A shooting spree at a Texas elementary school has killed 19 children and two teachers. The attacker was also dead, said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday. The local police chief confirmed: “The suspect is dead.” It is also assumed that he acted alone. Before the 18-year-old carried out his crime, he also shot his grandmother. She succumbed to her injuries during the night. A total of 23 dead, it is one of the deadliest attacks in the US in years.

The gunman would have parked his car before the crime and entered the school armed with a handgun and possibly a rifle. Then he would have opened fire. According to previous information, he was eventually shot dead by police officers.

The suspect is said to be 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. He was from the area and had attended Uvalde High School.

The attack happened at Robb Elementary School in the small town of Uvalde, 135 kilometers west of San Antonio. Around 600 students attend the facility, which is located in a residential area with rather simple houses. Previously, the district had closed all schools in the area because of gunshot noise.

According to Uvalde Memorial Hospital, 15 students were being treated in the emergency room. University medicine in San Antonio also stated that it was treating two people injured in the rampage – a child and a 66-year-old woman – as inpatients. The condition of the woman is critical. Two police officers were also injured in the operation.

The Texas governor meanwhile addressed those affected with emotional words. “When parents drop their children off at school, they have the expectation that they will be able to pick up their children when the school day ends. And now there are families that are grieving,” Abbott said. “The state of Texas is grieving with them since these parents will no longer be able to pick up their children.”

US President Joe Biden was also informed of the attack. This was stated by White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre. “He is praying for the families who are affected by this terrible event.” The President therefore wanted to comment on Tuesday evening (local time) after his return from his trip to Asia in Washington.

Biden had visited South Korea and Japan in the past few days and was expected back in the US capital Washington late Tuesday evening local time – according to German time on Wednesday night.

Shooting sprees, including in schools, occur with sad regularity in the United States. A massacre at an elementary school ten years ago was particularly shocking: In December 2012, a 20-year-old with severe mental health problems in Newtown, Connecticut, first shot his mother. He then went to his elementary school, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and killed 20 school children and six teachers there. He then killed himself. At the time, the act caused a shock across the country and also caused horror beyond the borders of the USA.

Just over a week ago, a gunman with an assault rifle opened fire in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing ten people and injuring three others. He was arrested at the scene of the crime. According to investigators, the act was racially motivated – 11 of the 13 victims were black.

Last year, the FBI counted 61 gun shootings in the United States. The FBI announced on Monday in Washington that this was more than 50 percent more than in the previous year. The number has doubled since 2017. In 2021, 103 people were killed and 140 injured in rampages. 60 of the 61 shooters were said to be men. The FBI uses a strict definition for the count: it only includes cases in which a perpetrator shoots at people in public in order to kill them. Classic criminal cases involving armed violence or shootings among gang members are ignored.

The level of gun violence overall is far greater in the United States. Fatal incidents involving firearms, which are readily available there, occur regularly. In its most recent statistics from 2020, the health authority CDC recorded a total of 45,222 gun deaths in the USA – more than 120 deaths per day.

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