COLUMBUS, Ohio — Several school districts across central Ohio will have an increased police presence on Wednesday in the wake of a tragic shooting at a Texas elementary school that left 21 people dead.
As of Wednesday morning, law enforcement agencies in Hilliard, Whitehall and Genoa Township announced plans to increase patrols in their respective school zones.
“We want to emphasize that this is out of an abundance of caution — there are no known threats,” a social media post from the Hilliard Division of Police reads in part.
Genoa Township and Whitehall police echoed that sentiment, adding the decision is in an effort to ease the minds of parents, teachers and students following Tuesday's shooting.
“This extra presence is to ease the minds of parents, students and teachers,” the post from Whitehall police reads.
Authorities said 19 students and two adults were killed when a gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and opened fire. Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety detailed the incident, explaining how police broke windows at the school in an effort to help people escape.
The suspected gunman, since identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was ultimately killed by law enforcement.
Hilliard, Whitehall and Genoa Township police added school resource officers will still be posted inside buildings Wednesday.
The central Ohio districts join schools across the country that have announced an increased police presence.
In Connecticut, where the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting killed 20 first graders and six educators, state police said they were sending extra troopers to schools Wednesday, although no specific threats had been received.
“This assault on the most innocent of our citizens is deeply disturbing and heartbreaking,” Connecticut state police Col. Stavros Mellekas said in a statement. “At this time, our focus will be on protecting all school populations here in our state.”
Schools in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Virginia, Maryland and Florida are also among those increasing security and offering counseling.
“Last night, I hugged my two kids a little tighter,” New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said in a statement. “This morning, I gave them an extra kiss before sending them off to school... How many more must die in our schools, in our supermarkets and in our streets before the U.S. Congress acts to help address this carnage?”
You can keep track of the latest updates on the Robb Elementary School shooting here.