Editor’s note: Texas officials previously said 14 students and one adult were killed in Tuesday’s shooting. The Texas Department of Public Safety has since updated those totals.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Connecticut leaders are speaking out after at least 19 children and two adults were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
It was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. grade-school since the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, where 20 first-graders and six educators were killed.
Connecticut leaders took to social media to express their condolences, with some taking aim at the ongoing gun control debate in the U.S.
An emotional Sen. Chris Murphy reacted to the news on the Senate floor. Watch his speech in its entirety in the video player below.
“Fourteen kids dead in an elementary school in Texas right now. What are we doing? What are we doing?” Murphy asked his fellow lawmakers. “Just days after a shooter walked into a grocery store to gun down African American patrons, we have another Sandy Hook on our hands. What are we doing?”
Murphy then called for the Senate to take action to stop gun violence across the country.
“What are we doing? Why do you spend all this time running for the United States Senate? Why do you go through all the hassle of getting this job, of putting yourself in a position of authority if your answer is that as the slaughter increases, as our kids run for their lives, we do nothing.”
Murphy also acknowledged the problem of gun violence can’t be solved overnight.
“I understand my Republican colleagues will not agree to everything that I may support, but there is a common denominator that we can find,” he said. “There is a place where we can achieve an agreement that may not guarantee that America never ever again sees a mass shooting, that may not overnight cut in half the number of murders that happen in America. It will not solve the problem of American violence by itself. But by doing something we at least stop sending this quiet message of endorsement to these killers whose brains are breaking, who see the highest levels of government doing nothing shooting after shooting. What are we doing? Why are we here? What are we doing?”
Murphy later wrote in a tweet, “Oh my god. I’m shaking. I’m just shaking all over. With fear. With anger. With resolve.”
Gov. Ned Lamont called the mass shooting an “utter tragedy.”
The news of another mass shooting, this time from Texas, is devastating. One life taken by gun violence is too many, but 15 innocent lives, including 14 children, is an utter tragedy. Nearly ten years after Sandy Hook, Connecticut knows this feeling all too well. Our collective hearts and prayers go out to the families in Uvalde trying to process the unimaginable.
We clearly have a gun problem in America. There are more damn guns on the street than ever before, especially illegal guns. We must test our capacity as a nation in this moment to strengthen public safety and health. I want to be clear — gun violence is a public health crisis. It is incumbent upon lawmakers everywhere, whether it’s Connecticut, Texas, or our nation’s capital, to rise to the moment in addressing this problem.
The 212 mass shootings that have occurred in the U.S. so far just in these first few months of 2022 is out of hand, and we cannot forget the true cost of these numbers – lives lost. They’re our friends, fathers, kids, teachers, and neighbors. They’re worth the effort to find a diligent, pragmatic, and hopefully bipartisan solution before we lose any more of them.Gov. Ned Lamont (D)
“I am absolutely devastated to hear of yet another school shooting, where the most innocent of victims have lost their lives,” Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz tweeted. “I send my most sincere condolences to the children, families, friends, and all who have been affected by this unbelievable tragedy. Condolences are not enough. I strongly urge Congress to pass commonsense gun laws to keep our children safe, now. There are no words to describe the callousness of this event, and to do nothing to address rampant gun violence is yet another avoidable tragedy.”
“My heart breaks as I re-live the shock & grief of Sandy Hook ten years ago, knowing the infinite pain that will hit these families in Texas. This senseless violence will stop only when Congress matches thoughts & prayers with action,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) tweeted. “No words can capture my wrenching sadness for the Robb Elementary School families & for our great nation that continues to be torn apart by horrendous gun violence—taking so many beautiful lives & spreading anguish & horror.”
Democratic Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) shared a similarly remorseful tone on Twitter, writing, “As Members of Congress, one of our most sacred duties is to protect the American people. On that measure, we have failed—and doing nothing to prevent these tragedies is both cowardly and shameful. Until we take action, innocents will continue to die. Enough is enough.”
Bob Stefanowski, Connecticut’s Republican gubernatorial nominee, tweeted, “There are no words that suffice in the wake of tragic loss like we’re seeing in Texas. Praying for the loved ones of those left behind to mourn.”
“I pray for the victims of the senseless violence in Uvalde and their loved ones. As a parent and grandparent, my heart breaks for the innocent lives lost, the families trapped in this nightmare, and the children, teachers, and first responders processing unimaginable trauma. I share my gratitude for the heroic police officers and first responders who rushed to the scene to stop the attacker and save lives. For many here in Connecticut, this senseless tragedy revives the pain, trauma, and grief we experienced nearly 10 years ago following the Sandy Hook tragedy. For those who find themselves or their children struggling today, please do not be afraid to seek out help and support.”
Brian Foley, a spokesperson for the state police commissioner, released a statement on Twitter, saying in part: “We understand how painful today has been for all, and how especially impacting it is in our home state. At this time, there is no known nexus to CT. CTIC, CSP, DEMHS are watching. All L.E. is watching. Please report all suspicious activity to police- Be vigilant.”
We will continue to update this story.