ITV News Reporter Robert Moore reports on the 27th US school shooting of 2022 and the renewed calls for urgent measures to control gun violence
The gunman who killed 19 children and two adults in Texas posted on social media prior to the attack saying he was going to shoot up a school.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a press conference the shooter made three social media posts, one saying that he was going to shoot his grandmother, then that he had shot the woman, and finally that he was going to shoot up an elementary school.
The suspect was 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, who police have described as "complete evil" with a "complete disregard for human life".
Seventeen people were also injured in the attack.Abbott said Ramos had no known criminal or mental health history but he said poor mental health was to blame.
ITV News North American Correspondent Robert Moore reports on the crisis of the shooting and the crisis it will cause in Congress
After arriving at the school Ramos managed to barricade himself inside a single classroom and “began shooting anyone that was in his way," officials said.
It is believed all of the people who died were in that classroom.
Law enforcement officers eventually broke into the classroom and killed the gunman, who used an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle.
Police and others responding to Tuesday’s attack also went around breaking windows at the school to enable students and teachers to escape.
Ramos was reported dead after he is believed to have been shot by police, Abbott said.
No motive behind the attack has yet been released.
Before going to the school, Ramos shot his grandmother in the face and then fled the scene.
He then crashed his truck near the school and entered the building at around 11.30am, authorities said.
"Evil swept across Uvalde yesterday. Anyone who shoots his grandmother in the face has to have evil in his heart," Abbott said at a news conference.
"But it is far more evil for someone to gun down little kids. It is intolerable and it is unacceptable for us to have in the state anybody who would kill little kids in our schools."Ramos legally bought two AR-style rifles and ammunition just days before the attack, soon after his 18th birthday, state senators briefed by law enforcement said.The attack in the town of Uvalde was the deadliest school shooting in the US since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, in December 2012.Robb Elementary School teaches grades two, three and four, meaning the children killed were aged from seven to ten years old.
Days before the attack, an Instagram account investigators say apparently belonging to Ramos posted a photo of a hand holding an ammunition magazine.
On the day Ramos bought his second weapon, last week, the account carried a photo of two AR-style rifles.
In that post, Ramos apparently tagged another Instagram user, one with more than 10,000 followers, asking her to share the picture with her followers.
“I barely know you and u tag me in a picture with some guns,” replied the Instagram user, who has since removed her profile. “It’s just scary.”
On the morning of the attack, the account linked to the gunman replied: “I’m about to.”
Ramos sent private, one-to-one text messages via Facebook, and they were “discovered after the terrible tragedy,” company spokesman Andy Stone said. He said Facebook is cooperating with investigators.
Officers found one of the rifles in Ramos’ truck, the other in the school, according to the briefing given to lawmakers. Ramos was wearing a tactical vest, but it had no hardened body-armour plates inside, lawmakers were told.
He also dropped a backpack containing several magazines full of ammunition near the school entrance.
So far 19 victims have been identified, including the two teachers who were killed. All of the children were in the same class.
Eight-year-old Uziyah Garcia, and 10-year-olds Xavier Javier Lopez, Amerie Jo Garza, Makenna Lee Elrod and Lexi Rubio all died in the shooting.
Tess Marie Mata, Nevaeh Bravo, Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez, Elijah Cruz Torres, Rojelia Torres, Eliahna Garcia, Jose Flores, Miranda Mathis and cousins Jayce Carmelo Luevanos and Jailah Nicole Silguero have also been named.
All of the victims have been identified and all of their family members have been notified, the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed.
Many families had to wait hours before hearing news about their children.
Eight-year-old Uziyah's grandfather, Manny Renfro, described him as "the sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known".
Amerie Jo Garza was shot and killed while trying to call 911, her grandmother Berlinda Irene Arreola told the Daily Beast.
Her anguished father Angel Garza posted on Facebook on Tuesday pleading for help to try and find his daughter, saying he had been waiting seven hours for news on her.
He later posted a photo saying "my little love is now flying high with the angels above" and that he would "never be happy or complete again". He urged followers "please don't take a second for granted. Hug your family".
Xavier Javier Lopez was "just a loving 10-year-old little boy, just enjoying life, not knowing that this tragedy was going to happen today," said his cousin Lisa Garza.
Fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles, 44, was remembered as a "wonderful", loving mother and wife, said her relative Amber Ybarra.
It is not known exactly how many were injured but University Health San Antonio Hospital tweeted saying a 10-year-old girl and a woman, 66, are in a critical condition there, while Uvalde Memorial Hospital said 13 children were taken there.
Texas hospitals put out urgent appeals for blood donations following the shooting.
Before the tragedy, Texas was experiencing a blood shortage with South Texas Blood & Tissue, previously reporting that it needed 200 additional donations per day to replenish blood supplies in the area.
Hours after the attack in an address to the nation, President Joe Biden called for new gun restrictions, asking: “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name do we do what we all know needs to be done?”
“Why are willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone?” Mr Biden said, adding later, “It’s time to act.”
The US president, who has ordered the US flag to be flown at half-mast until sunset on Saturday, called on the nation to pray for the parents and families of those who died, adding: "To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away."
Watch President Joe Biden's speech from the White House on Tuesday evening.
“My heart is broken today,” said Hal Harrell, the superintendent of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. “We’re a small community and we’re going to need your prayers to get through this.”
A heavy police presence surrounded the school on Tuesday afternoon, with officers in bullet proof vests diverting traffic and FBI agents coming and going from the building.
The families of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six teachers, have spoken out and reiterated calls for greater gun control.
Nicole Hockley, whose six-year-old Dylan was killed in the Connecticut tragedy, said every time there is another school shooting she "relives" the murder of her son and is "re-traumatised".
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The outpouring of grief has been felt across the state and the whole country, with politicians, teachers, celebrities and the sports world reacting to the tragedy.
Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors basketball team, gave an emotional address to a press conference in Dallas before his team faced the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.
He did not talk about basketball as planned and instead directly pleaded with senators "who refuse to do anything about the violence in school and supermarket shootings" to mandate background checks for gun purchases.
"Are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers?" He asked.
Referencing the mass shootings in a Buffalo supermarket and a California church, both less than 10 days ago, he continued: "And now we have children murdered at school. When are we going to do something?!
"I'm so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there, I'm tired of the moments of silence. Enough...
"I want every person here, every person listening to this, to think about your own child or grandchild, mother or father, sister, brother. How would you feel if this happened to you today?”
Hal Harrell, superintendent of the school district said the school, which has just under 600 students, will be closed and all activities will be cancelled until further notice.
Earlier on Tuesday, the district had said that all schools in the district were locked down because of gunshots in the area. The city’s civic centre was being used as a reunification centre for pupils, it added.
The shooting in Texas came less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 Black shoppers and workers in what officials have described as a hate crime.