Two shootings, 10 days apart: Texas school massacre comes on heels of racist killings in Buffalo
As the families of those killed in the hate-fueled shooting at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket just days 10 ago continue to mourn, the U.S. witnessed another mass casualty event as 21 people – including 19 kids – were killed at an elementary school in Texas.
On May 14, 10 people were killed and three were injured in a racially motivated attack at a Tops Friendly Market in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, and when news broke of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, about 85 miles west of San Antonio, on Tuesday, Americans were quick to point out the short time frame between the two mass shootings.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., alluded to the Buffalo shooting when giving an emotional plea on the Senate floor about "doing something," to prevent mass shootings in schools.
"Just days after a shooter walked into a grocery store to gun down African American patrons, we have another Sandy Hook on our hands," Murphy said.
On top of the incidents in Buffalo and Uvalde, a May 15 shooting at a church in Laguna Woods, California, left one dead and five others injured, one of more than a dozen other mass shootings in the U.S. since May 14.
"In the last 10 days, we’ve had elderly Black people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo. We’ve had Asian churchgoers killed in Southern California. Now, we have children murdered at school," Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters ahead of their Western Conference Finals matchup against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.
"When are we going to do something? I’m tired, I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough," he added.
Bloodshed since Sandy Hook: Uvalde school shooting among deadliest school attacks in past 10 years
There have been 213 mass shootings in the United States in just 145 days this year, 10 of which were mass killings, including the Buffalo and Uvalde shootings, according to Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks gun violence incidents in the United States. The Uvalde school shooting is the deadliest shooting of 2022, and deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.
There are similarities into how the attacks were planned and carried out. Both shooters posted about their plans online beforehand. The gunman in Uvalde legally purchased two assault rifles at a local gun store, Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez told USA TODAY, one of which was reportedly found in the elementary school. The Buffalo shooter was armed with an assault-style rifle, police said.
David Riedman, lead researcher at the K-12 School Shooting Database at the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Homeland Defense and Security, which documents every instance a gun is brandished or fired or a bullet hits school property for any reason, told USA TODAY on Tuesday the Buffalo shooter also wrote online he considered an elementary school as a possible target.
The two mass shootings were also a talking point at a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday for Steven Dettelbach, the nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said assault weapons are found in a "war zone, not a school zone," and there needs to be limited access to purchasing one.
Contributing: Cydney Henderson, Grace Hauck and Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY.