18-year-old opens fire at Texas school, killing 21

Washington: Nineteen young children and two adults have died in a suspected shooting at a South Texas elementary school. The 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in the town of Uvalde before being killed by law enforcement, officials said. Investigators say the suspect was armed with a handgun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazines. The teenager is suspected of shooting his grandmother at the start of the rampage, the BBC has reported.

According to local media, he may have been a local high school student.

Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo said the shooting began at 11:32 a.m. Tuesday and investigators believe the assailant “acted alone during this heinous crime.” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the shooter, whom he named Salvador Ramos, abandoned a vehicle before entering the school to open fire in a “horrifying and incomprehensible” manner.

One of the adults killed was a teacher, who was named in US media as Eva Mireles. Her page on the school district’s website said she had a daughter in college and loved running and hiking. Just under 500 people are enrolled in the predominantly Hispanic school about 135 km west of the city of San Antonio. Robb Elementary teaches second, third and fourth graders, ages seven to 10. The Associated Press news agency reports that a US Border Patrol official who was nearby when the shooting began rushed into the school and shot and killed the shooter, who was behind a barricade.

Border Patrol is a federal agency that monitors ports of entry into the United States. Uvalde, which is less than 80 miles from the border with Mexico, is home to a border patrol post.

Two border agents were reportedly shot during an exchange with the shooter. An officer was shot in the head, officials said, adding that both are now in stable condition in hospital.

According to CBS News, the assailant was wearing a bulletproof vest during the attack. Another 18-year-old suspected of attacking a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, on May 14 was also wearing a bulletproof vest and a semi-automatic rifle, both of which are commercially available in the United States.