Fourteen children and one teacher have been killed at a shooting at an elementary school west of San Antonio, Texas, the state’s governor said on Tuesday.
Texas governor Greg Abbott said Salvador Romas, an 18-year-old male resident of the city of Uvalde, had entered Robb Elementary School and opened fire earlier in the day. “He shot and killed horrifically, incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher,” Abbott said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
“Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde,” Abbott said in a statement.
The shooter was armed with a handgun and possibly a rifle, the governor said. Abbott said the shooter was dead, believed to have been killed by responding officers. Two responding officers were also struck by rounds of ammunition but did not suffer serious injuries.
Abbott said it had been reported the suspect shot his grandmother before going to the school.
Pete Arredondo, chief of police for Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, confirmed that a “mass casualty incident” took place just after 11:30am local time at Robb Elementary, which has children in the second, third and fourth grades.
The suspect is believed to have acted alone, and safety measures have been taken for the rest of the school district.
The shooting in Texas comes less than two weeks after a teenager shot and killed 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
President Joe Biden had been briefed on the “horrific” shooting in Texas, White House press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wrote in a tweet, and will speak about the incident later on Tuesday when he has returned from a trip to Asia. “His prayers are with the families impacted by this awful event,” she wrote.