As many as 19 children have been shot dead at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas in the U.S., by a lone 18-year-old gunman who had earlier shot and wounded his grandmother.
Residents spoken to by reporters about Tuesday’s shooting said they first heard the sound of a car crashing and a few minutes later the shooting started.
It wasn’t long before Texas Rangers, local police, and border control officers rushed to the school.
Some residents said they only became aware of the unfolding tragedy when they noticed a helicopter was circling above the school.
By the time law enforcers arrived the gunmen had mowed down the children and two adults.
When the guns fell silent word got around that law enforcers had shot dead the lone teenage gunman and recovered his assault weapon.
A witness said more and more ambulances were seen at the school.
Police later said the gunman had shot his grandmother dead before driving off. The teenager crashed his car near the school and then unleashed mayhem – indiscriminately shooting at the schoolchildren and their teachers.
The dead man’s motive for the shootings in the mostly Latino town remains unclear.
The attack on the elementary school was the second mass shooting in the US in as many weeks.
AP reports that the shooting came just 10 days after a deadly, racist rampage at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket that added to a yearslong series of mass killings at churches, schools, and stores.
US President Joe Biden, who had just returned home from Asia, called for “courage to act” and take on the “gun lobby” to prevent teenagers from legally owning assault weapons.
Commenting on the tragedy former US president Barak Obama said: “Our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies.”