United States President Joe Biden, on Sunday, 29 May, visited Uvalde, where he consoled mourning residents following the Robb Elementary School shooting which left 19 children and two teachers dead on 24 May.
President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visited a memorial outside Robb Elementary, attended a Catholic Mass, and privately met first responders and relatives of those who lost their lives.
In one of the deadliest grade school in a decade, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos opened fire on students and teachers in the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, a small town in Texas, on 24 May, killing 19 children and two teachers. The gunman had also killed his grandmother before arriving at the school.
According to Politico, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steven McCraw said during a press conference on Friday that about 20 police officers waited outside the classroom while shooter gunned down students at the school, with the on-screen commander believing that Ramos had barricaded himself and that the children were no longer at risk.
Local authorities have seen mounting anger over the decision to allow the shooter to remain in the classroom for almost an hour with officers waiting in the hallway while children inside the classroom made panicked 911 calls.
The president and the First Lady wiped away tears as they laid white roses and payed respects at memorials dedicated to the victims of the horrific shooting.
"Do something," a crowd outside Sacred Heart Catholic Church chanted as Biden exited after attending mass, according to Reuters.
"We will," he answered.
‘I’d Hoped, When I Became President, I Would Not Have To Do This Again’
Meanwhile, in a commencement speech at the University of Delaware delivered on Saturday, Biden spoke about the shooting, saying, “We cannot outlaw tragedy I know, but we can make America safer. We can finally do what we have to do to protect the lives of the people, and our children.”
“As I speak, those parents are literally preparing to bury their children. In the United States of America, to bury their children. It's too much violence, too much fear, too much grief. Let's be clear evil came to that elementary school classroom in Texas, to the grocery store in New York, to far too many places where innocence has died. ... We have to stand stronger, we must stand stronger. We cannot outlaw tragedy, I know, but we can make America safer," the president said.
During his address to the nation on Tuesday, the US President had expressed his hopes of never having to deal with such a tragic event. “I’d hoped, when I became president, I would not have to do this again” he said. "Another massacre. Uvalde, Texas. An elementary school. Beautiful, second-, third-, fourth-graders.”
(With inputs from Politico and Reuters)