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At least 19 children and 2 teachers killed at Robb Elementary School, Texas

Newsman:   At least 19 children and two teachers were killed  at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde in a Texas elementary school Tuesday when a gunman opened fire. Wearing body armor and firing hundreds of rounds, the 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two adults, Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Chris Olivarez said.  Gov. Greg Abbott said one of the two was a teacher.

The students killed were mainly third- and fourth-graders, according to law enforcement sources. The suspected shooter was identified as Salvador Rolando Ramos, 18, a student at Uvalde High School, is also dead, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said adding that Ramos “shot and killed horrifically and incomprehensibly.”

On Tuesday evening, President Joe Biden ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at federal buildings and military posts through Saturday following news of the tragedy.

The attack was reported as a mass casualty incident shortly after 11:30 a.m., authorities said. Amid the chaos, parents were searching for children they had not heard from.

“The investigation is leading to tell us the suspect did act alone during this heinous crime,” Pete Arredondo, the chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, said at a news conference.  

Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference that the suspected shooter, who might have had a handgun and a rifle, was also killed when law enforcement confronted him at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, about 83 miles west of San Antonio,.

Meanwhile, families of the deceased were being notified, the governor said.

At least six victims had been publicly identified by family members.

Third grade student Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10; and fourth graders Uziyah Garcia; Xavier Lopez, 10; and Amerie Jo Garza, 9; were among the 19 students killed, relatives confirmed to news outlets.

Family members also identified the two teachers as Eva Mireles, a 17-year educator who taught fourth grade, and Irma Garcia, who taught at the school for 23 years.

“It is believed that he abandoned his vehicle, then entered into the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde with a handgun, and he may have also had a rifle,” Gov. Greg Abbott  said.

“He shot and killed, horrifically and incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher,” the governor said before additional deaths were confirmed.

“When parents drop their kids off at school, they have every expectation to know that they’re going to be able to pick their child up when that school day ends. And there are families who are in mourning right now,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

“The state of Texas is in mourning with them for the reality that these parents are not going to be able to pick up their children.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety said later that 19 children and two teachers were killed, in addition to the suspected shooter.

Multiple survivors were being treated at regional hospital as  the exact number was not released .

Two officers were struck when they apparently exchanged gunfire with the shooter and had injuries not thought to be life-threatening, Abbott said.

On- and off-duty Border Patrol agents were among the law enforcement officials who responded. At least one agent was wounded in the exchange of gunfire, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

“Risking their own lives, these Border Patrol Agents and other officers put themselves between the shooter and children on the scene to draw the shooter’s attention away from potential victims and save lives,” Marsha Espinosa, DHS’s assistant secretary for public affairs, said in a tweet.

The agents also helped transfer students to their families and provide medical support, she said.

Lt. Chris Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the suspect shot his grandmother, who was hospitalized in critical condition, before he drove toward the school.

After he apparently crashed nearby, he went to the campus and opened fire, Olivarez said in a news conference at the scene.

“He started shooting every single person that was in front of him,” the lieutenant said.

The Texas Department of Public safety said the shooter was wearing body armor and carried a rifle.

Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Hal Harrell said the shooting was a tragic and senseless event.

“My heart was broken today,” he said at a news conference Tuesday evening, his voice shaking. “We’re a small community, and we’ll need your prayers to get through this.”

The school year, which was scheduled to end Thursday, is over, he said.

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.

Uvalde, incorporated in 1888 as a ranch and crossroads town, has a population of 8,921, according to the census.

The school serves second through fourth grades in a city that is nearly half non-English speaking, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Uvalde Memorial Hospital initially received 13 children as patients. Two of them died and three were transferred to San Antonio for treatment, the hospital said. The conditions of the others was not immediately clear. A 45-year-old was also hospitalized after getting grazed by a bullet, the hospital said.

University Health in San Antonio said it had four patients from the shooting incident — three students and an adult woman. A 66-year-old woman and 10-year-old girl were in critical condition.

President Joe Biden Addressing the nation from the White House on Tuesday night, asked when America as a collective would stand up and support limits on powerful weapons and buyers with ill intent after yet another school shooting claimed the lives of “beautiful, innocent second, third, fourth graders.”

Uvalde Memorial Hospital received 14 patients, 11 of whom were described as children ages 8 to 10, CEO Tom Nordwick said Tuesday evening.

Four patients have been released. Two, described only as a male and a female, were dead on arrival, Nordwick said.

Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston said it was treating two adult victims who were in critical condition.

University Health, based in San Antonio, said in a tweet that it was treating four patients: a 10-year-old girl and a 66-year-old woman who were in critical condition, a 9-year-old girl in fair condition and a 10-year-old girl in good condition.

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