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Houston (AFP) – An 18-year-old gunman killed 14 children and a teacher at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday, according to the state governor, in the country’s deadliest school shooting in years.
The attack in Uvalde, Texas – a small community about an hour from the Mexican border – is the latest in a series of deadly shootings in the United States, where the widespread horror of gun violence has not succeeded. to incite action to prevent future murders. .
The assailant “shot and killed, in a gruesome and incomprehensible manner, 14 students and killed a teacher,” Gov. Greg Abbott said at a press conference.
The governor said the suspect, a local teenager, was also “deceased”, adding that “responding officers are believed to have killed him”.
It was the deadliest incident of its kind since 14 high school students and three adult staff members were killed in Parkland, Florida, in 2018 – and the worst in an elementary school since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012 in Connecticut, in which 20 children and six staff members were killed. .
President Joe Biden was briefed on the shooting in Texas and was expected to speak about it later Tuesday, his spokeswoman said.
Local police previously said a suspect had been taken into custody following the shooting, which began around noon.
Abbott said the shooter allegedly “abandoned his vehicle and walked into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde with a handgun, and possibly had a rifle as well.”
The school – which teaches more than 500 mostly Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students in grades two through four – has called on parents not to pick up their children until all have been accommodated.
“Please do not pick up students at this time. Students must be accounted for before they are released back into your care. You will be notified to pick up students once all are accounted for,” said the school on its website.
Ted Cruz, a US senator from Texas, tweeted that he and his wife were “raising in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde”.
Wave of armed violence
“Thank you to the heroic law enforcement and first responders for acting so quickly,” Cruz added.
The deadly violence in Texas follows a series of mass shootings in the United States this month.
On May 14, an 18-year-old white man shot and killed 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
Wearing a heavy body armor and wielding an AR-15 rifle, the self-proclaimed white supremacist reportedly broadcast his attack live, after targeting the store due to the large surrounding African-American population.
The next day, a man blocked the door of a church in Laguna Woods, California, and opened fire on his Taiwanese-American congregation, killing one person and injuring five.
Despite recurring shootings with many casualties, multiple initiatives to reform gun regulations have failed in the US Congress, leaving states and local councils to enact their own restrictions.
The United States suffered 19,350 firearm homicides in 2020, up nearly 35% from 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in their latest data.
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