kills 19 children, 2 Teachers at Texas elementary school

By Orowo Victoria Ojieh with agency report

Nineteen children and two teachers have been killed after a gunman opened fire at a primary school in Texas.

Texas Elementary School Shooting
Texas Elementary School Shooting

The attack happened on Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, around 80 miles west of San Antonio.  Uvalde is a small community about an hour from the Mexican border.

Texas Public Safety Department said 19 students and two teachers were killed after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the school with a gun.

The assault at Robb Elementary School in the heavily Latino town of Uvalde was 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.

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Hours after the attack, families were still awaiting word on their children.

Outside the town civic center, where families were told to await news about their loved ones, the silence was broken repeatedly by screams and wailing. “No! Please, no!” one man yelled as he embraced another man.

“My heart is broken today,” said Hal Harrell, the school district superintendent. “We’re a small community, and we’re going to need your prayers to get through this.”

Eva Mireles has been named as the fourth-grade teacher killed in the shooting.

A parent being consoled
A parent being consoled

She has a daughter, was married to a policeman and was an educator for 17 years, the school’s website said.

Two children killed have been named as eight-year-old Uziyah Garcia and 10-year-old Xavier Javier Lopez.

Lisa Garza, 54, of Arlington, Texas, mourned the death of her cousin Xavier, who had been eagerly awaiting a summer of swimming.

“He was just a loving 10-year-old little boy, just enjoying life, not knowing that this tragedy was going to happen today,” she said.

“He was very bubbly, loved to dance with his brothers, his mom.”

A girl, 10, and a woman, 66, are in critical condition, a girl aged nine is in fair condition and another girl aged 10 is in good condition, said University Hospital in San Antonio.

The gunman shot his grandmother before heading to the school, according to Texas senator Roland Gutierrez.

Texas governor Greg Abbott said two police officers were hit while exchanging gunfire with Ramos and sustained “non-life-threatening injuries”.

Ramos was killed by law enforcement.

Uvalde police chief Pete Arrendondo confirmed the suspect acted alone and that they were not looking for any other suspects.

President Joe Biden described the shooting as “another massacre” and said it was “time to act” as he addressed the nation.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

Addressing the nation on Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris said “our hearts keep getting broken”, adding that “enough is enough”.

Uvalde is home to about 16,000 people.

The shooting comes 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.

The United States suffered 19,350 firearm homicides in 2020, up nearly 35 percent compared to 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its latest data.

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