Several celebrities took to social media to condemn the brutal murder of 19 schoolchildren and two adults at Robb Elementary School in the US state of Texas. The carnage began with the 18-year-old suspect, identified as Salvador Ramos, shooting his own grandmother, who survived, authorities said. The incident has led to renewed anger over the United State’s gun laws. Speaking from the White House hours later, a visibly shaken President Joe Biden urged Americans to stand up to the politically powerful gun lobby, which he blamed for blocking enactment of tougher firearms safety laws.

Actor Matthew McConaughey, who is originally from the town of Uvalde, which is where the shooting took place, penned a long note expressing his grief over the incident. He wrote, “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us,” he wrote, in part. “The true call to action now is for every American to take a longer and deeper look in the mirror and ask ourselves, ‘What is it that we truly value? How do we repair the problem?'”

Singer Taylor Swift reposted a video of basketball team Golden State Warriors head Coach Steve Kerr speaking emotionally about the incident. “Filled with rage and grief, and so broken by the murders in Uvalde. By Buffalo, Laguna Woods and so many others,” the singer tweeted. “By the ways in which we, as a nation, have become conditioned to unfathomable and unbearable heartbreak. Steve’s words ring so true and cut so deep.”

Selena Gomez, who is also a Texas native, shared a note about the tragic shooting on Twitter. “Today in my home state of Texas 18 innocent students were killed while simply trying to get an education,” she wrote. “A teacher killed doing her job; an invaluable yet sadly under appreciated job. If children aren’t safe at school where are they safe?”

“It’s so frustrating and I’m not sure what to say anymore,” she continued in a second tweet. “Those in power need to stop giving lip service and actually change the laws to prevent these shootings in the future.”

Several other celebrities also spoke against the brutal murder in Texas.

The gunman fled the scene and crashed his car near the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, a town about 80 miles (130 km) west of San Antonio. There he launched a bloody rampage that ended when he was killed, apparently shot by police.

The motive was not immediately clear.

Law enforcement officers saw the gunman, clad in body armour, emerge from the crashed vehicle carrying a rifle and “engaged” the suspect, who nevertheless managed to charge into the building and open fire, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Sergeant Erick Estrada said on CNN.

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