Texas Governor Greg Abbott has given a statement to press about today’s horrific high school shooting, as authorities continue to piece together the tragic series of events. “It has to be the worst disaster to ever strike this community,” Abbott explained to reporters, before promising a “robust response.”
“We are dealing with one of the most heinous attacks ever. The evil of someone who would attack innocent children in a school. A place where parents should be able to send their children without fear of their child’s safety.”
Abbott asked that Texans join together in prayer for those who have lost loved ones.
“Ten lives have been lost and another ten have been wounded. We grieve for the victims. And we pray for the families who are suffering and will continue to suffer for the days to come. Nothing can prepare a parent for the loss of a child. This will be a long and painful time for the parents.”
“We mourn with them,” Abbott continued. “We mourn as fellow Texans. But we must come together as one community at this time of enormous suffering. We appreciate all the first responders and now we look to God to give the first responders and the victims and their families the guidance they need in the coming days and weeks as we work to respond to this challenge.”
“Offer your prayers and support for these families,” Abbott implored. “I ask every parent out there, wherever you may be, to hold your children close tonight, and let you know how much you love them.”
"I ask every parent out there, wherever they may be, to hold your children close tonight and let them know how much you love them," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says after deadly Santa Fe shooting https://t.co/RKzmCQIVNi pic.twitter.com/DZMhIbdy6c
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 18, 2018
Gov. Abbott then promised some action to change things for the future.
“We need to do more than just pray for victims and their families. It’s time we take action to make sure this tragedy is never repeated again in the history of the state of Texas,” he said.
He said it was time to hold “roundtable discussions, where we will assemble all stakeholders, to begin to work immediately on swift solutions to prevent this from ever happening again.”
The goals for these meetings will be to “keep guns out of the hands of those who pose an immediate danger to others,” as well as providing “increased security” to schools.
“The answers will come through us working together,” he said.
With regards to the shooter, Abbott said that various notes had been discovered by authorities that indicated the shooter intended “to commit the shooting” and that “he wanted to commit suicide. ”
“As you know, he gave himself up and admitted he didn’t have the courage to commit suicide,” Abbott added. He also noted that the weapons used in the shooting were owned by the shooter’s father.
Texas flags across the state are being lowered to half-staff in memory of those who lost their lives in the school shooting at Santa Fe High School today. https://t.co/9EDi6pjIFk pic.twitter.com/ZVAgkIRbzU
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) May 18, 2018
Senator Ted Cruz then took to the podium, opening with the powerful remark, “Texas has seen the face of evil.”
“The agony and hell the parents of this community is going through is unimaginable,” he added. “This community is grieving mightily. The entire country is grieving.”
“There have been too damn many of these. Texas has seen too many of these,” Cruz bellowed.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) May 18, 2018
The Senator added that he had been back in Sutherland Springs recently for the Church’s rededication, six months after a horrific shooting left 26 people dead.
Heidi and I are keeping all the students and faculty at Santa Fe High School in our prayers this morning, along with all first responders on the scene. Please be safe and heed warnings from local officials. https://t.co/5Un3Y4IA86
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) May 18, 2018
“In the wake of this horror, that community came together,” he explained, urging Santa Fe to do the same. “They leaned on each other, stood side by side with each other and prayer for each other.”
In Sutherland Springs, Cruz said, “there was hope and joy alongside grief and mourning.”
“Texas, as a state, we’ll make it through this.”
Vice President Mike Pence also spoke about the situation in Texas from the White House.
“We will make all federal resources available to first responders and school officials in the wake of this incident,” he said.
Vice President Pence also issued a call to prayer. “To the students, families, teachers of Santa Fe High School, all of those affected and the entire community: We are with you, you are in our prayers, and I know you are in the prayers of the American people.”
To the students, families, teachers of Santa Fe High School, all of those affected and the entire community: We are with you, you are in our prayers, and you're in the prayers of the American people. pic.twitter.com/8bhPWyK7vR
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 18, 2018