KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, left 19 students and two adults dead Tuesday afternoon, Kansas City area leaders reflected on the tragedy, expressing heartbreak, offering prayers and calling for change.
"May God bless those children, their teacher and all the families touched by the tragic events today in Texas," Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a Tweet.
Lucas said he plans to talk to other fellow mayors to find a course of action, and refuses to "keep shrugging our shoulders after the preventable shooting massacres around us seemingly happen every week."
Kansas Rep. Jake LaTurner honored law enforcement officers, who helped evacuate students and teachers to prevent further loss of life, before a specialized tactical team entered a classroom and shot and killed the suspect.
"Join me in praying for the families of the victims and the entire Uvalde community as they navigate this horrific event," LaTurner said. "Thank you to the brave law enforcement officers and first responders that arrived on the scene."
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also said he would be praying for those close to the victims to find strength and peace. Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall also expressed his devastation and prayers for family.
A devastation shared by Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver.
"I'm heartbroken. I'm distraught. I'm enraged that we have made the conscious decision as a nation to allow these awful tragedies to continue—and our kids are paying the price." Cleaver said. "Lord, please forgive us and give us the courage to address gun violence."
"Another community is once again dealing with the devastating fallout from a senseless act of gun violence. When will enough be enough?" Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids said on Twitter.
Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran described the news as "horrifying" and said he joins "all Americans in mourning the lives of the children and teacher lost to this senseless act of evil."
"The severity of mass shooting is a uniquely American problem. We are unwilling to make policy to lessen this American embarrassment. It’s shameful. We can’t say that we are better than this because clearly we are not. This is our America," Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said.