Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gave a press conference on Wednesday to brief reporters on the details of the mass shooting that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Tuesday. The assault took the lives of 19 children and two teachers. The 18-year-old gunman was shot to death by a Border Patrol agent. He had shot his grandmother shortly before carrying out the attack.
The governor gave additional information about the incident and answered questions about steps the government is taking to prevent further atrocities. He opened the conference by expressing outrage at the killer’s violent act. “It is intolerable and it is unacceptable for us to have in the state anybody who would kill little kids,” he fumed.
“Children are a blessing. God teaches us that. They’re filled with laughter, innocence, and joy. Their love is a gift that parents get to unwrap every single day. Parents in Uvalde had that gift taken away from them, stolen by a demented person. Days before yesterday, when these children were at school, some were receiving awards for perfect attendance. These kids will never attend school again. To say the least. Uvalde has been shaken to its core. Families are broken apart. Hearts are forever shattered. All Texans are grieving with the people of Uvalde, and people are rightfully angry about what has happened.”
The governor also lauded law enforcement for stopping the shooter from taking more lives. “But the reality is as horrible as what happened, it could have been worse,” he said. “The reason it was not worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do. They showed amazing courage by running toward gunfire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives.”
Abbott then gave the chronology of the events that led up to the shooting. He told reporters that the gunman first “shot his grandmother in the face” and then fled. His grandmother contacted law enforcement shortly after. The shooter then had a car accident right outside of Robb Elementary school. He ran into the building and encountered a school officer or officers who engaged in a gunfight with him.
“The gunman then entered a back door and went down two short hallways and then into a classroom on the left-hand side,” Abbott explained.
He added, “Border Patrol Consolidated ISD officers, police, sheriffs, and DPS officers converged on that classroom and a Border Patrol officer killed the gunman.”
The governor then described the killer and his background, noting that he was a high school dropout with “no criminal history” that has been identified. “He may have had a juvenile record, but that is yet to be determined,” Abbott said, also noting that “there was no known mental health history of the gunman.”
The shooter used one weapon: an AR-15 shooting .223 rounds. Abbott explained that “there was no meaningful forewarning of his crime” except a post on Facebook that the gunman posted 30 minutes before beginning his rampage. Abbott said:
“The first post … he said, ‘I’m going to shoot my grandmother.’ The second post was ‘I shot my grandmother.’ The third post, maybe less than 15 minutes before arriving at the school, was ‘I’m going to shoot an elementary school.’”
The governor said the mayor of Uvalde told him that they “have a problem with mental health illness in this community,” and described the “magnitude of the mental health challenges that they are facing in the community.”
As Gov. Abbott passed the microphone to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke disrupted the conference ostensibly to take the officials to task for not doing enough to prevent the shooting. He was promptly escorted out as the officials and people in the audience berated him.
O’Rourke’s outburst was the latest example of how Democrats are blaming the mass shooting on a lack of more restrictive gun control laws. High-profile leftists have been calling for a ban on “assault weapons” and universal background checks since the news broke about the shooting yesterday. President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats have been trying to pass federal restrictions on guns, but have met with resistance from Republicans and some within the Democratic ranks. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recently told his colleagues on the Senate floor that they would not be bringing gun control proposals to the floor because there won’t be enough GOP support for any to pass at this time.
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