CHICAGO — City and state leaders are reacting to a mass shooting at a southwest Texas elementary school Tuesday that has left 19 children and two adults dead.
Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton:
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker:
President of Cook County Board of Commissioners Toni Preckwinkle:
Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza:
“I am horrified by this latest mass shooting targeting schoolchildren. These tragedies have become all too common. As a parent, the idea of having a child killed while at school – a place that is meant to be the safest space for our kids – is a horrific nightmare. My heart and prayers are with the families of the 14 students who are living this nightmare, and the family of the teacher killed. May the entire school community be supported as it grapples with the lasting trauma this day will bring. And may this serve as a reminder to us all that gun violence is a public health crisis and change is urgently needed.”
Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis (13th District):
Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey:
Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (7th District):
Illinois State Representative and Chicago mayoral candidate Kam Buckner:
Mayor of Aurora and Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Richard C. Irvin:
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul:
“My heart breaks for the families in Texas. Our children deserve better. No child, wherever they are, should have to live in a world plagued by gun violence.”
Illinois Congresswoman Marie Newman (3rd District):
“I have no words to convey the immense pain that our entire nation is feeling right now as we collectively mourn the loss of 14 students and a teacher who were taken from us today in a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. My heart and prayers are with the friends, families and loved ones of those lost as well as those who were injured in this horrific, vile attack.
“But let me be crystal clear, prayers are not enough. Ten days ago, we lost 10 Americans to a gunman in Buffalo. Last month, 29 people were injured in a mass shooting in a New York City subway attack. Today, it’s 14 elementary school students and a teacher. In total, there have been 211 reported mass shootings in 2022 alone. Make no mistake, this is an epidemic, and it is one that is unique to the United States of America.
“I cannot understand how the hell any GOP member of Congress can look at today’s news and still believe that there is nothing Congress can do to end these school shootings. We need real action, and we need it right now.
“As the former spokesperson and volunteer for Moms Demand Action, I have been on the frontlines of the gun safety movement for years now. I will not stop fighting to protect our children and neither will the millions of Americans who rightfully understand that it is damn time for Congress to pass common-sense, long-overdue gun safety legislation so that we can finally save lives. This is going to end. Members of Congress, activists, survivors and countless families will organize and fill the halls of Congress, the offices of public leaders and our public streets and we will not leave until the Senate takes action.”
US Senator Tammy Duckworth:
Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot:
“I am shocked and horrified to learn that over one dozen young children senselessly lost their lives in a Texas elementary school today. My family and I are sending prayers to the entire Uvalde community and the families that sent their child to school today unaware that they would not be coming home. As a nation, we simply cannot allow this to continue. Every single day, children and young people are losing their lives to people who do not value the sanctity of life and take advantage of the unabated presence of firearms in our communities. Now more than ever, we must push our legislators to pass sweeping and effective gun control measures. Our children’s lives depend on it.”
Congresswoman Robin Kelly (2nd District):
Congressman Sean Casten (6th District):
Congressman Chuy García (4th District):
Congressman Bill Foster (11th District):
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin:
Congressman Brad Schneider (10th District):
Congressman Adam Kinzinger (16th District):
More details from Associated Press below:
UVALDE, Texas (AP) — An 18-year-old gunman opened fire Tuesday at a Texas elementary school, killing 14 children, one teacher and injuring others, Gov. Greg Abbott said, and the gunman was dead.
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.
The gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde with a handgun and possibly a rifle, Abbott said. Officials have not revealed a motive for the shooting, but said the shooter was a resident of the community that’s about 85 miles (135 kilometers) west of San Antonio.
Abbott said the shooter was likely killed by responding officers but that the events were still being investigated. Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Chief of Police Pete Arredondo said at a news conference that the gunman acted alone.
It was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history. It occurred four years after a gunman fatally shot 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area and 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.
”He shot and killed, horrifically, incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher,” said the governor, adding that two officers were shot and wounded but were expected to survive.
It was not immediately clear how many people, in addition to the dead, were wounded, but Arredondo said there were “several injuries.” Earlier, Uvalde Memorial Hospital said 13 children were taken there. Another hospital reported a 66-year-old woman was in critical condition.
Robb Elementary School has an enrollment of just under 600 students, and Arredondo said it serves students in the second, third and fourth grade. He did not provide ages of the children who were shot.
A heavy police presence surrounded the school Tuesday afternoon, with officers in heavy vests diverting traffic and FBI agents coming and going from the building.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden has been briefed on the school shooting on Air Force One as he returns from a five-day trip to Asia and would continue to receive updates. Jean-Pierre said Biden will deliver remarks Tuesday evening at the White House.
Uvalde is home to about 16,000 people and is the seat of government for Uvalde County. The town is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the border with Mexico. Robb Elementary is in a mostly residential neighborhood of modest homes.
A Border Patrol agent who was among the first law enforcement officers on scene was shot and wounded by the gunman. The agent is hospitalized in good condition, according to a federal law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.
The tragedy in Uvalde added to a grim tally of mass shootings in Texas that have been among the deadliest in the U.S. over the past five years. One year before the Santa Fe school shooting in 2018, a gunman at Texas church killed more than two dozen people during a Sunday service in the small town of Sutherland Springs. In 2019, another gunman at a Walmart in El Paso killed 23 people in a racist attack.
The shooting came days before the National Rifle Association annual convention was set to begin in Houston. Abbott and both of Texas’ U.S. senators were among elected Republican officials who were the scheduled speakers at a Friday leadership forum sponsored by the NRA’s lobbying arm.