The gunman who killed at least 19 students and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday has been named as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.
Governor Greg Abbott said Ramos “horrifically and incomprehensibly” carried out the mass shooting alone before being shot dead by law enforcement.
Ramos was a student at Uvalde High School who lived in the small city 130km (80 miles) west of San Antonio, according to Mr Abbott.
Ramos had hinted on social media that an attack could be coming, state Sen Roland Gutierrez, who was briefed by police, told reporters. “He suggested the kids should watch out,” the lawmaker said.
He reportedly shot his grandmother before driving to Robb Elementary just before midday on Tuesday, Mr Abbott said at a news briefing on Tuesday afternoon. She is in a critical condition, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt Erick Estrada told CNN.
Ramos is believed to have abandoned his car outside the school and entered the school grounds with a handgun and possibly a rifle. Police said the gunman was wearing body armour.
“The suspect made entry into the school and as soon as he made entry into the school he started shooting children, teachers, whoever’s in his way,” Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety told local media.
Officers responding to the scene reportedly shot Ramos dead.
An Instagram account identified by news outlets as belonging to Ramos showed him posing with what appears to be a semi-automatic weapon.
A former classmate said that Ramos texted him photos of a firearm and a bag full of ammunition days before the attack.
“He would message me here and there, and four days ago he sent me a picture of the AR he was using… and a backpack full of 5.56 rounds, probably like seven mags,” the former classmate said.
“I was like, ‘bro, why do you have this?’ and he was like, ‘Don’t worry about it’,” the student said. “He proceeded to text me, ‘I look very different now. You wouldn’t recognise me’.”
A manager at the local Wendy’s said that Ramos worked the day shift at the restaurant.
“He felt like the quiet type, the one who doesn’t say much. He didn’t really socialise with the other employees,” Adrian Mendes, the evening manager at Wendy’s, said.
In a statement, Mr Abbott said Texans were grieving for the victims of this “senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde”.
The death toll of 19 students and two adults is the deadliest attack on an elementary school since the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which claimed the lives of 20 students and six teachers.
President Joe Biden told the nation it was time to “turn this pain into action” and change gun laws following the shooting massacre.
“Why are we willing to live with this carnage?” he said at the White House. “Where in God’s name is our backbone, to have the courage to deal with this and stand up to the [gun] lobbies?”
Border Patrol agents were involved in response to the shooting, though officials have confirmed Ramos was a US citizen.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and San Antonio Police Department have said they are sending resources to aid in the police response.
The Houston office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting in the investigation, as are the state Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers.
The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center has called on local residents to donate blood, as hospitals in the area were already facing a blood shortage before the shooting occured.
Uvalde Memorial Hospital initially said 13 students and an adult were transported from the school by a bus and ambulance. Two of the students were pronounced dead on arrival. But the death toll has steadily risen throughout the day, with officials moving it from 14 to 19 students and two adult victims on Tuesday evening.
Additional reporting by agencies