UVALDE, Texas — A gunman opened fire at a school in Uvalde, Texas, shortly before noon Tuesday, killing at least 19 children and two adults, authorities said.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. What happened?
Ramos, who also was wearing body armor, crashed the vehicle outside the school at about 11:30 a.m., Texas Department of Safety spokesperson Travis Considine told the AP. Ramos reportedly exchanged fire with police and entered the building, authorities told KPRC-TV.
“At that point as he made entry, he began shooting children, teachers, anybody that was in his way,” DPS Lt. Chris Olivares told KPRC. “He was shooting people that were in front of him.”
Several Border Patrol agents then headed to the school, the news agency reported. Officials said one Border Patrol agent who had been working nearby arrived before the others, the AP reported. The agent went into the building and fatally shot Ramos, who had barricaded himself inside, authorities said.
2. Who was the suspected gunman?
Ramos, of Uvalde, was a current or former student at Uvalde High School, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday.
According to KHOU, Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, said the gunman was armed with two “military-style” rifles he had bought when he turned 18.
Gutierrez, citing state police, said Ramos had hinted in social media posts about a possible shooting and “suggested the kids should watch out,” according to the AP.
Ramos’ motive was not immediately clear.
3. Who were the victims?
Although officials hadn’t released the victims’ identities as of early Thursday, family members have been sharing the names of those who died, according to the AP, KSAT and other news outlets. They include the following: Eva Mireles, 44; Irma Garcia; Layla Salazar, 10; Xavier Lopez, 10; Amerie Jo Garza, 10; Uziyah Garcia, 8; Eliahana Cruz Torres, 10; Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10; Jackie Cazares, 10; Rogelio Torres, 10; Jose Flores, 10; Neveah Bravo; Tess Mata; Alithia Ramirez, 10; Alexandria Aniyah “Lexi” Rubio; Ellie Garcia, 10; Jailah Nicole Seguero, 11; Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10; Makenna Lee Elrod, 10; Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, 10; and Miranda Mathis, 11.
All of the slain victims were in the same classroom, a state public safety official told the AP.
4. What are elected officials saying?
In an address Tuesday night, President Joe Biden offered condolences to the victims’ families and pushed for tougher gun laws.
“To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away,” Biden said. “There’s a hollowness in your chest, and you feel like you’re being sucked into it and never going to be able to get out. It’s suffocating. And it’s never quite the same.”
Abbott released the following statement in the wake of the shooting:
“Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde,” the statement read, adding that he and his wife, Cecilia, “mourn this horrific loss” and “urge all Texans to come together to show our unwavering support to all who are suffering.”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted Tuesday afternoon that he and his wife, Heidi, “are fervently lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde.”
“We are in close contact with local officials, but the precise details are still unfolding,” the tweet read. “Thank you to heroic law enforcement & first responders for acting so swiftly.”
In a series of tweets, Texas Sen. John Cornyn called the shooting “every parent and teacher’s worst nightmare.”
“No parent, child or teacher should ever have to wonder whether it’s safe to go to school,” he wrote. “This is an excruciatingly painful time for the tight-knit Uvalde community and for all Texans. My heart goes out to those in the hospital receiving care and to the loved ones of those who lost their lives. As a parent, I cannot imagine the pain they must be feeling.”
5. The rampage was the country’s deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade.
Nearly 10 years ago, a shooter killed 26 people – including 20 children – at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, before turning the gun on himself, according to the AP.
The nation’s deadliest school shooting occurred in 2007, when a gunman opened fire on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, the AP reported. He killed 32 people before killing himself, according to the news agency.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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