A teenage gunman opened fire at an elementary school in south Texas on Tuesday,
killing more than a dozen children and at least two teachers, in the latest instance of gun violence sweeping the United States.
"At approximately 11:32am this morning there was a mass causality incident at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
This school has children that are in second, third and fourth grade."
Authorities said the suspect, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, acted alone and was apparently killed by police officers responding to the scene.
Governor Greg Abbott said two officers were struck by gunfire, but said their wounds were not serious.
"To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away."
A visibly shaken President Joe Biden addressed the nation in the evening, urging Americans to stand up to gun lobbyists and pressure members of Congress to pass sensible gun laws.
"Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?
Where in God's name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it? It's time to turn this pain into action."
Biden sounded frustrated as he pointed out he had addressed the nation in 2012 after the deadly Sandy Hook school shooting,
and that there have since been over 900 incidents of gunfire reported on school grounds.
Police said they did not immediately know the motive behind Tuesday's massacre.