MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Parents arrived at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde Texas in shambles, after what started as a normal school day quickly turned into a deadly mass shooting when 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos walked into the school and murdered 19 children and two teachers Tuesday, May 24.
Ramos was killed by a Border Patrol agent who responded to the scene without backup. According to a law enforcement source, the agent was shot, but he was able to walk out of the school
Several others from the school were transported to Uvalde Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.
As hours after the attack passed by, many parents were asked to enter the school one by one to give DNA samples, as police worked to identify several child victims.
Parents were met with their worst fear, matching names with their children's faces, who were alive and well when they kissed them goodbye and sent them on their way Tuesday morning.
Robb elementary School has just about 600 students. Uvalde, Texas is considered a tight nit, largely populated Latino community. One that after this tragedy, will never be the same.
Government officials respond after the tragedy set in
The Robb Elementary shooting has been called the worst mass shooting since Sandy Hook, where 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Connecticut in December of 2012.
Government officials across the country were at a loss for words, unable to understand how yet another mass school shooting happened once again.
Democrat Senator of Connecticut Chris Murphy asked Senators on the floor why they held their positions if they could not find ways to prevent tragedies like Sandy Hook and like the massacre that plagued the Uvalde community.
After witnessing the Sandy Hook shooting, Murphy is no stranger to the detriment mass shootings cause.
“What are we doing? There are more mass shootings than days in the year,” Murphy said. “Our kids are living in fear every single time they step foot in the classroom because they think they’re going to be next”.
In a press, release, President Joe Biden asked when devastating massacres like these would end.
"So, tonight, I ask the nation to pray for them, to give the parents and siblings the strength in the darkness they feel right now. As a nation, we have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done? It’s been 340- -- 3,448 days -- 10 years since I stood up at a high school in Connecticut -- a grade school in Connecticut, where another gunman massacred 26 people, including 20 first graders, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Since then, there have been over 900 incidents of gunfire reported on school grounds."
In Memphis, a city that struggles with managing crime and gun violence, Chief Cerelyn C.J. Davis explained why gun control is so important.
"What’s so complex right now is that the individuals that are toting guns today are our teenagers, are 13, 14 and 15-year-olds," Davis said.
Memphis Shelby County School Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray said that children and educators should be able to attend school without fear.
Tennessee House Senator Raumesh Akbari expressed her sadness after hearing about the mass shooting.
The attack at Robb Elementary School comes just one year after Texas lawmakers made several changes to state gun laws, loosening gun control.
It also fell just two days before Governor Greg Abbot and Donald Trump are scheduled to address the annual National Rifle Association (NRA) convention Friday, May 27 in Houston, Texas.
Governor Abbot has called for a full investigation of the shooting.
The Robb Elementary shooting, as well as last week’s racially motivated mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo New York, leaves many citizens and Democrats even more critical of loose gun laws and the NRA.
What happened before the attack?
State Sen. Roland Gutierrez said that before arriving at Robb Elementary, Ramos shot his grandmother with two assault rifles. Ramos' grandmother is reportedly still alive, but her condition is unknown.
Ramos then arrived at the elementary school, crashing his car into the building Travis Considine, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said.
According to Considine, Ramos shot two local police officers before entering the school.
Uvalde officials said the shooting started at 11:30, and it was confirmed that Ramos, who wore body armor, acted alone.
How you can help
A verified relief fund has been started by the Community Foundation of Texas Hill Country, a Kerrville-based nonprofit.
The fund will help victims and their families, as well as others affected by the Uvalde shooting. Anyone who wishes to donate can donate here.