ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Just a few hours after at least 20 lives were taken in a senseless shooting at a Uvalde elementary school, Wylie ISD, a district that has trained, assigned staff to carry firearms, responded to the tragedy. Abilene Police also issued a statement, implementing additional security measures in the last week of class.
Just before noon Tuesday, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, shot his grandmother, according to Texas Governor Greg Abbott at a press conference in Abilene, concerning the Mesquite Heat fire. Ramos then entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and opened fire, killing a confirmed total of 18 children and one teacher. Ramos himself is among those dead.
News of the cold, insensible and violent act quickly made its way across the country, prompting reaction from all over and putting all in mind of the tragedy that happened nearly 10 years prior, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
During the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, on December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six adult staff members.
At Wylie ISD, Assistant Superintendent, Craig Bessent, responded to the fatal shooting on a more local level.
Wylie, among the first school districts in Texas to arm its teachers, considers Bessent to be an expert on school security.
Bessent told KTAB/KRBC, in the wake of a tragedy, that Wylie is safe.
“Bring your kids to school. This is a safe school- safe school district,” Bessent assured. “We have lots of measures in place… Our teachers are well-trained, we have security personnel at every campus and that is what our job is.”
Bessent also said he trains educators across the state on how to respond to threats, and has even sat in on conversations of school security at the White House.
Meanwhile, the Abilene Police Department (APD) also wants to up the ante on security at our schools.
In a statement regarding the Robb Elementary shooting, APD said it will be working with Abilene and Wylie ISDs to provide more officers at schools for the rest of the term.
“We are simply taking proactive measures to ensure the safety of students and staff. We want parents and students to report any credible threat to your school resource officer and school administration or to the emergency number 9-1-1,” APD’s statement read.
Beginning Wednesday morning, parents can expect a heightened police presence at their students Abilene schools, for the rest of the school year, which ends Thursday.
Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary could be the deadliest in Texas History. According to the Associated Press, the 1966 University of Texas clock tower shooting was the deadliest, with 16 victims including the shooter.