A gunman killed 14 students and a teacher at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
“What happened in Uvalde is a horrific tragedy," Abbott said.
Police said the gunman, an 18-year-old man, was killed at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, which is about 85 miles west of San Antonio.
President Joe Biden was set to address the nation on Tuesday night shortly after returning to the White House from a five-day trip to Asia that was bookended by a “horrific” mass tragedy. Biden was on Air Force One on Tuesday afternoon when officials revealed details about the shooting.
He had departed for Asia last week just two days after he met with victims’ families after a hate-motivated shooter killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo grocery store. The back-to-back tragedies served as a sobering reminder of the frequency and brutality of the American epidemic of mass gun violence.
Abbott said the gunman shot his grandmother before going into the school. Abbott added that the shooter had a handgun and that it was possible he had a rifle. It's believed the gunman acted alone.
The governor said the shooter was a student at Uvalde High School and a U.S. citizen.
The White House announced on Tuesday that President Joe Biden was scheduled to deliver remarks on the tragedy at 8:15 p.m. ET:
Abbott has instructed the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Rangers to assist local authorities in investigating the shooting. Robb Elementary has classes for children in 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade.
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the situation.
"His prayers are with the families impacted by this awful event," White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said.
Biden has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff out of respect for the victims of the school shooting.