“Please do not pick up students at this time,” a message on the district website said. “Students need to be accounted for before they are released to your care.”
“Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde,” Abbott said in a statement.
“Cecilia and I mourn this horrific loss,” he added, referring to his wife. “And we urge all Texans to come together to show our unwavering support to all who are suffering.”
Abbott, who is scheduled to address the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Houston later this week along with former President Donald Trump, said he had instructed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers to work with local law enforcement to investigate the shooting.
The politics of gun control in America quickly came into play.
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said the victims were “taken at the hands of an individual who should have never had a weapon in the first place.”
“Tragedies like this will continue to leave Texas families grieving and traumatized until our state starts prioritizing our families, our safety, and our future,” he said in a statement. Today, we grieve and renew our demand for meaningful action now to end gun violence. Texas families can’t wait any longer.
According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit that advocates for gun control, the first half of the 2021-2022 school year was the deadliest in recent history.
There have been at least 77 incidents of gunfire on school grounds across the country, resulting in 14 deaths and 45 injuries, so far this year. Six of these incidents took place in Texas.
“We are heartbroken for everyone impacted by this senseless act of violence in a predominantly Latinx community,” Rena Estala, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Students Demand Action, said in a statement.
“School is the last place where kids should have to worry about gun violence,” she added. “We need leaders at every level to prioritize gun safety now.”
But for some in Uvalde, it was too soon for political sparring.
“In our opinion, this is not going to be the time to talk about gun policy,” said Yeackle, the Uvalde County commissioner. “There’ll be plenty of time for that after. Right now, feelings are so raw.”
(Los Angeles Times staff writers Hayley Smith in Los Angeles and Courtney Subramanian in Washington contributed to this report.)©2022 Los Angeles Times. Visit at latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.