ATLANTA — School districts across the nation are rallying behind a Texas community after at least 19 children and multiple adults were killed in an elementary school shooting Tuesday. The tragedy is also prompting districts in Georgia to take action.
The Gwinnett Police Department said it would work with the Gwinnett County Public Schools Police Department to conduct extra patrols Wednesday so that there's a high visibility presence at the schools in the county.
"While there are no known threats to any school in Gwinnett, our officers will be on hand for the safety and comfort of our residents," the police department said in a statement.
"The Gwinnett Police Department would like to offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims in the shooting today at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas," they said.
The school district also added that the extra patrols would be out of "an abundance of caution."
Gwinnet isn't the only Georgia district stepping up patrols.
Atlanta Public Schools said it would enhance safety measures at all schools through the end of the school year, which concludes Thursday.
Fulton County Schools have a similar plan.
"For our Fulton families, in the remaining two days of the school year the Fulton County Police Department, Campus Security Associates, and administrators will be vigilant and aware of the safety concerns our community will have in the wake of this tragedy," officials with Fulton County Schools said. "Staff will also be ready and available for students, as we encourage them to talk about their feelings and seek counsel from school administrators, teachers, or trusted adults."
A spokesperson with the Cobb County School District is also speaking out about the tragedy.
“We are heartbroken to see the tragedy, which changed the lives of students, teachers, and parents in Texas. Every day, our staff is prepared and use Cobb Shield to keep Cobb students and staff, safe. Read more about what we are doing to keep kids safe at www.cobbshield.com.”
State School Superintendent Richard Woods said he would be praying for the parents, community, and staff.
"This terrible tragedy underscores the importance of focusing, as our absolute top priority, on the safety and security of our school campuses and the 1.7 million K-12 students who attend them," Woods said. "We will continue to work closely with the Governor’s Office, the General Assembly, and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency to ensure schools have the resources they need to focus on prevention and ensure a safe and secure environment for students, faculty, staff, and all who step onto a public-school campus."
Background on Texas shooting
At least 21 people, including 19 children, were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, according to law enforcement officials. Several others, both students and adults, are being treated for injuries.
The alleged shooter was also killed by a tactical agent responding to the scene after he exchanged gunfire with law enforcement, local police confirmed. It is believed that shooter acted alone.
Uvalde officials said the shooting started at 11:32 a.m. Tuesday at a building at Robb Elementary that houses second, third and fourth-graders. All campuses were placed under lockdown due to the gunfire.
President Joe Biden briefly addressed the nation Tuesday evening, issuing an emotional call for new restrictions on firearms in the wake of the attack. He also directed that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff through Saturday evening in honor of the victims.