US President Joe Biden with First Lady Jill Biden (far right) in Uvalde, Texas. (Photo: Reuters)
US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrived in the shocked and grieving town of Uvalde, Texas, on Sunday to grieve with the community and comfort them after 19 children and two teachers were killed in a horrific school shooting, as a weary nation grapples with an endless spate of gun violence.
The Bidens first paid their respects at the memorial site at Robb Elementary School, accompanied by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Uvalde County Independent School District Independent Superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell and Robb Elementary School Principal Mandy Gutierrez.
Twenty-one people, including 19 third- and fourth-graders, were killed on Tuesday after an 18-year-old gunman, Salvador Ramos, used an assault-style rifle to open fire on two connected classrooms at Robb Elementary, according to authorities. Around 17 were injured in the shooting incident.
Jill Biden was seen touching the photos of the children at the site, filled with flowers and white crosses in honour of each of the victims.
As part of a daylong trip to Uvalde, the President and first lady will attend mass at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church before visiting with survivors, families of the victims and first responders, according to the White House.
Later, the Bidens are expected to meet with the families of both victims and survivors at the Uvalde County Event Center around 1:30 p.m. The two will then meet with first responders before leaving Uvalde around 6 p.m.
"I'd hoped, when I became president, I would not have to do this again," President Biden said on Tuesday as he addressed the nation following the shooting. "Another massacre. Uvalde, Texas. An elementary school. Beautiful, second-, third-, fourth-graders," he said.
Sunday's visit to Uvalde is the second trip the president has taken in two weeks to comfort a grief-stricken community following the deadliest mass shooting.
Meanwhile, The US Department of Justice announced Sunday that it will conduct a critical incident review of the law enforcement response to the mass shooting in Uvalde that killed 21 people Tuesday. The review comes at the request of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, the department said in a news release.
The goal of the review is to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses that day, and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events," department spokesman Anthony Coley said.
The review will be conducted with the Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing," he said. As with prior Justice Department after-action reviews of mass shootings and other critical incidents, this assessment will be fair, transparent, and independent. The Justice Department will publish a report with its findings at the conclusion of its review.
The dual visits by the President and vice president to communities afflicted by mass murder were a striking reminder of the scourge of gun violence consuming the nation. Biden, who has spent much of his career working to enact stricter gun laws, again called for action this week, CNN reported.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
First Published: May 30 2022 | 8:02 AM IST