A shooting spree at a Texas elementary school has killed 18 children and three teachers.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday after the attack in the small town of Uvalde near San Antonio.

The shooter was also dead. According to initial findings, the attacker was an 18-year-old man who had been killed by officials.

According to the police, they assume that the shooter acted alone.

There are several injured, children as well as adults.

The police did not initially release concrete figures or other details.

American President Joe Biden was shocked by the killing spree.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre wrote on Twitter that Biden had been briefed on the "terrible news" and would be kept updated on the new findings.

The President is praying for the affected families and will comment publicly on the terrible event as soon as he returns to the White House from his trip to Asia.

Biden had visited South Korea and Japan in the past few days and was expected back in the capital Washington on Tuesday evening local time – according to German time on Wednesday night.

Biden immediately ordered flags on all public buildings in the United States to be flown at half-mast up to and including Saturday in view of the devastating attack.

Shooting sprees, including in schools, occur with sad regularity in the United States.

A massacre at an elementary school ten years ago was particularly shocking: In December 2012, a 20-year-old with severe mental health problems in Newtown, Connecticut, first shot his mother.

He then went to his elementary school, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and killed 20 school children and six teachers there.

He then killed himself.

At the time, the act caused a shock nationwide and also caused horror beyond the borders of the USA.

Connecticut-born US Senator Chris Murphy addressed his Senate colleagues in moving words after the current bloodbath.

"What are we doing?" asked the Democrat on Tuesday afternoon (local time) in the US Congress.

"Why do you spend so much time running for the United States Senate?

Why bother getting this job (...) when your answer is that while this slaughter increases and our children run for their lives, we do nothing,” he asked, clearly struggling.

"Why are we here?"

"School massacres are not inevitable"

School massacres are not inevitable.

"It only happens in this country.

And nowhere else," Murphy said.

"Nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking that they might be shot that day." Murphy added, "It's our decision whether this goes ahead."

"Work with us to find a way to pass legislation that makes this less likely," the Democrat said.

“I know that my Republican colleagues will not agree with everything I advocate, but we can find common ground.” Congress, the US parliament, is responsible for tightening gun laws.

Many Republicans oppose such a move.

The gun lobby is very powerful in the US.

120 dead a day from gun violence

Just over a week ago, a gunman with an assault rifle opened fire in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing ten people and injuring three others.

He was arrested at the scene of the crime.

According to investigators, the act was racially motivated – 11 of the 13 victims were black.

Last year, the FBI counted 61 gun shootings in the United States.

The FBI announced on Monday in Washington that this was more than 50 percent more than in the previous year.

The number has doubled since 2017.

In 2021, 103 people were killed and 140 injured in rampages.

60 of the 61 shooters were said to be men.

The FBI uses a strict definition for the count: it only includes cases in which a perpetrator shoots at people in public in order to kill them.

Classic criminal cases involving armed violence or shootings among gang members are ignored.

The level of gun violence overall is far greater in the United States.

Fatal incidents involving firearms, which are readily available there, occur regularly.

In its most recent statistics from 2020, the health authority CDC recorded a total of 45,222 gun deaths in the USA - more than 120 deaths per day.