An 18-year-old gunman has shot dead at least 19 children and two adults at a Texas primary school.
The mass shooting on Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde – a small, predominantly Latino town – is the latest in a string of mass shootings, although it is the deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade.
The shooting has spurred an outpouring of grief and rage, with many leading politicians pleading for gun control legislation to be enacted. Here are the latest reactions:
US President Joe Biden
Returning from his five-day trip to Asia, Biden pleaded for action to address gun violence after years of failure, and blamed firearm manufacturers and their supporters for blocking legislation in Washington, DC.
“It’s time to turn this pain into action for every parent, for every citizen of this country,” Biden said, his voice heavy with emotion. “It’s time for those who obstruct or delay or block common-sense gun laws – we need to let you know that we will not forget.”
The White House ordered flags to be flown at half-mast in mourning for the victims
“As a nation we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” Biden said. “When in God’s name are we going to do what has to be done? Why are we willing to live with this carnage? ”
Antonio Guterres, United Nations secretary-general
“I’m deeply saddened by the heinous mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas,” Guterres wrote on Twitter. “It is particularly heart-wrenching that most of the victims are children. My heart goes out to the families & loved ones of the victims and to the community of Uvalde. ”
I’m deeply saddened by the heinous mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas. It is particularly heart-wrenching that most of the victims are children.
My heart goes out to the families & loved ones of the victims and to the community of Uvalde.
– António Guterres (@antonioguterres) May 25, 2022
Greg Abbott, Texas governor
Abbott said Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of “this senseless crime”.
“We thank the courageous first responders who worked to finally secure Robb Elementary School,” he said in a statement.
This can’t be posted too many times pic.twitter.com/zYr98T1nIb
– Dara Moss (@DaraHasWords) May 25, 2022
Nancy Pelosi, House speaker
Pelosi says it is time for Congress to join together to enact gun control legislation after what she described as the “monstrous” shooting in Uvalde.
“For too long, some in Congress have offered hollow words… while opposing all efforts to save lives. It is time for all in Congress to heed the will of the American people and join in enacting the House-passed bipartisan, common-sense, life-saving legislation into law, ”she said in a statement.
Kamala Harris, vice president
Harris said the anger and sadness from people reacting to the school shooting is nothing compared to the broken hearts of the families of the victims.
“We have to have the courage to take action ensure to ensure something like this never happens again,” she said.
Barack Obama, former US president
Obama was in office during the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, when a gunman killed 26 people – including 20 children. Obama referred to that day as the darkest of his administration. In a statement on Tuesday, Obama said it was “long past time for any action”.
“Michelle and I grieve with the families in Uvalde, who are experiencing pain no one should have to bear,” he said. “We’re also angry for them. Nearly ten years after Sandy Hook- and ten days after Buffalo – 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. ”
My tia did not make it, she sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom, i beg of you to keep my family including all of her family in y’all’s prayers, IRMA GARCIA IS HER NAME and she died a HERO. she was loved by many and will truly be missed.❤️🔥 pic.twitter.com/zM54TbooZZ
– Joey.mtz (@ Joeymtz4) May 25, 2022
Chris Murphy, Democrat senator from Connecticut
Murphy made an impassioned appeal for concrete action to prevent further violence.
“This isn’t inevitable, these kids weren’t unlucky. This only happens in this country and nowhere else. Nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking that they might be shot that day, ”Murphy said on the Senate floor in Washington, DC.
“I’m here on this floor to beg, to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues: Find a path forward here. Work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely. ”
Hillary Clinton, former presidential candidate
“Thoughts and prayers are not enough,” Clinton wrote on Twitter. “We simply need legislators willing to stop the scourge of gun violence in America that is murdering our children.”
Thoughts and prayers are not enough.
After years of nothing else, we are becoming a nation of anguished screams.
We simply need legislators willing to stop the scourge of gun violence in America that is murdering our children.
– Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 24, 2022
Her husband and former president Bill Clinton released a separate statement and called on elected leaders to “find common-sense ways to keep our children and communities safe”.
“We owe these families – and the families who have experienced similar losses, including as recently as last week in Buffalo – action,” he said. “Enough is enough.”
Lebron James, basketball player
The Los Angeles Lakers star took to Twitter to express his emotions, imploring for change to gun regulation laws.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of love ones loss & injured at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX! Like when is enough enough man !!! These are kids and we keep putting them in harms way at school. Like seriously “AT SCHOOL” where it’s suppose to be the safest! “
My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of love ones loss & injured at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX! Like when is enough enough man !!! These are kids and we keep putting them in harms way at school. Like seriously “AT SCHOOL” where it’s suppose to be the safest!
– LeBron James (@KingJames) May 24, 2022