U.S. Sen. John Cornyn says that as a parent himself, the pain the parents of the children shot to death at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school must be unimaginable.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, 19 children and two teachers were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, 80 miles west of San Antonio.

DPS says an 18-year-old man walked into the school and opened fire with a handgun killing 14 students and a teacher. Officials at a local hospital say another two people were killed, and dozens more are being treated for injuries. Police say the shooter is dead. CNN reports the young man shot his grandmother before the mass shooting. She remains hospitalized in critical condition.

President Biden urged Americans to turn its collective pain into political action following the deadliest elementary school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012.

Sen. Cornyn, the senior senator for Texas, issued this statement:

“The shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde is every parent and teacher’s worst nightmare. No parent, child, or teacher should ever have to wonder whether it’s safe to go to school.”

“This is an excruciatingly difficult time for the tight-knit Uvalde community and for all Texans as we mourn this terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to those in the hospital receiving care and to the loved ones of those who lost their lives. As a parent, the pain they must be feeling is unimaginable.”

“I am in touch with local officials in Uvalde and will continue to monitor the situation. I’m grateful to law enforcement and everyone who worked to stop the shooter and to the medical staff working now to prevent further loss of life.”

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, the junior senator for Texas, released the following statement before all the deaths were confirmed:

“Today is a dark day. We’re all completely sickened and heartbroken. As of now, 15 innocent people are dead. 14 were children. Others are still in critical condition or otherwise injured, and we are all praying for each of them. I’m grateful for the heroes in law enforcement and first responders who responded to the scene and stopped the killer.

“Heidi and I are lifting up in prayer the entire Uvalde community during this devastating time and we mourn the lives that were taken by this act of evil. None of us can imagine the anguish the parents in Uvalde are going through. Our hearts go out to them.

“We’ve seen too many of these shootings. No parent should have to bear the pain of burying their child. We need to come together, as one nation, and support Uvalde as they try to heal from this devastating loss.”

Gov. Greg Abbott issued this statement:

“Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde. Cecilia and I mourn this horrific loss and we urge all Texans to come together to show our unwavering support to all who are suffering. We thank the courageous first responders who worked to finally secure Robb Elementary School. I have instructed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers to work with local law enforcement to fully investigate this crime. The Texas Division of Emergency Management is charged with providing local officials all resources necessary to respond to this tragedy as the State of Texas works to ensure the community has what it needs to heal.”

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest Latino civil rights group in the country, said it was sending officials to Uvalde and Washington, D.C.

“LULAC is grief-stricken and outraged at the senseless violence targeting our children and teachers in schools. Investigators are finding that some of these shooters are being radicalized by content online, and this is now a domestic terrorism issue confronting the FBI and our nation,” said Domingo Garcia, LULAC’s national president.

“Words alone are inadequate, and the political blame game is not the solution. We are witnessing an emerging pattern of attackers fixated on schools, and we must do more to keep our children, teachers, and staff safe. LULAC stands ready to work with our elected officials, medical experts, and law enforcement to deal with this growing threat.”

Rodolfo Rosales Jr., is LULAC’s state director in Texas. He said:

“This is a nightmare again in our nation, this time in Texas, and we are all too familiar with the pattern. Shock and anger over the killing of children. Endless debate and promises to do more, then our memories fade, and people move on, except for the victims and their devastated families. Texas LULAC is already in contact with leaders and members in the area of the shooting and is lending support to assist and comfort those innocent people who have been affected.”

Elsie Valdes-Ramos is LULAC’s national vice-president for Women. She said:

“The women of LULAC across America and Puerto Rico are deeply saddened as mothers and caretakers in our families over this horrible attack on the children, teachers, and others at the school. Word cannot fully express our shared pain at this time, and we vow to have the community of Uvalde in our thoughts and prayers. As importantly, we will add our voice and active endorsement to efforts that can help us learn what happened and what else we can do to prevent armed attacks by individuals who are clearly mentally ill.”

Rio Grande Valley school districts offered their deepest and sincerest condolences to Uvalde CISD and the Uvalde community.

IDEA Public Schools said: “Our hearts are with the people of Uvalde, Texas. IDEA Public Schools condemns all acts of violence and is deeply saddened by the tragic events unfolding at Robb Elementary School in Central Texas. As parents and educators, we urge everyone to take a stand against gun violence in schools. Every child deserves a safe school environment where they can learn and grow each day.”

Harlingen CISD said: “We are heartbroken about the tragedy that occurred today at Uvalde CISD where precious lives were taken. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and community of Uvalde.”

Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo, superintendent of Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, said: “The entire state and nation is mourning innocent lives lost today in Uvalde. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those affected by this horrific event. Schools are the heart and soul of each community and should be safe havens for learning and growth. Let’s come together to pray for our youth, and fellow educators, and continue to work as one family for the safety of all. Prayers for strength and love to the Uvalde community.”

Vanguard Academy said: “Vanguard Academy Stands together in prayer for the community of Uvalde. We pray for healing and comfort during this difficult time.” In its condolences, the charter school quoted Psalm 34.18: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

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