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UVALDE, TX — Twenty-one people are dead, including 19 children, and two teachers, after a gunman opened fire inside a classroom at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, just two days before the district's summer break.
An 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself inside a single classroom and "began shooting anyone that was in his way," authorities said Wednesday in detailing the latest mass killing to rock the U.S.
The killer "barricaded himself by locking the door and just started shooting children and teachers that were inside that classroom," Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety said. "It just shows you the complete evil of the shooter."
The deceased children were all in the same fourth-grade classroom at Robb Elementary.
Law enforcement officers eventually broke into the classroom and killed the gunman, who used an AR-style rifle. A law enforcement source told the Associated Press that a Border Patrol agent who was working near Robb Elementary School rushed into the school when the shooting began and killed the gunman without waiting for backup.
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The shooter, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement following the deadly attack. He was reportedly a resident in the area and a student at a local high school. He is said to have acted alone in the shooting, and his relationship to the elementary school was not immediately disclosed.
Officials have identified the suspected Texas school shooter as Salvador Ramos. PHOTO: Texas Department of Public Safety.
Ramos had hinted on social media that an attack could be coming, suggesting that "kids should watch out," according to state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who said he had been briefed by state police.
About 30 minutes before the shooting, Ramos made three social media posts. According to Governor Greg Abbott, Ramos posted that he was going to shoot his grandmother, then that he had shot the woman, and finally that he was going to shoot an elementary school.
Sen. Gutierrez said the suspect shot his grandmother before heading to the school with two military-style rifles he had purchased on his birthday.
"That was the first thing he did on his 18th birthday," Gutierrez said.
Ramos legally bought two AR-style rifles just days before the attack.
One of the guns was purchased at a federally licensed dealer in the Uvalde area on May 17, according to Sen. John Whitmire. Ramos bought 375 rounds of ammunition the next day, then purchased the second rifle on May 20.
On that day, an Instagram account appearing to belong to the gunman shared a photo of two AR-style rifles.
Investigators did not immediately disclose a motive behind the deadly massacre.
Abbott said Ramos had "no known mental health history," and a criminal history had not been identified either. He said there was "no meaningful forewarning of a crime," beyond posts on Facebook shortly before the attack.
The posts, starting about 30 minutes before the shooting, included: "I'm going to shoot my grandmother," "I shot my grandmother," and "I'm going to shoot an elementary school," Abbott said.
"Evil swept across Uvalde yesterday," Abbott added.
Police have not formally identified the victims of the mass shooting, but some family members are sharing pictures.
One of the victims was identified as 10-year-old Xavier Lopez, a student at the school. His mother had just attended an awards ceremony at the school, not realizing it would be the last time she would see him.
Family members identified 10-year-old Xavier Lopez as one of the victims in the Uvalde, Texas school shooting.
Uziyah Garcia, 8, was also among those killed, according to his grandfather, Manny Renfro.
"The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known," Renfro said. "I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid."
Family members said 8-year-old Uziyah Garcia was among the 19 killed in a South Texas school shooting.
Elijah Cruz Torrez, also 10, did not want to go to school Tuesday, but her family told her she had to. The 4th-grade student’s grandfather told Fox News she was missing. They later confirmed she did not survive the shooting.
Elijah Cruz Torres, a 10-year-old student at Robb Elementary School, was among the students killed in the school shooting on May 24, 2022. (Courtesy of the family)
Annabelle Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10, was also among the victims of Tuesday's horrific incident. The girl's father confirmed with FOX 11's sister station in Austin that she was killed in the shooting.
Mireles was an educator for 17 years. She is being remembered as a loving mother and wife.
Eva Mireles, a fouth-grade teacher, has been identified as one of the victims in the deadly Uvalde, Texas school shooting. PHOTO: Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District
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Irma Garcia was also a fourth-grade teacher killed. Family members said both Garcia and Mireles died trying to protect their students.
Garcia taught for 23 years. Her bio on the school's website states she was the mother of four children, loved to listen to music and loved to BBQ with her husband of 24 years.
Fourth grade teacher Irma Garcia died trying to protect her students alongside teacher Eva Mireles.
Robb Elementary school was placed under lockdown around 11:43 a.m. local time Tuesday morning as law enforcement responded to an "active shooter."
"There is an active shooter at Robb Elementary. Law enforcement is on site," the school posted on Facebook. "Your cooperation is needed at this time by not visiting the campus."
Multiple fatalities reported as a result of a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. (Credit: Bill Melugin, FOX News)
The school later posted on Facebook alerting parents that students were being transported to the Willie DeLeon Civic Center for reunification. Additionally, all district and campus activities, after-school programs and events, were canceled for the remainder of the day. Officials later stated that the school would remain closed through the remainder of the school year, the last day was supposed to be on Thursday.
Robb Elementary School has an enrollment of just under 600 students.
An officer walks outside of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022. - An 18-year-old gunman killed 14 children and a teacher at an elementary school in Texas on Tuesday, according to the state's governor, in the nation's deadliest s
President Joe Biden returned to the U.S. from Asia following the news of the deadly school shooting. Biden, during Tuesday night's address, called on lawmakers to take action and push for new gun restrictions after finding out the shooting killed more than a dozen school children.
"When in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?" Biden said.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott released the following statement following news of the school shooting:
"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."
Tuesday's shooting was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history and occurred four years after a gunman fatally shot 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area. It was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. grade-school since the shocking attack in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, almost a decade ago.
Robb Elementary is about 80 miles west of San Antonio. Uvalde is home to about 16,000 people and is the seat of government for Uvalde County. The town is about 75 miles from the border with Mexico.
FOX News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.