Nineteen students aged between seven and 10 and two teachers have been killed in a shooting at a Texas elementary school with the suspected gunman identified as an 18-year-old.
Law enforcement officials responded to an active shooter report at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Tuesday afternoon, according to police.
The gunman, identified as Salvador Ramos, was killed, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said. Ramos was reportedly a student or former student at Uvalde High School.
‘He shot and killed horrifically and incomprehensibly 14 students and killed a teacher,’ Abbott said during an afternoon press briefing on an unrelated matter.
One of the victims has been identified as Eva Mireles, a fourth grade teacher at Robb Elementary School.
Ramos used a handgun and possibly a rifle, Abbott said.
‘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,’ Abbott said.
‘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.’
Earlier, Uvalde Medical Hospital said that two children died from presumed gunshot wounds, and that 13 more students were in the emergency department.
Two patients were transported to San Antonio and a third was awaiting transfer, according to the hospital. A 45-year-old grazed by a bullet was also receiving treatment at the hospital.
Meanwhile, University Health in San Antonio said it was caring for a child and an adult in the shooting. Their conditions were not immediately disclosed.
‘Law enforcement is on site,’ the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District posted on Twitter shortly after 12.15pm local time. ‘Your cooperation is needed at this time by not visiting the campus. As soon as more information is gathered it will be shared.’
However, a school official later told that the shooting occurred off the campus and that Robb Elementary School was on lockdown.
The lockdown was first reported by the school district at 11.43am.
School district officials in a message to parents said: ‘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.’
Immediate family members of the victims at Uvalde Memorial Hospital were asked to convene at the cafeteria, while others were asked to keep away from the facility.
The Uvalde Police Department asked parents to pick up their children at Sgt Willie Deleon Civic Center.
Uvalde is situated about 90 minutes west of San Antonio.