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.
• Estrada told CNN’s Anderson Cooper the gunman wrecked a vehicle while driving near the school after shooting his grandmother. “The suspect did crash near a ditch nearby the school. That’s where he exited his vehicle with what I believe was a rifle and that’s when he attempted to enter the school where he was engaged by law enforcement.”
• 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.
• The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are assisting local and state authorities with the investigation.
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.
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. is like 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 mosque 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 our is backbone to have the courage to deal with and stand up to the lobbies?” he said.
School was two days from summer break
The school district said it is canceling all school activities following the shooting.
CNN’s Christina Maxouris, Paul LeBlanc, Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz, Joe Sutton, Jennifer Henderson, Jamiel Lynch, Priscilla Alvarez and Joseph Bonheim contributed to this report.