Texas school shooting, 2012 Sandy Hook massacre and more: A look back at deadliest school attacks in the US

At least 19 students and two adults were killed at the Texas elementary school. It is the deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook killings, which claimed the life of 20 first-graders, between the ages of six and five, and six educators

At least 21 people, including 19 children and two adults, were killed in a shooting at an elementary school in Texas, United States.

The attack carried out by a teenage gunman at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde – a small community about an hour from the Mexican border — was the deadliest US school shooting in years, and the latest in a spree of bloody gun violence across America. The shooter, identified by officials as Salvador Ramos, is dead.

A seething President Joe Biden denounced the US gun lobby and vowed to end the nation’s cycle of mass shootings. “It’s time to turn this pain into action for every parent, for every citizen of this country,” Biden said, his voice heavy with emotion. “It’s time for those who obstruct or delay or block commonsense gun laws; we need to let you know that we will not forget.”

As heartbreaking pictures emerge, we take a look at the most horrific school shootings in the US.

Santa Fe High School, Texas, May 2018

Nine students and a teacher were killed in a shoot at Texas’ Santa Fe High School. Yet another teenager was behind the mass killings.

A photo of Christian Garcia hangs on a cross at a memorial in front of Santa Fe High School. The makeshift memorial honoured the victims of the attack on the school in May 2018. AFP

Dimitrios Pagourtzis was 17 when he used a shotgun and a revolver to attack the school he studied in. He was held on charges of capital murder and aggravated assault of a public servant in relation to the school shooting.

He was a quiet student who was attending the school since 2015.

Pagourtzis told officers he shot multiple people “with the intent of killing” them, the affidavit said. He didn’t shoot students he liked “so he could have his story told”.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida, February 2018

A lone gunman killed 14 students and three educators at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Nikolas Cruz, who was 19 years old at the time of the attack, pleaded guilty to the charges in October 2021.

A former student of the school, Cruz was expelled for disciplinary reasons.

Cruz was wearing a gas mask as he entered the school. He was carrying a rifle, ammunition cartridges and smoke grenades. Before firing, he pulled a fire alarm, prompting students and staff to come out of their classrooms into the hallways, according to reports.

Cruz’s trial is set to begin in June and jurors will determine if he should get life in prison or the death penalty.

Umpqua Community College, Oregon, October 2015

A 26-year-old man killed nine people at the school in Roseburg, Oregon, and wounded nine others. He then went on to kill himself.

Chris Harper-Mercer lived with his mother only a few kilometres away from the school. He left an online footprint that hints at interest in mass shootings as well as apparent support for the Irish Republican Army.

Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut, December 2012

A 19-year-old man killed his mother at their home in Newtown, Connecticut, then went to the nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 first-graders and six educators. He took his own life.

Texas school shooting 2012 Sandy Hook massacre and more A look back at deadliest school attacks in the US

Seven thousand pairs of shoes, representing the children killed by gun violence since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, are spread out on the lawn on the east side of the US Capitol in March 2018 in Washington, DC. AFP

The 2012 shooting was the deadliest attack at an elementary school in the US. Twenty of the 26 victims were between the ages of five and six.

The shooter was later identified as Adam Lanza. According to a November 2013 report, issued by the Connecticut State Attorney’s office, Lanza acted alone and planned his actions. However, it provided no indication of why he carried out the killings or targeted the school.

Virginia Tech, Virginia, April 2007

A 23-year-old student killed 32 people on the campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, in April 2007. More than two dozen others were wounded. The gunman then killed himself.

The attacks were carried out on two locations – the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the State University campus.

The shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, was an undergraduate student at the university majoring in English and a US resident who was from South Korea.

In 2005, he was ordered by a judge to seek outpatient care after making suicidal remarks to his roommates and was evaluated at a mental health facility.

Red Lake High School, Minnesota, March 2005

A 16-year-old student killed his grandfather and his girlfriend at their Minnesota home. He then went to nearby Red Lake High School, where he killed five students, a teacher and a security guard before shooting himself.

Jeff Weise shot the couple with a .22-caliber gun before driving to the school.

According to media reports, he had Nazi leanings.

Columbine High School, Colorado, April 1999

Two students killed 12 of their peers and one teacher at the school in Littleton, Colorado. Many others were wounded in the incidents.

The two perpetrators carried guns and bombs inside the school. They both died by suicide an hour later.

Texas school shooting 2012 Sandy Hook massacre and more A look back at deadliest school attacks in the US

Demonstrators hold a banner to protest gun violence in the United States. AP

At least 554 children, educators, and school staff have been killed or injured in US school shootings since the 1999 Columbine High massacre, The Washington Post reported. At least, 331 schools have suffered from such attacks since.

The frequency of shootings has also surged recently, with 34 incidents in 2021 — the highest in any year since 1999, The Post reported.

With inputs from agencies

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