Texas school shooting: Lawmakers, others react to latest case of mass gun violence
An 18-year-old gunman killed 15 people Tuesday at an elementary school in Texas, authorities said. The victims included 18 children and one teacher. The gunman was also shot dead.
The shooting in Texas came less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 Black shoppers and workers in what officials have described as a hate crime. Across the country that same weekend, someone opened fire in a California church, critically injuring four people and killing one.
It was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. grade school since the shocking attack at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, almost a decade ago.
Lawmakers and activists, and others around the country immediately spoke out about the latest scene of violence. The White House proclaimed flags would be flown at half-staff to honor the victims.
RELATED: Arizona congressman blasts Ted Cruz’s comments against gun control following Texas elementary school shooting
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was the first lawmaker to publicly respond to Tuesday’s school shooting.
"(The suspect) shot and killed, horrifically, incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher," Abbott said in a press conference.
Here is how fellow Texas lawmakers and others around the country have reacted:
Beto O’Rourke said, "our broken hearts are with Uvalde."
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said he and his wife, Heidi, are "lifting up in prayer the children and families" affected. He also thanked first responders for acting so swiftly.
Texas State Sen. Roland Gutierrez said his focus right now is making sure local law enforcement, health providers and affected families have all the resources they need.
Congressman Tony Gonzales said his heart is breaking for the city of Uvalde.
San Antonio mayor Julian Castro urged that gun legislation "must, MUST" be acted on.
Around the country, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy called for an end to the "nation’s gun violence epidemic," saying "no child or educator should ever fear going to school, and no parent should ever fear sending their child to school."
Rep. Maxine Waters called for gun control following the shooting tweeting "When will this country come together to denounce and deter the killing of innocent children and adults by heavily armed killers in a society where guns are so easily accessible? Another recent mass killing of 14 children in Uvalde, Texas, by an 18-year-old! Gun Control now!"
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey offered his condolences to families and friends of the victims impacted by the shooting.
"Our hearts grieve for the families, friends, and classmates affected by today’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Our centers of learning should be safe places for all, yet the sanctity of our schools continue to be violated."
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden has been briefed about the shooting and has offered his thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.
"President Biden has been briefed on the horrific news of the elementary school shooting in Texas and will continue to be briefed regularly as information becomes available."
"His prayers are with the families impacted by this awful event, and he will speak this evening when he arrives back at the White House."
Senator John Cornyn tweeted "Today, the entire state of Texas is in mourning. *Earlier today, a gunman entered an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and opened fire. *The shooting at Robb Elementary School is every parent and teacher’s worst nightmare."
Former Vice President Mike Pence offered condolences on social media posting ".@KarenPence and I are deeply saddened and heartbroken to hear of the horrific shooting that took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas today and we are praying God's comfort for the families of the 14 children and 1 teacher who were tragically killed."
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan addressed the tragedy on Twitter posting "Another unspeakable tragedy has left families grieving, a community reeling, and a country desperately seeking answers."
Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin took to Twitter to offer his thoughts on the tragedy. "Horrified and sickened by mass murder in broad daylight at Robb Elementary School in Texas. Our hearts grieve with the traumatized families of Uvalde. Congress must confront the nightmare of gun violence in America and its savage toll on our people."
Alex Wind, a student activist against gun violence who survived the Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting in 2019, said, "America will continue to be a hub and epicenter of gun violence until the people in power decide to take action. There is no more time for thoughts and prayers."
Activist and author Ibram X. Kendi called on those in power to do more to "protect our children."
Martin Luther King III, a global human rights activist, shared his thoughts on social media about the tragic shooting. "As this news unfolds, I am praying for the victims, I am praying for their families and friends and I am praying for the Uvalde, Texas community. But when I get up off my knees I am ready for action. This must stop! This is a pain that no one should know."
LeBron James tweeted about how schools are supposed to be one of the safest places for kids. "Like when is enough enough man!!!" he said.
NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson offered his condolences to the victims and their families. "Wow wow wow. Cookie and my hearts are so broken right now after hearing the news of the Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting. We send our condolences to the families that lost a loved one today. My goodness, God bless the families that are grieving."
The National Basketball Association also released a statement on Twitter about the tragic shooting. "The NBA family is devastated by the horrific shooting that took place today in Uvalde, Texas. Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences go out to the victims’ family and friends, and the entire Robb Elementary School and Uvalde community."
This is a developing story. Stay with your local FOX station for updates.