Politicians, public figures and organizations in Utah are responding to a Texas elementary school shooting Tuesday that left 19 children and two adults dead.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox learned about the shootings while he was speaking at the groundbreaking of a Utah Food Bank distribution center in Springville.
"Sadly, I just got a text that there's been another terrible shooting at an elementary school in Texas, where a dozen kids lost their lives," Cox said. "My heart's breaking because I'm sitting here celebrating this incredible event to help people and knowing that there is evil and suffering happening out there ... I want to thank all of you for what you're doing to help make the world be more gentle. May God bless you for your service, and may God inspire us to give more because we need it now more than ever."
Cox also issued a statement along with Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson on Tuesday afternoon in which they expressed their devastation for the events and offered prayers for those affected, while also encouraging those in need to "download the SafeUT app and to say something if you see warning signs."
Cox also called for the lowering of United States flags at all state facilities in accordance with President Joe Biden's proclamation honoring the victims of today's shooting.
The people behind SafeUT, an app connecting people in need to licensed counselors, also expressed their feelings about the events Tuesday.
"We are deeply saddened and heartbroken to learn about the devastating tragedy that occurred at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday," SafeUT said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with the victims' families and community."
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson spoke about being a mother and the need to protect children in a statement she posted on Twitter.
"As a mother and Mayor, I am broken hearted but also outraged by the senseless act of violence against children in Texas," Wilson said. "Many of us in elected offices stand ready to enact further laws to protect our communities. Those resisting need to take responsibility for their unwillingness to act. #EndGunViolence."
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall also cited gun violence in her statement, as did Darlene McDonald, a candidate for Congress in Utah's 4th Congressional District.
"My heart goes out to the families of those killed in Uvalde, Texas today," Mendenhall tweeted. "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."
My heart goes out to the families of those killed in Uvalde, Texas today. 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.— Mayor Erin Mendenhall (@slcmayor) May 25, 2022
"The solution to today's shooting and last week's shooting and the shooting before that and the shooting before that isn't more guns," McDonald wrote. "More guns haven't protected our children nor our grandparents. Officer Aaron Salter Jr. was armed. He died with 9 others."
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney tweeted from his personal Twitter account his condolences about the tragic events.
"Grief overwhelms the soul. Children slaughtered. Lives extinguished. Parents' hearts wrenched. Incomprehensible," he wrote. "I offer prayer and condolence but know that it is grossly inadequate. We must find answers."
Grief overwhelms the soul. Children slaughtered. Lives extinguished. Parents’ hearts wrenched. Incomprehensible. I offer prayer and condolence but know that it is grossly inadequate. We must find answers.— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) May 24, 2022
"My heart breaks at the tragic news from Texas today," Utah Sen. Mike Lee tweeted. "I pray for the victims, their families, and for our nation at this difficult time."
Utah Senate President J. Stuart Adams also offered prayers for the families of the victims.
"I'm heartbroken by the shooting in Uvalde, Texas," he wrote. "My prayers are with the families who lost their children and loved ones to this horrific, senseless act."
Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton expressed the need for more mental health resources in her Twitter statement.
"I am heartbroken to hear of the tragedy in Uvalde," she said. "While there are strong feelings on how to address these things, I think we can all agree that we need more mental health resources. It's something I'm committed to in #SLCO."