A gunman, identified as Salvador Ramos, killed at least 19 children, their teacher and another adult Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a community of about 16,000 people, located between San Antonio and the U.S.-Mexico border. He went from classroom to classroom. The suspected gunman, an 18-year-old from the small city, is also dead. The attacker was killed by law enforcement. He was armed with two military-style rifles he purchased on his birthday. Ramos had hinted on social media that an attack could be coming. It’s the third deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Teams of Border Patrol agents raced to the school, including 10 to 15 members of a SWAT-like tactical and counter-terrorism unit. Several were injured in the attack and taken to hospitals. “My heart is broken today,” said Hal Harrell, the school district superintendent, announcing that all school activities were canceled. The shooting is led to renewed calls for stronger gun-control laws.
President Joe Biden, who had just returned from a five-day trip to Asia, called for new gun restrictions. “As a nation we have to ask—when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?” he added. Biden ordered that flags at the White House and other government buildings be flown at half-staff to honor the victims in Uvalde. Robb Elementary School serves about 500 students in second through fourth grade and enrolls mostly Latino students. Law enforcement officials said the gunman appears to have acted alone. Previously, he was a student at Uvalde High School. He shot his grandmother before entering the school building.