A mass shooting at a Texas elementary school killed 19 children and two teachers Tuesday and the suspected gunman was killed, Gov. Greg Abbott said.
Abbott identified the suspect as Salvador Ramos, a Uvalde resident, who is also dead and acted alone, authorities said. He had a handgun and possibly a rifle when he opened fire at Robb Elementary School, he said. Two police officers were shot and wounded but were expected to survive, Abbott said.
“Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde. Cecilia and I mourn this horrific loss and we urge all Texans to come together to show our unwavering support to all who are suffering,” he said in a statement.
The shooter was likely killed by responding officers, but the investigation was still ongoing, authorities said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers have been instructed to work with local law enforcement.
As the incident unfolded, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told Fox News that the shooter had become barricaded inside. The school, located 80 miles west of San Antonio, serves students in the second, third and fourth grades.
“There is an active shooter at Robb Elementary. Law enforcement is on site,” the school posted on Facebook shortly after shots rang out. “Your cooperation is needed at this time by not visiting the campus.”
University Health in San Antonio said it received two patients – a child and a 66-year-old woman who is in critical condition. The condition of the child was not released. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has been briefed on the shooting.
The agency is also coordinating with local and state authorities. Uvalde Memorial Hospital said Tuesday evening it was having an emergency blood drive on Wednesday, though it was not clear if the event is related to the shooting.
The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District first reported the school lockdown at 11:43 a.m. local time.
“Please know at this time all campuses are under a Lockdown Status due to gunshots in the area. The students and staff are safe in the buildings,” the district had said in a message to parents.
The district initially asked parents not to pick up their children and that students needed to be accounted for before being released. Parents were notified to pick up their children around 2 p.m.
All district and campus activities, including after-school programs and events have been canceled. Parents were being asked to pick up their children at their regular dismissal times at their school campus. School bus transportation has also been canceled.