Vice President Kamala Harris has condemned the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that killed at least 14 students and a teacher on Tuesday and called on elected officials to pass reforms to ensure it “never happens again.”
“So while we don’t know all the details yet, we do know that there are parents who have lost children, families who have lost children, and their loved ones of course, and many others who may have been injured,” the vice said. the president said.
‘So, normally I would say that at a time like this, we would also naturally say that our hearts break. But our hearts keep breaking. You know, I think many, there are so many elected leaders in this room, you know what I’m talking about. Every time a tragedy like this happens, our hearts break. And our broken hearts are nothing compared to the broken hearts of those families.’
She added: “And yet it keeps happening.”
Speaking at the annual summit of the American Institute for Asia-Pacific Congressional Studies, Harris asked those in the room to specifically examine their role in enacting change.
‘I think we all know and have said to ourselves many times: “Enough is enough”. Enough is enough. As a nation, we must have the courage to act and understand the nexus between what makes reasonable and sensible public policy to ensure that something like this never happens again.’
President Biden will address the nation after 8 p.m. Tuesday night.
President Joe Biden will address the nation at 8:15 p.m. tonight after a gunman killed 15 people at a Texas elementary school, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced.
Biden ordered all flags in the White House and on federal land to fly at half-staff until sunset on May 28 in honor of the victims.
The president was briefed on the devastating mass shooting while aboard Air Force One, returning from his first trip to Asia as commander-in-chief.
Biden was originally expected to return Tuesday night with no events planned.
“He will continue to be briefed regularly as information becomes available,” his press secretary said.
“His prayers are with the families affected by this terrible event, and he will speak tonight when he returns to the White House,” Jean-Pierre added.
She called the shooting a “horrible” event.
Biden has been visiting the leaders of South Korea and Japan to reaffirm America’s commitment to allies in the region and as a warning to China that it cannot operate unchecked.
But he returns to face the deadliest school shooting of his administration, and the worst since a gun-toting teenager killed 17 people at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in February 2018.
At least 14 elementary students and a teacher were killed after an 18-year-old opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the governor told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
Thirteen students are being treated at the Uvalde Memorial Hospital, as well as a 45-year-old man who suffered a ‘chafing’.
Police walk near Robb Elementary School following fatal shooting Tuesday, May 24
At least 14 students have died along with a teacher, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced.
The 18-year-old shooter was also killed by police, authorities said.
Salvador Ramos, 18, shot his grandmother before going to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde; engaging nearby border patrol agents in a shootout; and then barricade themselves inside the school, killing 14 students and one teacher
The shooter, identified as Salvador Ramos, 18, a student at Uvalde High School, had been involved in a shootout with Border Patrol officers and barricaded himself inside the school grounds. He died after a shootout with police, Abbott said.
“Texans across the state mourn the victims of this senseless crime and the community of Uvalde,” the governor said in a statement.
‘Cecilia and I mourn this horrible loss and urge all Texans to come together to show our unwavering support for all who are suffering. We appreciate the brave first responders who worked to finally secure Robb’ Elementary School.
Abbott, along with Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, are scheduled to speak at a National Rifle Association event in Houston on Friday, just three days after the shooting.
A visibly distraught Senator Chris Murphy asked on the Senate floor: ‘What are we doing? What are we doing?’
“We have another Sandy Hook on our hands,” the Connecticut Democrat said.
He said it was a “choice” to let the numerous mass shootings continue unabated without passing any meaningful reforms.
Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced that Biden was being briefed on the shooting.
This was not inevitable. These kids weren’t unlucky,” Murphy said. “Nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking they might get shot that day.”
His fellow Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, expressed his horror at the situation before blaming Republicans for their resistance to tougher gun control measures.
‘The shooting at Robb Elementary in Texas is a horror. My heart aches for the families devastated by this tragedy and the community of Uvalde,” Schiff said.
Children are dying and we could do something about it. But the Republican Party will not stand up to the gun lobby. Embarrassing doesn’t begin to cover it.
Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the elementary school, which has 600 students enrolled, serves children in grades two, three and four.
Arredondo confirmed that the shooter acted alone.
Republican Representative Tony Gonzales, whose district took place in the shooting, said: ‘It is devastating when our innocent children become victims of senseless violence. We are devastated.
Gonzales was among the majority of Republican lawmakers who voted against expanding gun control measures at the federal level.
Robb Elementary School, which has an enrollment of 600 students, is located in Uvalde, 60 miles east of the Mexican border and 80 miles west of San Antonio.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the “monstrous” shooting before directing her anger at colleagues who have stood in the way of gun reform.
“Words are inadequate to describe the agony and outrage over the cold-blooded massacre of young schoolchildren and a teacher at Robb Elementary School today,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“This monstrous shooting robbed the future of precious children, who will never experience the joys of graduating from school, pursuing their dream career, falling in love, and even starting a family of their own.”
Referring to the multiple mass shootings in recent weeks, the Democrat continued: “Across the country, Americans are filled with righteous fury in the wake of multiple incomprehensible mass shootings in the span of just a few days.”
‘This is a crisis of existential proportions, for our children and for all Americans. For too long, some in Congress have offered empty words after these shootings while opposing all efforts to save lives,” he said.
“It’s time for everyone in Congress to heed the will of the American people and come together to enact the bipartisan, common-sense, life-saving legislation passed by the House of Representatives.”