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Gunman at a Texas elementary school kills 19 students and two adults before being fatally shot,

25-5-2022 |

The shooter -- identified by Texas officials as Salvador Ramos, of Uvalde -- also shot his grandmother before crashing a vehicle near the school, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Erick Estrada said. She is in critical condition, he said.

The gunman is believed to have acted alone, Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo said.

Here are the latest developments in Tuesday's tragedy:

• The gunman had body armor, the rifle and a backpack, Estrada said. The shooter made it into several classrooms, Estrada added.

• US Customs and Border Protection, which is the largest law enforcement agency in the area due Uvalde's proximity to Mexico, had more than 20 agents respond to the shooting, according to a law enforcement official. A CBP agent was shot in the head, but is in stable condition after the bullet did not penetrate, the official said.

• Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Marsha Espinosa tweeted agents and other law enforcement officers took fire from the shooter, who had barricaded himself. "Risking their own lives, these Border Patrol Agents and other officers put themselves between the shooter and children on the scene to draw the shooter's attention away from potential victims and save lives," she wrote.

• President Joe Biden has ordered US flags on federal grounds to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Saturday to honor the victims of this "senseless acts of violence."

30th shooting at a K-12 school this year

Tuesday's incident marks at least the 30th shooting at a K-12 school in 2022. So far in 2022 there have been at least 39 shootings in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, resulting in at least 10 deaths and 51 injuries.

It is the deadliest shooting at a school since the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut in 2012 that left 26 people dead, including 20 children between 6 and 7 years old.

Biden calls for lawmakers to have a backbone

President Biden addressed the shooting in emotional remarks from the White House Tuesday evening, saying, "I had hoped when I became President I would not have to do this again."

"There's a lot we don't know yet. There's a lot we do know. Parents who will never see their child again, never have them jump in bed and cuddle with them. Parents who will never be the same. To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away," said Biden, who has before spoken in deeply personal terms about the family tragedies he has endured.

Turning to the issue of gun control legislation, Biden implored lawmakers to "turn this pain into action" as he ticked through some of the mass shootings since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, when he was vice president.

"Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God's name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with and stand up to the lobbies?" he said.