Joe Biden has urged Americans to stand up to the gun lobby and pressure Congress to toughen gun laws, after 19 children and two teachers were murdered at a Texas school, the toll the deadliest of the last ten years for this type of crime.

Authorities say Salvador Ramos, 18, shot his grandmother, who survived, on Tuesday before fleeing and crashing into a car near Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and d shot at least 21 people before being killed, apparently by the police.

Authorities said all the victims of the shooting were killed in the same fourth grade class.

Investigators are still trying to determine the shooter's motives, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Chris Olivarez told MSNBC.

"Broken Heart"

"As a nation, we have to ask ourselves when in the name of God are we going to stand up to the gun lobby, when in the name of God are we going to do what we all know, in our guts, that it must do!” Joe Biden said in a televised address.

Among the reactions Wednesday, during his weekly audience to the crowds assembled in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis said he was "heartbroken".

"I pray for the children and adults who have been killed and for their families," he added, before calling for "enough" to be said about the indiscriminate sale of weapons and "(take) a commitment so that tragedies like this cannot happen again".

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky also offered his condolences to the families of the victims, speaking via video link at a side event at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"It's terrible to have victims of gunmen in peacetime," he added.

With Reuters 

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