Texas officials are clarifying the events leading up to Tuesday’s tragic mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas, which claimed the lives of at least 19 students, a teacher and one other adult.
In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday, Sgt. Erick Estrada, Texas Dept. of Public Safety, said there were two separate shootings that took place.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott previously announced the shooter — identified as Uvalde resident Salvador Romas — is dead.
“The first incident was involving the suspect at their grandmother’s residence, where he shot the grandmother, and then the grandmother was airlifted,” Estrada said.
The second incident, which Estrada said was initially called in as a crash “and a man with a firearm outside [Robb Elementary] school premises,” resulted in the shooting deaths of at least 21 people.
“The suspect did crash near a ditch here nearby the school. That’s where he exited his vehicle with [what] I believe was as rifle,” Estrada said.
“What got reported was that a man with a gun had crashed nearby the Robb Elementary School,” he later added. “He was observed exiting the vehicle with his own rifle and a backpack. He also had body armor with him.”
Estrada also confirmed that he was wearing the body armor.
“There were several law enforcement that engaged the suspect, but he was able to make entry into the school where he did go into several classrooms, and unfortunately he did fire his firearm inside the school premises,” the sergeant said.
“Then he was met with another tactical law enforcement agency, which ultimately were able to bring him down.”
The shooter opened fire at Robb Elementary School at about 11:30 a.m. after abandoning his vehicle, and it is believed police killed him.
Police said at a Tuesday press conference they believe the shooter, who according to Abbott had a handgun and possibly a rifle, acted alone. The children killed were in the second, third and fourth grades, police said.
Uvalde is a small city of about 16,000 residents, approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio.
University Health San Antonio tweeted there are two patients — a 66-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl — who are in critical condition.
Abbott said two responding officers were injured and expected to survive, according to ABC News.
President Joe Biden spoke out following the shooting.
“I had hoped when I became president I would not have to do this again, another massacre in Uvalde, Texas. An elementary school. Beautiful, innocent second, third, and fourth graders. How many scores of little children who witnessed what happened, see their friends die, as if they’re in a battlefield for God’s sake,” he said, in part, in his nearly eight-minute address.
“I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage. I spent my career as a senator and vice president working to pass common sense gun laws,” he added.
Vice President Kamala Harris also issued a statement hours after the shooting while speaking at a pre-planned event Tuesday, saying in part, “While we don’t know all the details yet, we do know there are parents who lost children.”
“Every time a tragedy like this happens our hearts break. And our broken hearts are nothing compared to the broken hearts of those families, and yet it keeps happening,” she continued, later adding, “Enough is enough.”[via]