Nineteen pupils aged between seven and 11 years old have been shot dead along with two of their teachers by an 18-year-old gunman who has also been killed in the latest school mass shooting to blight America – the deadliest since Sandy Hook almost a decade ago.
Salvador Ramos – a fast food worker described as a lonely child who was bullied for his lisp and for wearing eyeliner – carried out the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, shortly before midday Tuesday after shooting his grandmother at a house elsewhere in the city.
Police and officials said Ramos, who had purchased a pair of rifles for his 18th birthday and showed them off on social media, fled the scene of the first shooting in a car armed with a handgun, ‘possibly’ a rifle, and wearing body armor. He ditched the vehicle close to the school, went inside and ‘started shooting children, teachers, whoever was in his way.’
Two boys – Xavier Lopez, 10, and nine-year-old Uziyah Garcia – and four girls – Makenna Elrod, 10, Amerie Jo Garcia, 10, Eliahana Torres, also 10, and Ellie, whose age and surname were not immediately available – were among those he killed. Also fatally shot were two teachers: Eva Mireles, 44, and Irma Garcia, a mother-of-four.
Cops rushed to the scene to reports of an armed man who had crashed a car near the school. Also on the scene were Border Patrol agents from a nearby outpost, one of whom got into a firefight with Ramos and shot him dead. An agent was wounded in the shoot-out but was able to walk himself out of the school, a local spokesman said.