Texas school shooting: Gunman kills 21 in attack

US President Joe Biden said his country needs to stand up the gun lobby

US President Joe Biden said his country needs to stand up the gun lobby after a shooting on Tuesday at a Texas elementary school left 18 children and three adults dead.

“It’s time to act,” President Biden said in remarks from the White House. “We can do so much more.”

In addition to those killed, the 18-year-old gunman is also dead, state governor Greg Abbott said.

Mr Abbott said a local man opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, about 85 miles west of San Antonio. It was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history and occurred four years after a gunman fatally shot 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area.

“He shot and killed, horrifically, incomprehensibly,” said the governor, adding that two officers were shot and wounded but were expected to survive.

The gunman was a resident of the community and entered the school with a handgun, and possibly a rifle, and opened fire, Mr Abbott said. He said the gunman was likely to have been killed by responding officers but that the events were still being investigated.

Uvalde Memorial Hospital said earlier that 13 children were taken by ambulance or bus to that facility and another hospital reported a 66-year-old woman was in a critical condition.

It was not immediately clear how many people, in addition to the dead, were injured in the shooting.

Earlier, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District had said an active shooter was reported at the school, which has an enrolment of just under 600 students.

A heavy police presence surrounded the school on Tuesday afternoon, with officers in heavy vests diverting traffic and FBI agents coming and going from the building.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said US President Joe Biden has been briefed on the school shooting on Air Force One as he returns from a five-day trip to Asia and would continue to receive updates.

Ms Jean-Pierre said Mr Biden will deliver remarks on Tuesday evening at the White House.

Mr Biden ordered US flags be flown at half-staff at the White House and other public buildings “as a mark of respect for the victims” of the shooting.

Flags will be flown at half-staff until sunset on May 28th, Mr Biden said in a statement.

The shooting in Texas came less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 black shoppers and workers in what officials have described as a hate crime.

Uvalde is home to about 16,000 people and is the seat of government for Uvalde County.

The town is about 75 miles from the border with Mexico.

Robb Elementary is in a mostly residential neighbourhood of modest homes. - AP, Reuters