The number of people confirmed killed in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, has risen to 20, according to Sgt. Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Estrada told CNN that 18 children and two adults are among the dead.
Earlier in the day, Gov. Greg Abbott told reporters that 15 people — 14 children and one teacher — were killed in the shooting at Robb Elementary School.
Speaking at a news conference in Abilene, Abbott said the shooter is dead and identified him as an 18-year-old male from Uvalde.
The governor said it’s believed that the gunman abandoned his vehicle and entered Robb Elementary School with a handgun and maybe a rifle but said this has not been confirmed. Local news footage taken of the scene from overhead shows a black truck crashed into a ditch near the school.
The suspect allegedly shot his grandmother before he entered the school. Thursday was meant to be the last day of the school year, according to the school’s website.
In a brief news conference hours after the shooting, Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo confirmed some of the details offered by Abbott. Arredondo called the bloodshed a “mass casualty incident” but did not specify the number of dead. The chief also told reporters that the gunman acted alone and is deceased.
“The suspect did act alone during his heinous crime,” he said during the brief statement. He added, “Families are being notified and we are providing services to them.”
Superintendent Hal Harrell said the rest of the school year was canceled. “My heart was broken today,” he told reporters Tuesday evening. “We’re a small community and we’ll need your prayers to get us through this.”
Officials at University Memorial Hospital in Uvalde confirmed two individuals were dead on arrival. They offered no additional details about the deceased.
Thirteen children were transported to the hospital, two of whom have been transferred to facilities in San Antonio, more than 80 miles away.
A 66-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl were also taken to University Hospital in San Antonio. The hospital confirmed that the 66-year-old is in critical condition.
Uvalde police department officials initially said the suspected gunman was taken into custody at 1:06 p.m. local time.
The shooting at the school where 600 students are enrolled began at 11:32 a.m. Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District officials said all local schools went into lockdown as news of the active shooter spread.
Multiple law enforcement agencies, including border patrol and officers from neighboring cities, have responded to the scene.
Student and teachers were evacuated to the city’s civic center where parents were told they can pick up their children.
President Biden ordered flags at the White House and other government buildings to be flown at half-staff to honor the victims and plans to speak about the shooting on Tuesday evening. “His prayers are with the families impacted by this awful event,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
The mass shooting comes just 10 days after a shooting at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., that took the lives of 10 people.
This is a developing story and will be updated.