Texas primary school shooting leaves 21 dead

Nineteen young children and two adults have died in a shooting at a primary school in south Texas.

The gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School – which teaches children aged seven to 10 – in the city of Uvalde before he was killed by law enforcement, officials said.

The 18-year-old suspect had a handgun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazines, investigators said.

The teenager was suspected of shooting his grandmother before the rampage.

Local media reported he may have been a high school student in the area.

Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Chief of Police, Pete Arredondo, said the shooting began at 11:32 local time on Tuesday, and that investigators believed the attacker “did act alone during this heinous crime”.

Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, said the shooter, whom he named as Salvador Ramos, abandoned a vehicle before entering the school to “horrifically, incomprehensibly” open fire.

An Uvalde school district police officer, who worked at the school, saw Ramos emerge from the vehicle carrying a rifle and wearing body armour, according to Erick Estrada from the Texas Department of Public Safety, who was speaking to CNN.

The officer “engaged” the suspect but was unable to stop him, Mr Estrada said. Two more officers from Uvalde Police Department also attempted to stop Ramos but were unable to do so, and called for back-up.

Several of the children who died have been identified.

Family members confirmed the deaths of 10-year-olds Xavier Lopez and Amerie Jo Garza in statements on Tuesday night.

Angel Garza said on Facebook that his daughter, Amerie, had been killed.

“My little love is now flying high with the angels above. Please don’t take a second for granted. Hug your family. Tell them you love them,” he said.

The two adults who died were both teachers – Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles.

According to the school district’s website, MrsGarcia was a mother-of-four and had been a teacher for 23 years. The same website said Ms Mireles had been a teacher for 17 years, had a daughter in college and loved running and hiking.

Nearly 500 pupils were enrolled in the predominantly Hispanic school around 85 miles (135km) west of the city of San Antonio. -CNN

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