UVALDE, Texas — A total of 19 children and two faculty members were killed Tuesday when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire inside Robb Elementary School. Gov. Greg Abbott reported Wednesday that 17 people also suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
In a press conference Wednesday, he added that three law enforcement officers were among the injured, all of which remain in good condition. However, he added that one sheriff's deputy lost his daughter inside the school. Gov. Abbott did not expand on any details regarding the deputy.
"Before coming out here, we had a long discussion with law enforcement at all levels...," said Gov. Abbott. "I asked the sheriff and others an open-ended question, and I got the same answer from the sheriff as well as from the mayor of Uvalde. The question was, what is the problem here? And they were straightforward and emphatic. They said ... we have a problem with mental health illness in this community, and then they elaborated on the magnitude of the mental health challenges they are facing in the community and the need for more mental health support in this region."
In response, the governor said the State of Texas will be working with federal and local officials to focus on making sure that everybody in the Uvalde community has access to mental and emotional health care "as long as they need it."
"Some physical wounds that were sustained by the officers, they're going to heal in the coming days. The mental and the emotional wounds are far harder to see and last far longer," Gov. Abbott said.
Gov. Abbott said the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium created by the Texas Legislature in 2019 is also available to assist, in addition to the Bluebonnet Children's Advocacy Center. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is also on-site. He said Texas Education Agency will be available to provide supplemental counseling services to students and school staff, while the Texas Department of Public Safety and the FBI will be providing counseling services to law enforcement.
"It cannot be over-emphasized the importance of law enforcement officers – all of them – seeking out and obtaining this mental health counseling," Gov. Abbott said.
Abbott added that the district attorney's office for victims services is now available to provide support to the community at 830-278-2916.
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