Massacre at American elementary school: 18-year-old gunman shoots 19 children

Massacre in Texas: 15 minutes before the crime, rioters told girls from Frankfurt their plan

At least 19 children and two teachers were killed Tuesday in a massacre at a Texas elementary school. The children killed were so disfigured that the parents had to provide DNA samples for identification. The perpetrator apparently announced his action to a girl from Frankfurt.

The most important things in an instant:

Following the massacre at a public school in the US state of Texas, the whole country is in shock. At least 19 children were killed after an 18-year-old opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, near San Antonio, during class on Tuesday. The gunman raged until security forces shot him, according to media reports.

It is one of the deadliest school massacres in American history. Only the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut killed more people.

The attacker has previously announced his action to a girl from Frankfurt on Facebook

According to a CNN report, the perpetrator announced his action shortly before. That’s why he wrote to a 15-year-old from Frankfurt on Facebook that he had just shot his grandmother in the head. Then he wrote, “Now I have to shoot up an elementary school.”

According to the report, the girl and the perpetrator met on May 9 on the Internet via a social network and have been in contact since then. According to investigators, he dropped the news that he was about to “shoot up” a school just about 15 minutes before arriving at Robb Elementary School.

Texas Gov. Greg Abott said at a news conference in Uvalde: “The reality is, just as horrible as it happened, it could have been worse.” He also thanked emergency services for their prompt action. “They showed incredible courage by running into the shot just to save lives,” he said of the emergency. “It’s a fact that their quick response on the spot has enabled them to respond to and eliminate the gunman. They were able to save lives.” Unfortunately, there was not enough life.

Certificates were to be handed out on the day of the murder

Over time, more and more depressing details emerge. Like, for example, that students between the ages of seven and ten were only two days away from their long-awaited vacation. To celebrate the week of the awards ceremony, the motto “Footloose and Fancy” (literally: “unbound and chic”, also translated as “free and unbound”) was planned for May 24, as the British news portal “The Telegraph”. reported. The elementary school kids would have dressed extra smart for the day and combined them with “fun and unusual” shoes.

A visit to the zoo and a talent show were also planned as program items. In addition, students received their evidence on Tuesday. But these activities should not happen again. For about 11:30 a.m., the perpetrator stormed into the elementary school in the U.S. state of Texas and opened the carnage in a single classroom.

To identify victims: relatives must provide DNA samples

More than twelve hours after the crime, the relatives were still unclear about where the individual students were. According to the New York Times, parents had to provide DNA samples to determine their relationship to the victims. Many children were taken to nearby hospitals with serious injuries. Some of the victims were so disfigured that their identity could only be fully clarified with DNA samples.

According to investigators, the shooter entered the elementary school in the small town on Tuesday afternoon (local time) and shot himself. At least two adults were also killed in the incident. On Wednesday, it was still unclear whether the shooter was also counted among the adults killed.

The perpetrator is said to have changed in the past few days

At first, little was known about the background to the crime in Uvalde. Investigators kept a low profile. According to the media, the shooter bought the weapon used for the crime about a week ago, shortly after his 18th birthday. According to CNN, former schoolmates assigned the shooter an Instagram profile where a picture of two rifles had been posted a few days ago. The shooter’s behavior has recently changed, the Washington Post quoted a childhood friend as saying. He lived with his mother and sometimes with his grandmother and has recently behaved aggressively.

US President Biden gets emotional in the speech

US President Joe Biden, who has just returned from a multi-day trip to Asia, spoke to the nation. Accompanied by his wife Jill, he gave an emotional speech in the White House shortly after landing. “As a nation, we need to ask ourselves, when in the name of God should we stand up against the arms lobby,” he said. The idea that an 18-year-old boy could walk into a gun shop and buy two combat rifles is just wrong.

Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety described the first findings of the incident in an interview with CNN. The suspect initially shot the woman in his grandmother’s apartment. She was taken to a hospital in critical condition, according to CNN.

The perpetrator keeps firing until the security forces catch him

The shooter then drove a car to the school and caused an accident there, Estrada said. The young man then got out of the car and was wearing a protective vest and entered the school with a backpack and a gun. There he opened fire. The 18-year-old was then asked by school security staff. Estrada emphasized that this was preliminary information.

The primary school was cordoned off after the attack and surrounded by emergency vehicles. TV pictures showed stretchers being rolled out of the building. Parents wandered around looking for their children. A woman whose niece is still missing was waiting in the car in front of a nearby hospital. “We do not know where she is,” she told local television station Kens5. “It’s not typical of my niece not to say no. Your phone is off.”

The perpetrator took refuge in the school – and is killed

According to the Department of Homeland Security, a U.S. border control officer was shot and wounded. Therefore, forces from the border guard stationed in Uvalde were called in to help. When they arrived at the school, they were shot at by the perpetrator who had dug up inside the building. “Border control officers at the scene ran their own lives and got themselves among the gunmen and children to divert the gunman’s attention from potential victims and save lives,” a ministry spokeswoman said on Twitter.

The massacre leaves questions – and a call for stricter rules

A massacre in the United States leaves one again confused and the question of the motive of looking for victims in a public school of all places. Shootings, including in schools, occur with sad regularity in the United States. President Biden ordered that flags be flown at half-staff in all U.S. public buildings through Saturday.

Former US President Barack Obama (60) expressed his condolences to the affected families on Twitter, criticizing opposition Republicans: “Our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by an arms lobby and a political party that has shown no willingness to to act in any way to prevent these tragedies. ” The massacre immediately fueled the ongoing debate over lax US gun ownership rules. Biden’s Democrats lack the necessary votes in the U.S. Senate for far-reaching changes to the law. Many Republicans are against tighter rules, and the U.S. gun lobby is very powerful.

Nearly ten years ago, the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut had caused particular shock in the United States: In December 2012, a 20-year-old shot around and killed 20 school children and six teachers. And just over a week ago, an armed man opened fire with a shotgun in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing ten people and injuring three others. According to investigators, the act was racistly motivated – eleven of the 13 victims were black.

More about shooting in elementary school in Texas:

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy reacted with horror to the massacre at a public school in the state of Texas and addressed touching words to his colleagues in the Senate.

The 18-year-old Texas perpetrator wrote a complete stranger on Instagram before his massacre at an elementary school. The girl published the news herself – and wonders if she could have done more.

“When in the name of God shall we stand up against the arms lobby?”

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pm / dpa