LOCAL NEWS

Utah leaders, organizations react to deadly shooting at Texas elementary school

May 24, 2022, 9:00 PM | Updated: May 25, 2022, 10:22 am

Law enforcement officers gather outside of Robb Elementary School following the mass shooting at Ro...

Law enforcement officers gather outside of Robb Elementary School following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. According to reports, 19 students and 2 adults were killed, with the gunman fatally shot by law enforcement. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Several Utah leaders and organizations shared their thoughts following a deadly shooting Tuesday at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that claimed the lives of 19 students and two adults.

Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson released a joint statement in which they expressed their devastation for the events.

“It’s hard to imagine a more heinous crime, and we pray for the students, educators, families, law enforcement officers, and everyone impacted by this senseless act of violence. Even as we mourn for the victims, we urge parents and students to download the SAFEUT app and to say something if you see warning signs.”

Former Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said, “Like most Utahns, I am sad and angry over the mass killings in Uvalde, Texas. Utah must continue its efforts to make schools safe and secure for teachers and students. More and better counseling, single entry points, and more security in K-12 is a goal we can and should achieve!”

Utah Senate President J. Stuart Adams wrote that he is “heartbroken” by the shooting and that he is praying for the families who were affected by this “horrific, senseless act.”

Brad Wilson, Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives, said, “Words will never be able to properly express the heartbreak we are all feeling right now. I mourn with the parents, siblings, friends, and loved ones of those who lost their lives yesterday.”

Sen. Mitt Romney described the mass shooting as “incomprehensible.”

He then offered prayers and condolences to those affected, but said he knows that is grossly inadequate, adding that “we must find answers.”

Sen. Mike Lee shared a brief message on Twitter that states, “My heart breaks at the tragic news from Texas today. I pray for the victims, their families, and for our nation at this difficult time.”

Rep. Burgess Owens said what happened at the school Tuesday “is every parent’s worst nightmare,” adding that he is “horrified by this senseless tragedy and heartbroken for these innocent children and their families.”

Rep. Blake Moore stated that he cleared his schedule Wednesday morning to walk his boys to school, adding that “I don’t yet know how to talk to them about what happened yesterday in Uvalde.”

Moore told his constituents in his Twitter post, “I am someone who seeks unity, not division; avoids divisive rhetoric; and focuses on creating the type of world we want for our kids.”

He concluded his remarks by saying, “Jane and I are heartbroken by this tragedy. Our hearts go out to each impacted family and pray they find peace.”

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson wrote, “As a mother and Mayor, I am broken hearted but also outraged by the senseless act of violence against children in Texas.”

She said many elected officials stand ready to enact further laws to protect communities from this kind of violence, finishing her thoughts with #EndGunViolence.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall shared similar sentiments, saying, in part, “As a mother of three children, I can’t imagine the sorrow and anguish too many parents have suffered through as a result of gun violence.”

She concluded her statement by saying, “It is far beyond time we, as a nation, take action to eliminate these senseless tragedies.”

Draper City officials encouraged students, parents and teachers who are in need of mental health support, or who know of someone who does, following the “horrific act of violence” in Uvalde, Texas, to contact the SAFE UT app.

Officials with Better Utah posted on Twitter Wednesday morning saying they “mourn with those who mourn” after the horrific shooting.

“We are reminded that none of us are truly free as long as our children and families have to live under the constant fear of gun violence in our communities.”

Officials with the SAFE UT app said they are “deeply saddened and heartbroken to learn about the devastating tragedy,” adding that their thoughts “are with the victims’ families and community.”

They went on in their statement to remind Utahns about the SAFE UT app, which allows students, parents/guardians and educators throughout the state to report suspicious activity and connect with counselors.

“We want to raise awareness of this situation and remind you the SAFE UT app is a no-cost resource available to students, parents/guardians, and educators throughout Utah. If you hear or see something concerning, use the apps tip feature to submit a confidential tip. As with any tip we receive, our team of counselors work with school administrators and law enforcement as necessary.”

The statement reads in full:

We are deeply saddened and heartbroken to learn about the devastating tragedy that occurred at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday May 24th. Our thoughts are with the victims’ families and community.

We want to raise awareness of this situation and remind you the SAFE UT app is a no-cost resource available to students, parents/guardians, and educators throughout Utah. If you hear or see something concerning, use the apps tip feature to submit a confidential tip. As with any tip we receive, our team of counselors work with school administrators and law enforcement as necessary.

With any threat, immediately reporting concerns to SafeUT and proper authorities ensures the information gets to someone who can investigate it.

When we receive multiple tips about the same topics, it shows the community is working together and that students, parents/guardians, and educators are not assuming someone else has reported the possible threat. The entire SafeUT team greatly appreciates the collaboration with schools throughout Utah. We can come together to save lives.

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Utah leaders, organizations react to deadly shooting at Texas elementary school