21 killed, including 18 children, in shooting at Texas elementary school
A gunman has shot dead 18 young children and three adults at an elementary school in the US State of Texas, in the deadliest US school shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut, in which 20 children and six staff were killed.
Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio said on Tuesday he was briefed by state police on the latest fatalities at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, The Associated Press reported.
"I was just briefed by the Texas Rangers, 18 children have passed on," Gutierrez told CNN, adding three adults had also been killed.
Three people wounded in the attack reportedly were hospitalized in serious condition.
US President Joe Biden denounced the US gun lobby and vowed to end the nation's cycle of mass shootings.
"It's time to turn this pain into action for every parent, for every citizen of this country," Biden said.
"It's time for those who obstruct or delay or block commonsense gun laws -- we need to let you know that we will not forget," he said.
"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?"
The gunman, identified by law enforcement as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was also killed, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a news conference earlier in the day, shortly after the attack in Uvalde.
The incident is the latest in a spree of deadly shootings in America, where horror at the cycle of gun violence has failed to spur enough action to end it.
The governor said Ramos was a student at Uvalde High School. Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo said it appears that Ramos acted alone.
Arredondo said there were “several injuries.” University Health officials said a 10-year-old girl and a 66-year-old woman were being treated at University Hospital and were in critical condition.
Abbott said the gunman was believed to have shot his grandmother before heading to Robb Elementary School at around noon, abandoning his vehicle and entering with a handgun, and possibly also a rifle.
"He shot and killed, horrifically and incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher," Abbott said earlier in the day.
The governor said the suspect was also "deceased," adding that "it is believed that responding officers killed him."