Several people have been killed after a shooting at a Texas elementary school. State Governor Greg Abbott said at a press conference on Tuesday that 14 students and one teacher had died. Media had previously reported at least two deaths after the attack in the small town of Uvalde.

The 18-year-old, armed with a handgun and possibly a rifle, was dead, Abbott said. He was probably killed by police officers.

The attack happened at an elementary school in the small town of Uvalde, 135 kilometers west of San Antonio. According to Governor Abbott, the attacker, who lived in Uvalde, entered Robb Elementary School there. “He killed – appallingly, incomprehensibly – 14 students and one teacher,” Abbott said.

Several injured were taken to the hospital, the US broadcaster ABC reported. The elementary school is attended by about 600 students. Uvalde is about 135 kilometers west of San Antonio.

Shooting sprees, including in schools, occur with sad regularity in the United States. A massacre at an elementary school ten years ago was particularly shocking: In December 2012, a 20-year-old with severe mental health problems in Newtown, Connecticut, first shot his mother. He then went to his elementary school, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and killed 20 school children and six teachers there. He then killed himself. At the time, the act caused a shock nationwide and also caused horror beyond the borders of the USA.

Just over a week ago, a gunman with an assault rifle opened fire in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing ten people and injuring three others. He was arrested at the scene of the crime. According to investigators, the act was racially motivated – 11 of the 13 victims were black. Buffalo has a predominantly black population.

Last year, the FBI counted 61 gun shootings in the United States. The FBI announced on Monday evening (local time) in Washington that this was more than 50 percent more than in the previous year. The number has doubled since 2017. In 2021, 103 people were killed and 140 injured in rampages. That, too, is an increase of almost 50 percent compared to 2020. According to the information, 60 of the 61 shooters were men. The FBI uses a strict definition for the count: it only includes cases in which a perpetrator shoots at people in public in order to kill them. Classic criminal cases involving armed violence or shootings among gang members are ignored.

The level of gun violence overall is far greater in the United States. Fatal incidents involving firearms, which are readily available there, occur regularly. In its most recent statistics from 2020, the health authority CDC recorded a total of 45,222 gun deaths in the USA – more than 120 deaths per day.