LITTLE ROCK, Ark. —
As news spread of the Robb Elementary school shooting, Arkansas was in the middle of the primary election.
Arkansas candidates and state leaders are speaking on the devastating shooting out of Texas that has now claimed more than 20 lives.
Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. shared a statement on Twitter saying he and other mayors were sickened by the news of the "horrific and tragic shooting."
"As we mourn the lives lost to this senseless act, we also recognize that prayers without actions are poems," Scott said. "Today's tragedy comes barely one week after the racist mass shooting in Buffalo, NY. The time for decisive action on gun safety policies is now."
Scott further his call for "common sense gun reform" that he said is long overdue.
"Our hearts are breaking for our friends in Texas," Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said. "I was in communication with the Texas Attorney General about the tragedy we've seen and so we know that we've got to have safe neighborhoods and great schools for kids to go to."
Rutledge, who is in the running for Lt. Governor, went on to talk about how this shooting is a reminder of the need to address mental health problems in our country.
"This is our number one order of business when we talk about these mass shootings and that these shooters are acting out in evil and as a result of mental illness," she said.
As news came in of the shooting, Arkansas primary election candidates took time to talk about it and pay their respects.
Arkansas governor candidates Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Chris Jones each mentioned the shooting at their watch parties after winning their parties vote to go into the general election.
On the night of the tragedy, Sanders said this shooting is a reminder of the importance of life. Jones took a moment of silence to remember those who were killed.
"What an incredible gift each of has been given by our creator to stand here today," Sanders said. "Every single life has value and the most vulnerable among us must be the ones we are fighting for and protecting the most."
"I want to pause for a minute cause my heart goes out to the victims in Texas of the senseless shooting," Jones said. "So if we could just pause for the families that are hurting tonight, at least 18 young lives were senselessly taken. Lets please keep them in our thoughts and prayers tonight."
The death toll from the shooting at Robb Elementary now sits at 21, with 19 students and two teachers identified as the victims.
This is the largest mass shooting in the U.S. in nearly ten years.