On May 24, Uvalde, Texas, changed forever. The close-knit community is grieving after a teenage gunman took the lives of 21 people at Robb Elementary School. The attacker was killed at the scene by law enforcement.
CNN reports that the shooter has been identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. One of the first things he did after his 18th birthday was legally purchased two AR-15-type rifles and 375 rounds of ammunition. Before he took his grandmother’s car to the ill-fated scene, he shot her in the face.
After crashing the car outside the school, Ramos was on the premises for 40–60 minutes before the tragedy unfolded. He interacted with school resource officers, and this activity is being investigated. He entered the school through a back door and then walked into a classroom where he opened fire. Ramos killed two teachers and 19 children, most of whom were around ten years old. Seventeen others were also injured.
More than 100 first responders converged on the scene, and a Border Patrol Agent killed Ramos. One of these responders discovered his daughter was among the dead. One father was stopped from seeing his son’s body by a ranger who said the 10-year-old boy was “unrecognizable.”
Jason Owens, the Border Patrol’s Del Rio sector commander, called the scene “disturbing.” He had to take his unit to a local office for clean uniforms as theirs were covered in blood. He further commented, “What this person did was evil.”
Nine victims were released to funeral homes on Wednesday, May 25, and the remaining twelve will be released on Thursday, May 26. The shooter’s 66-year-old grandmother remains hospitalized and is in serious condition.
President Biden and the First Lady will visit the families of the victims and the community within the coming days. They hope to bring at least some comfort to the grieving town. The President commented, “As a nation, we must all be there for them.” He also posed the question of what must be done to prevent such carnage in the future.
It is a valid question, albeit one that has gone unanswered for a while.