This article has been updated.
A mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde that killed at least 19 students and two adults Tuesday has drawn an outpouring of support for the stunned community and resources from local officials.
According to a spokesperson for Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s office, a SWAT team, an Eagle helicopter and bomb squad were sent to assist in clearing the scene at Robb Elementary School and at the suspects’ home.
“San Antonio has sent mass casualty resources to the region and will do all we can to help our neighbors heal,” said Nirenberg on Twitter. “Uvalde is experiencing the sickening aftermath of a horrific mass shooting. At least 14 children and a teacher are gone. Pray for the lost, their families, and Uvalde.”
The San Antonio Police Department said additional resources are on standby to assist Uvalde, which is about 90 miles west of San Antonio, in the investigation, if needed.
“Our hearts and prayers are with the Uvalde community,” wrote the department.
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff added his condolences and support Tuesday evening.
“It is with profound grief and broken hearts that we learn about the news coming our way this afternoon,” Wolff said in a statement. “We stand united with the community in Uvalde and offer our assistance. We also mourn with them over the lives of those children and adults lost to violence.
“Bexar County is sending personnel and material from the Office of Emergency Management, the Medical Examiner’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office, and University Hospital to support the ongoing operation,” Wolff said.
To help people who were wounded in the shooting, blood donations from the public are being encouraged. Fifteen units of blood were handed to first responders in Uvalde from the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, and later, 10 units of O-negative blood were delivered.
A walk-in, emergency blood drive will be held Wednesday at the Herby Ham Activity Center in Uvalde from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Blood donations are also being accepted across the blood and tissue center’s five centers in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Boerne and Victoria.
To make an appointment at any of the centers, call 210-731-5590.
“The best way you can help is to schedule a donation to come in and donate,” said Roger Ruiz, senior corporate communications specialist for the blood center.
University Health System in San Antonio will also have availability at blood donor rooms. To schedule an appointment, call 210-358-2812. Appointments are available at the Bexar County Courthouse, Sheriff’s Office and more.
“If they can’t donate blood, definitely get the word out. … You can share our social media messages. … Drive a friend who is willing to donate, but doesn’t have transportation. … Spreading the word is the best way you can help getting the message out,” said Ruiz.
Mental health professionals in the area are also being called on to help with counseling services. U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, took to Twitter to ask mental health clinicians to call his office to help at 210-806-9920.
The shooting comes just two days before Robb Elementary’s last day of school for all students on campus.
In a press conference Tuesday evening, Uvalde ISD Superintendent Hal Harrell, in tears, said his heart was broken.
“Beginning tomorrow at 10 a.m., we will have grief counseling and support at the civic center for our students, staff, community members, anybody that needs to come at that time. We may be there several days,” Harrell said.
“No graduation is on people’s mind. We will come out with a notice on that at a later time. … My heart is broken today. We’re a small community and we will need your prayers to get us through this,” he said.
Meanwhile, San Antonio school districts are announcing measures to increase safety on campus as the academic semester comes to an end.
Harlandale and South San Antonio ISDs will implement stronger safety precautions in the last few weeks of this school year. Harlandale’s last day of school is June 14.
Superintendent Gerardo Soto said in a statement that district police will be on “high alert” and that the district won’t tolerate any behavior that indicates a threat to students and staff.
South San ISD will not allow backpacks on campus and will limit visitors to parents and guardians, the district said in a letter to families and staff. South San’s last day of school is Thursday.
Southwest ISD said they will also be increasing police presence on campus.
Other San Antonio school districts communicated messages of support and grief Tuesday in the wake of the shooting.
“Let’s bring our minds and hearts together to send strength and comfort to everyone affected by today’s horrific events in Uvalde,” San Antonio ISD said in a tweet.
Tuesday night, President Joe Biden addressed the nation on the mass shooting.
“I had hoped when I became president, I would not have to do this again,” said Biden.
Biden advocated for gun reform in his address, claiming that since the Sandy Hook mass shooting nearly 10 years ago, there have been over 900 incidents of gunfire reported at schools.
“We have to act. And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage,” said Biden.