An 18-year-old gunman has shot dead at least 19 children and two adults at a Texas primary school.
The mass shooting on Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde – a small, predominantly Latino town – is the latest in string of mass shootings, although it is the deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade.
The shooting has spurred an outpouring of grief and rage, with many leading politicians pleading for gun control legislation to be enacted. Here are the latest reactions:
US President Joe Biden
Returning from his five-day trip to Asia, Biden pleaded for action to address gun violence after years of failure, and blamed firearm manufacturers and their supporters for blocking legislation in Washington, DC.
“It’s time to turn this pain into action for every parent, for every citizen of this country,” Biden said, his voice heavy with emotion. “It’s time for those who obstruct or delay or block common-sense gun laws – we need to let you know that we will not forget.”
The White House ordered flags to be flown at half-mast in mourning for the victims
“As a nation we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” Biden said. “When in God’s name are we going to do what has to be done? Why are we willing to live with this carnage?”
Pope Francis said he was “heartbroken” over the school shooting.
“I am left heartbroken by the massacre in the elementary school in Texas. I pray for the children, for the adults killed and for their families,” the Argentinian pontiff said after his weekly general audience.
“It is time to say enough to indiscriminate arms trafficking. Let us all commit to ensuring such tragedies can no longer take place.”
Antonio Guterres, United Nations secretary-general
“I’m deeply saddened by the heinous mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas,” Guterres wrote on Twitter. “It is particularly heart-wrenching that most of the victims are children. My heart goes out to the families & loved ones of the victims and to the community of Uvalde.”
I’m deeply saddened by the heinous mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas. It is particularly heart-wrenching that most of the victims are children.
My heart goes out to the families & loved ones of the victims and to the community of Uvalde.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) May 25, 2022
Greg Abbott, Texas governor
Abbott said Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of “this senseless crime”.
“We thank the courageous first responders who worked to finally secure Robb Elementary School,” he said in a statement.
This can’t be posted too many times pic.twitter.com/zYr98T1nIb
— Dara Moss (@DaraHasWords) May 25, 2022
Nancy Pelosi, House speaker
Pelosi says it is time for Congress to join together to enact gun control legislation after what she described as the “monstrous” shooting in Uvalde.
“For too long, some in Congress have offered hollow words … while opposing all efforts to save lives. It is time for all in Congress to heed the will of the American people and join in enacting the House-passed bipartisan, common-sense, life-saving legislation into law,” she said in a statement.
Kamala Harris, vice president
Harris said the anger and sadness from people reacting to the school shooting is nothing compared with the broken hearts of the families of the victims.
“We have to have the courage to take action … to ensure something like this never happens again,” she said.
Barack Obama, former US president
Obama was in office during the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, when a gunman killed 26 people – including 20 children. Obama referred to that day as the darkest of his administration. In a statement on Tuesday, Obama said it is “long past time for any action”.
“Michelle and I grieve with the families in Uvalde, who are experiencing pain no one should have to bear,” he said. “We’re also angry for them. Nearly ten years after Sandy Hook- and ten days after Buffalo – our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies.”
My tia did not make it, she sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom, i beg of you to keep my family including all of her family in y’all’s prayers , IRMA GARCIA IS HER NAME and she died a HERO. she was loved by many and will truly be missed.❤️🔥 pic.twitter.com/zM54TbooZZ
— Joey.mtz (@Joeymtz4) May 25, 2022
Chris Murphy, Democrat senator from Connecticut
Murphy made an impassioned appeal for concrete action to prevent further violence.
“This isn’t inevitable, these kids weren’t unlucky. This only happens in this country and nowhere else. Nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking that they might be shot that day,” Murphy said on the Senate floor in Washington, DC.
“I’m here on this floor to beg, to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues: Find a path forward here. Work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely.”
Hillary Clinton, former presidential candidate
“Thoughts and prayers are not enough,” Clinton wrote on Twitter. “We simply need legislators willing to stop the scourge of gun violence in America that is murdering our children.”
Thoughts and prayers are not enough.
After years of nothing else, we are becoming a nation of anguished screams.
We simply need legislators willing to stop the scourge of gun violence in America that is murdering our children.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 24, 2022
Her husband and former president Bill Clinton released a separate statement and called on elected leaders to “find common-sense ways to keep our children and communities safe”.
“We owe these families – and the families who have experienced similar losses, including as recently as last week in Buffalo – action,” he said. “Enough is enough.”
Lebron James, basketball player
The Los Angeles Lakers star took to Twitter to express his emotions, imploring for change to gun regulation laws.
“My thoughts and prayers goes out to the families of love ones loss & injured at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX! Like when is enough enough man!!! These are kids and we keep putting them in harms way at school. Like seriously “AT SCHOOL” where it’s suppose to be the safest!”
My thoughts and prayers goes out to the families of love ones loss & injured at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX! Like when is enough enough man!!! These are kids and we keep putting them in harms way at school. Like seriously "AT SCHOOL" where it's suppose to be the safest!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 24, 2022
Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered his condolences to the relatives of the victims who were shot and killed at the school.
“Our thoughts are with all those affected by this horrific attack”, Johnson told parliament ahead of the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs).
UK foreign secretary Liz Truss said she was “horrified” and added that her thoughts were “with the people of Texas and all those affected by this dreadful attack”.
Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin offered her condolences to the families of the victims and to the small Texan community.
“My heart goes out to all who lost their children and loved ones during the mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas,” she tweeted.
Ankara has expressed sympathy to the people affected in the shooting.
“We convey our condolences to the people of the US, and wish a speedy recovery to those injured,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a written statement.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett offered condolences to the families of the victims.
“Israel mourns together with the American people the horrific murder of innocent children and teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Our prayers are with the victims, their families and the American people,” Bennett wrote on Twitter.
Israel mourns together with the American people the horrific murder of innocent children and teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Our prayers are with the victims, their families and the American people.
— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) May 25, 2022
Foreign minister Yair Lapid said he was “devastated to learn of the horrific shooting in Texas”.
France shares Americans’ “rage” over the Texas school shooting, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a tweet, and decried the attack as “cowardly”.
“Children and teachers were murdered in a cowardly attack in their Texas school. We share the shock and grief of the American people, and the rage of those who are fighting to end the violence,” he said.
19 victims were under age 10. Children and teachers were murdered in a cowardly attack in their Texas school. We share the shock and grief of the American people, and the rage of those who are fighting to end the violence.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 25, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy said he was “deeply saddened by the news of the murder of innocent children in Texas”.
Deeply saddened by the news of the murder of innocent children in Texas. Sincere condolences to the families of the victims, the people of the US and @POTUS over this tragedy. The people of Ukraine share the pain of the relatives and friends of the victims and all Americans.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) May 25, 2022
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, “As a nation that goes through the pain of losing innocent young lives, Ukraine shares the pain of our US friends.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has expressed his condolences to the bereaved and injured.
“Our thoughts are with the injured and the bereaved of the victims of this inconceivable massacre for which hardly any words can be found,” he wrote on Twitter in English.
He expressed his condolences to Biden and “our American friends.”
Terrible news are reaching us this morning from a school in #Uvalde, #Texas. Our thoughts are with the injured and the bereaved of the victims of this inconceivable massacre for which hardly any words can be found. Our condolence go out to you, @POTUS, and our American friends.
— Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (@Bundeskanzler) May 25, 2022
Social Democrat leader Saskia Esken wrote on Twitter of “inconceivable grief and inconceivable rage” at the killings.
“Once again innocent people, yes: children! have become victims of a violent crime in the USA,” she said. “They are also victims of those who, against all reason, prevent stricter regulation of gun ownership!”
In a statement, Qatar’s ministry of foreign affairs condemned the school shooting, which it described as a “heinous crime”.
The statement reiterated Qatar’s position on rejecting violence and criminal acts, and expressed condolences to the families of the victims, and to the government and people of the US.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his sadness over the shooting and sent his condolences to the “parents, families, friends, classmates, and coworkers whose lives have forever changed”.
My heart breaks for everyone affected by the horrific shooting in Texas today. I’m thinking of the parents, the families, the friends, the classmates, and the coworkers whose lives have been forever changed – Canadians are mourning with you, and are here for you.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 24, 2022