The shooter’s online posts were made on Facebook, the governor said, but spokespeople for Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms (FB.O), said they were private one-to-one messages discovered after the shooting. The company declined to say who received the messages or which of Meta’s platforms, such as Messenger or Instagram, was used to send them.
Victims’ loved ones took to social media to express anguish over the loss of children who never came home from school.
“We told her we loved her and would pick her up after school,” Kimberly Mata-Rubio posted on Facebook in a remembrance of her daughter, Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, a fourth-grade honor student. “We had no idea this was goodbye.” read more
GUN CONTROL DEBATE
Investigators have not suggested a motive for the shooting, and little about the suspect’s background immediately came to light.
The suspect’s mother, Adriana Reyes, was quoted in an interview with the British-based news site DailyMail.com describing her son as someone who “kept to himself and didn’t have many friends.”
Ten days earlier an avowed white supremacist shot 13 people at a supermarket in a mostly Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, re-igniting a national debate over U.S. gun laws.
In a sign of the charged political atmosphere, Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate challenging Abbott in a November election, interrupted the news conference to confront the governorover the state’s permissive gun laws, shouting “You are doing nothing!” read more
Several officials gathered on stage around the governor yelled at O’Rourke. “You’re a sick son of a bitch who would come to a deal like this to make a political issue,” one of them said, though it was not clear who.
O’Rourke was escorted from the building and spoke to reporters outside. He said it was “insane” that an 18-year-old was legally permitted to acquire a semi-automatic rifle and vowed to pursue gun restrictions.
Abbott said stringent gun laws do not prevent violence, citing states such as New York. He said policy-makers should instead focus on mental health treatment and prevention.
U.S. President Joe Biden, calling for new gun safety restrictions in a nationally televised address on Tuesday evening, is planning a trip to Texas soon, a senior administration official said. read more
New legislation appeared unlikely to pass in Washington. Virtually all Republicans in Congress oppose tighter gun controls, and there was no sign the latest massacre would alter the equation.
The National Rifle Association’s annual meeting starts on Friday in Houston, where Republicans including Abbott, Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and former President Donald Trump were scheduled to address the gun rights group.
In a statement, the NRA expressed sympathy for the victims but said the event would go on as planned.
World leaders expressed shock and sorrow. Pope Francis on Wednesday said he was “heartbroken” and called for an end to “the indiscriminate trafficking of weapons.”
Shootings have become so commonplace in American schools that data shows a gun being fired almost every day this year on school property, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
The Texas rampage stands as the deadliest U.S. school shooting since a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012.
Uvalde, deep in the state’s Hill Country region, has about 16,000 residents, nearly 80% of them Hispanic or Latino, according to U.S. Census data.
By early evening, the elementary school remained cordoned off with crime-scene tape, as passers-by walked up periodically to hand off flowers and stuffed animals to a police officer who carried it over to a makeshift memorial taking shape near the building.