STORY: It was a somber moment for U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden outside the Texas elementary school where 19 children and two teachers were killed by a gunman.
The pair on Sunday laid white roses outside the site of the country’s deadliest school shooting in a decade.
The first lady lingered, touching photos of the young victims at makeshift shrines.
[Upsound – choir singing]
The Bidens are set to meet victims’ families, survivors and first responders in a town grappling with unbearable grief.
Mourners - from adults to the very young – continued to visit a memorial in the town square, comforting each other and leaving gifts reflecting the age of the victims, mostly nine- and ten-year-olds.
MATTHEW MORENO, VISITOR FROM CARRIZO SPRINGS, TX SAYING:
“What can I do to keep my kids safe? (Edit) Now that this really opened our eyes and it made us look like this, what we need to do.”
Anger has mounted over the decision by the town's law enforcement agencies to allow the shooter to remain in a classroom for nearly an hour while officers waited in the hallway and children inside the room made panicked 911 calls for help.
The U.S. Department of Justice on Sunday said it would review local law enforcement response at the request of the town’s mayor.
During their visit, the Bidens also attended mass with a crowd chanting “do something” as the president left the church.
[Upsound: "Do something"]
Biden responded, “We will.”
[Upsound: "We will." / "We will."]
The shooting has once again put gun control at the top of the nation's agenda, with supporters of stronger gun laws arguing that the latest bloodshed represents a tipping point.
Still, while Biden has repeatedly called for major reforms to America's gun laws but has been powerless to stop mass shootings or convince Republicans that stricter controls could stem the carnage.