What we know about the Texas school shooting

It’s a recurring nightmare from which America never seems to fully wake up. On Tuesday, a new school shooting broke out, 23 years after the Columbine shootings, four years after those in Santa Fe and Parkland. In October 2021, a Louisiana campus was the scene of two shootings in a week, before three people died in February at a university in Virginia. But this time, the horror has gone up a notch: after high schools and universities, it is the children of a primary school who have been the target of the attack this time. 20 minutes make the point.

What happened ?

In Uvalde, a town 130 kilometers west of San Antonio in Texas, a young man broke into Robb Elementary School at the end of the morning, which welcomes more than 500 children, nearly 90% of whom are Hispanic origin, under 10 years old. He then began to open fire in several classrooms, killing nineteen children and two teachers. More than a dozen children were also injured, according to information from Texas hospitals.

As the other children evacuate the school, the police intervene to neutralize the shooter. An exchange of fire ensues, in which the suspect dies. Two police officers are also injured.

What do we know about the perpetrator of the shooting?

Identified as Salvador Ramos, the 18-year-old, a student at Uvalde High School, allegedly “shot his grandmother” first, says Texas Governor Gerg Abbott. According to a local elected official, this woman was transported to a hospital in San Antonio. University Health Hospital in San Antonio confirmed it admitted a 66-year-old woman in “critical condition” after the shooting, without confirming her identity.

Then, equipped with a bulletproof vest and a rifle, according to Sergeant Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Security, he fled in a car which he abandoned near Robb Elementary School after having a “spectacular accident”. This is where the shooting begins. The Texas authorities have indicated that they do not know his motives, both to attack his grandmother and to open fire in a school. On one of the pictures of his Instagram account, since deleted by the platform, we can see two semi-automatic rifles.

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How did the political class react?

President Joe Biden, who was returning from his trip to Asia at the time, spoke in the early evening. “When, for God’s sake, are we going to face the gun lobby? “Launched the president, saying he was” sickened and tired “in the face of the litany of school shootings. “Too much is too much,” Vice President Kamala Harris got carried away, calling for “Action” on the subject of gun violence.

“Don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage,” Joe Biden said again, about the scourge of gun deaths in the United States. With drawn features, he called for “turning pain into action” to further regulate weapons in the country, and in particular assault weapons. “Weapons manufacturers have spent two decades aggressively promoting the assault weapons that bring them the biggest profits,” he said.

“It only happens in this country, and nowhere else. In no other country do kids go to school thinking they might get shot,” said Democratic Senator Chris Murphy. In fact, the debate over gun proliferation, which emerges with every shooting, has been circling for years in Congress. Between the financial power of the NRA, the arms lobby, the reluctance of the conservatives and the electoral stakes in many states, the hope of an ambitious law on the subject is almost nil.

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