JB Pritzker

Illinois Officials React to Texas School Shooting That Left 19 Students, 2 Teachers Dead

Illinois political leaders are expressing their shock and disgust after a gunman killed at least 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says that at least 19 children and two teachers were killed in the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

The gunman in the shooting was fatally shot, according to Texas officials.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker called the mass shooting “heartwrenching and enraging” in a social media post.

“It is heartwrenching and enraging to hear the news of the elementary students and their teacher gunned down in Texas,” the governor said. “My prayers are with their families, and my resolve is with all Americans who are working to end senseless gun violence wherever it occurs.”

State Sen. Paul Schimpf said that he would work to “support law enforcement,” and that he would work to push for more funding to help those with mental illness.

“After the tragedy of Sandy Hook, we all hoped that we would never see something like this happen again in our lifetimes,” he said. “As governor, what you have to do is you have to support law enforcement. You have to try to keep our students safe by helping law enforcement to do their job. We also have to be exploring mental illness and the challenge that mental illness faces, poses for our country.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on Congress to pass "sweeping and effective gun control measures" in a statement.

“I am shocked and horrified to learn that over one dozen young children senselessly lost their lives in a Texas elementary school today," she said. "My family and I are sending prayers to the entire Uvalde community and the families that sent their child to school today unaware that they would not be coming home. As a nation, we simply cannot allow this to continue. Every single day, children and young people are losing their lives to people who do not value the sanctity of life and take advantage of the unabated presence of firearms in our communities. Now more than ever, we must push our legislators to pass sweeping and effective gun control measures. Our children’s lives depend on it.” 

Attorney Max Solomon called for armed security at Illinois schools in the wake of the shooting.

“I will make sure that every school in the state of Illinois has armed security guards that are going to prevent these kinds of things from happening again,” he said. “My heart goes out to you about the 14 kids in Texas that are not going to be going home tonight. And the parents are not going to be picking up their kids.

Sen. Dick Durbin called the shooting "heartbreaking and tragic."

"Fourteen young lives and a teacher gone far toon soon," he said. "My heart is with the families and friends of those lives lost. I implore - beg - my Republican colleagues to join Democrats in finally making changes to our gun laws to help prevent Americans from re-living this gun tragedy far too often. Congress must act."

Illinois Rep. Robin Kelly called the shooting "despicable," and called on her fellow political leaders to take action.

"Today some parents in Uvalde, Texas will experience the worst day of their lives - panicked, rushing to pick up their child from school, but learning their child will never come home," she said. "Too many parents know this pain. It's despicable. We can't go on like this."

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin said that he would work to prevent guns from getting into the hands of criminals, and also added that he would make sure that responsible gun owners could still own firearms.

“I can imagine after seeing that pain of those parents with the pain of these children, these little kids must feel this horrific act of violence. We need a governor who's going to stand up and fight against these acts,” he said. “We need a governor who's going to stand strong and make sure that not only do we heal after these events that seem to be happening so much throughout our country day in and day…(we must) make sure that we support our police and and we support our neighbors and our families and our friends and these school children, (and) that we don't allow weapons to get into the hands of criminals and those with mental illnesses.

“And as governor, I will take a strong stance to ensure that we do what's necessary to protect ourselves,” he added.

Illinois' Lt. Governor Julianna Stratton says her "heart aches" for the families of those killed.

"When we drop our little one off at school each morning, we expect to pick her up at the end of the day," she said. "As a mom, my heart aches for the families and the entire Robb Elementary School community. I'm lifting them in prayer. This is not normal. We must unite to end gun violence."

We will continue to update this story as more details become available.

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