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Arizona leadership responds to mass shooting at Texas elementary school

Posted: 4:11 PM, May 24, 2022
Updated: 2022-05-25 14:31:14-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A gunman killed 14 students and a teacher at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Police said the gunman, an 18-year-old man, was killed at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, which is about 85 miles west of San Antonio.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement saying, “What happened in Uvalde is a horrific tragedy."

Governor Doug Ducey has ordered staff at all state buildings to lower the flag to half-staff, paying respect to the victims.

"Our prayers are with the parents, families, students and staff of Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas at this unimaginable time,” said Governor Ducey. “Today’s events are heartbreaking and soul-wrenching. We are thankful for the heroic efforts of medical professionals, law enforcement and community members who responded so quickly. In honor and remembrance of the victims, flags at all State of Arizona buildings will be lowered to half-staff until sunset, Saturday, May 28.”

Arizona Senator Mark Kelly released the following statement regarding the deadly school shooting.

“Gabby and I are heartbroken for these families who just had their lives forever devastated by gun violence. I know how helpless a person can feel when their family is impacted in this way. I know that every parent whose kid came home from school today in Texas, Arizona, and in every community across the country is hugging them a little tighter. It infuriates me that Americans have come to expect that their federal government will once again react to the murder of schoolchildren by doing nothing. Politicians in Washington spend countless hours fighting about nothing, but when it comes time to act on an issue that is unique to the United States and demands a response, they find a million reasons not to. There are commonsense reforms we can pass to reduce gun violence that align with our rights and traditions and are supported by Americans across the political spectrum. The best thing Washington can do right now is take these steps to make our communities safer. After witnessing yet another tragedy, Arizonans are right to expect action from Washington, they should demand it, I know I will.”

Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva reflected on the impact mass shootings have had in schools across the U.S., offering his position on a path forward:

“Eighteen children and three adults had their futures stolen from them today. They were murdered in yet another senseless act of gun violence. The community of Uvalde is shattered and will never be the same again. And like the community of Uvalde, I mourn and grieve for their loss. I give thanks to the swift actions of first responders and ask for healing for the injured and comfort for the families and parents who are experiencing the unimaginable. Uvalde now enters the same tragic catalogue of senseless mass shootings like Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Parkland.

I recognize that thoughts and prayers aren’t enough. Our grief must not go unanswered. We have the opportunity to end Congress’ adopted gun policy of nothing and insanity - doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Parents shouldn’t be afraid to drop their kids off at school and our children shouldn’t have to learn in fear. Militarizing our schools and other public venues and arming teachers aren’t solutions, but proliferation of more weapons and a reminder of our policy failures to act on gun violence.

I will continue to advocate for common sense gun legislation that will protect our communities. It is long overdue for elected officials to step up and take meaningful action on American gun violence. We can’t continue to elect people who believe the right to own a gun is more important than the right to live. In November, we have an opportunity to elect leaders that are truly pro-life. Leaders that will vote to enact common sense gun safety legislation to protect our kids. We will stand together and demand action on common sense gun legislation to protect our communities and vote out those who stand in the way.”

Other Arizona leaders at the local, state and national levels have taken to social media to share their thoughts.

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Caleb Fernández is a digital content producer for KGUN 9. After earning his bachelor's degree from Penn State in Advertising/Public Relations, Caleb went to New York where he learned production assistance, photography and art direction. Share your story ideas and important issues with Caleb by emailing caleb.fernandez@kgun9.com or by connecting on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.