In the aftermath of a gunman killing at least 19 children and two children at an elementary school on Tuesday, many tri-state officials weighed in to grieve for the families who lost loved ones, criticize what they see as lax gun laws, and call for action.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy — after tweeting out that "no child or educator should ever fear going to school, and no parent should ever fear sending their child to school" — said that the state attorney general's office told police to increase their presence at all schools, and that the state police will increase their presence at schools where State Troopers are the primary law enforcement.
Others also drew parallels of the attack to one that occurred not far away nearly 10 years ago: the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 26 people, 20 of whom were similarly young students.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said that his state "knows this feeling all too well."
In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul said that she is "leaving no stone unturned to put an end to gun violence," as the state is still reeling from the deadly mass shooting inside a Buffalo supermarket where 10 people were killed in a racist attack.
Two of her opponents in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor also weighed in. Rep. Tom Suozzi blasted the National Rifle Association in a statement, saying that the organization "simply has no conscience. The gun manufacturers that fund them, the members that tolerate their extremist views, and the politicians that pander to them have allowed our country to be flooded with guns and have fueled domestic terrorism."
He then went after Republicans — and "some Democrats" — in Congress who have no voted on gun reform.
"What is wrong with them? Why don’t they see they are helping to perpetuate the misinformation by the NRA that leads to tragedy after tragedy? Or do they see and don’t care because they are desperate to get re-elected?" Suozzi's statement read.
Fellow Democratic candidate for governor Jumaane Williams said the shooting comes after a slew of other high-profile acts of gun violence in New York.
"On my way to services for a child shot and killed in the Bronx, during a vigil for ten people shot and killed in Buffalo, a few days before a man was shot and killed on the train, news of another mass shooting breaks, along with the hearts of families in Texas and across the country," he said in a statement. "Outside a salon. In a supermarket. A subway. A school. Gun violence pervades every corner of our communities because guns are perversely fetishized and endlessly accessible in our country."
Williams went on to blame laws that make it easier to carry concealed weapons, and added that if action is not taken to prevent more shootings, "we will be here again and again. Shamed, shaken, but never shocked."
Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy took to the Senate floor Tuesday to address politicians and beg for change after a mass shooting resulted in the death of over 19 kids and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas.
“I'm here on this floor to beg, to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues,” Murphy said. “Find a path forward here. Work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely.”
In an emotional appeal to fellow politicians, Murphy stressed the need to take action to prevent further tragedies from happening. When Murphy made the comments, the death toll stood at 14 children dead.
"There are 14 kids dead in an elementary school in Texas right now. What are we doing? Why are we here?" he asked as part of his impassioned plea.
His fellow Connecticut senator, Richard Blumenthal, said that legislation Murphy has promoted on background checks could be something where there is bipartisan support.
"I've come close to agreement with a number of my colleagues on a red flag statute.” Blumenthal said, “Senator Murphy's working on background checks that I think there is common ground that we can seek and find.”
Here's what other local leaders had to say about the deadly school shooting that will go down as one of the worst in American history.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
“Less than two weeks since the Buffalo shooting, another community has been devastated by gun violence. My heart is with the victims, their loved ones and especially with the parents of these innocent children. We are the only country in the world that tolerates mass shootings at our schools, stores and places of worship, a fact that is as horrific as it is heartbreaking. The American people must demand that all of our leaders act to stop these senseless killings and hold them accountable if they refuse to do so.”
Rep. Elise Stefanik
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis
Rep. Andy Kim
Rep. Carolyn Maloney
Rep. Jerry Nadler
Sen. Cory Booker
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Mondaire Jones
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries
Rep. Jamaal Bowman