A Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) agent fatally shot the 18-year-old gunman who killed at least 19 children and one teacher at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday.
Sources told Fox News that law enforcement officers engaged with the gunman while the agent and a team of officers entered the school and found where the gunman was barricaded.
The BORTAC agent sustained an injury in his leg during the shooting, although it is unclear if the wound was caused by a bullet or shrapnel.
BORTAC is an elite Border Patrol team that “provides an immediate response capability to emergent and high-risk incidents requiring specialized skills and tactics.”
“BORTAC has a cadre of full-time team members headquartered in El Paso, Texas and non-full-time members dispersed throughout the United States. The teams can be called upon to deploy immediately when needed,” the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website states.
Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Marsha Espinosa confirmed in a series of tweets that U.S. Border Patrol agents were indeed involved in confronting the gunman and were injured in doing so, but she did not say whether an agent shot the gunman.
“Upon entering the building, Agents & other law enforcement officers faced gun fire from the subject, who was barricaded inside,” Espinosa said. “Risking their own lives, these Border Patrol Agents and other officers put themselves between the shooter and children on the scene to draw the shooter’s attention away from potential victims and save lives.”
“At least one Border Patrol Agent was wounded by the shooter during the exchange of gunfire. On-and-off duty Border Patrol Agents arrived on the scene to assist with transferring students safely to their families and providing medical support,” she added.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Department of Justice is providing support to local law enforcement agencies in Uvalde, Texas.
“Today, another mass shooting has taken the lives of innocent victims, including elementary school children and their teacher. This act of unspeakable violence has devastated an entire community and shaken our country,” Garland said in a statement.
“FBI and ATF agents have responded to the scene, and the Justice Department is committed to providing our full support to our law enforcement partners on the ground in Texas and to the Uvalde community,” he added. “We join our fellow Americans in mourning this terrible loss and in their resolve to end this senseless violence.”
Anti-gun politicians immediately called for increased gun control in response to the shooting, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“For too long, some in Congress have offered hollow words after shootings while opposing all efforts to save lives,” Pelosi said. “It is time for all in Congress to heed the will of the American people & join in enacting the House-passed bipartisan, commonsense, life-saving legislation into law.”
Gun Owners of America (GOA), a Second Amendment advocacy group, blasted politicians for politicizing the tragedy.
“We mourn the innocent Texans murdered this afternoon. Sadly, we have already seen significant politicization of this tragedy for political gain by those on the Left, including most alarmingly, in fundraising emails – but also in calls for gun control. Additionally, politicians who support the Second Amendment across the state and country are being made the subjects of unacceptable, vitriolic, ad-hominem attacks, and we stand in their defense,” the group tweeted.
“Instead of playing politics, we must discuss real solutions to preventing this type of evil from striking again, for example, by arming willing teachers, which is a solution supported by 81 percent of police,” GOA continued. “If our elected officials are important enough to receive armed protection, so too should our children.”