What we’re covering
- Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, the Texas Department for Public Safety said.
- The 18-year-old gunman is dead, officials said. He shot his grandmother before the mass shooting, authorities say, and she remains hospitalized in critical condition. The shooter’s motive remains unknown, officials say.
- President Biden said he will travel to Texas to visit the victims’ families “in the coming days.” He called on the US to turn its collective pain into political action following the deadliest elementary school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012.
What we know so far about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas
From CNN Staff
Just two days before students were to begin summer break, a lone gunman entered a Texas elementary school and opened fire, killing 19 young children and two teachers in the deadliest school shooting in almost a decade.
Here’s the latest on Tuesday’s school shooting at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas:
- All of the victims have been identified, removed from the school and families notified, according to Lt. Chris Olivarez, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. All fatalities and injuries took place inside one classroom at Robb Elementary, according to Olivarez.
- Eva Mireles, a fourth-grade teacher, is among those killed, her aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado, told CNN. She had been an educator for 17 years and enjoyed running, hiking, biking and spending time with her family, according to her profile on the school district’s website.
- Xavier Lopez, a 10-year-old, has been identified as one of the victims, his mother Felicha Martinez confirmed to the Washington Post. “He was funny, never serious and his smile,” Martinez told the paper.
- Amerie Jo Garza, another 10-year-old, has been identified by her father as one of the children killed. Angel Garza posted to Facebook early Wednesday: “Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby. She’s been found. My little love is now flying high with the angels above. Please don’t take a second for granted. Hug your family. Tell them you love them. I love you Amerie Jo. Watch over your baby brother for me,” said the father.
- Uziyah Garcia, 10, was identified as one of the victims, his family confirmed to CNN. Garcia was in fourth grade, his aunt Nikki Cross told CNN. His uncle Mitch Renfro described Garcia as a “great kid. Full of life. Loved anything with wheels, and video games.” Garcia leaves behind two sisters.
- The gunman, identified by officials as Salvador Ramos, is dead and is believed to have acted alone.
- Ramos is believed to have shot his grandmother before heading to the elementary school. She was hospitalized in critical condition late Tuesday.
- The suspect crashed his vehicle in a ditch near the school before attempting to enter the premises, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Erick Estrada told CNN.
- A motive for the shooting is unclear at this time, Estrada said.
- Law enforcement engaged the suspect, but he was able to get inside the school and barricade himself inside a classroom, where he “started shooting,” Estrada said.
- As the shooting was taking place, officers were going around the school, breaking windows and trying to evacuate children and staff. They were then able to force entry into the classroom where the shooter was, said Lt. Chris Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
- Uvalde police and state troopers were first to arrive on scene following a 911 call and were met with gunfire. Two police officers received non-life-threatening injuries and are out of the hospital, according to Olivarez.
- More than 20 US Customs and Border Protection agents responded to the scene and provided aid, a law enforcement official said.
- At least one Border Patrol agent was wounded by gunfire from the shooter according to the US Department of Homeland Security, spokesperson Marsha Espinosa said.
- The gunman has been identified by officials as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos from Uvalde.
- Ramos had attended Uvalde High School, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
- A photo of two AR-15-style rifles was posted to an Instagram account linked to the gunman three days before the shooting. The photo was posted as a story under the username “salv8dor_.” Multiple classmates confirmed the account belonged to Ramos.
- The two guns that investigators say were used in Tuesday’s deadly school shooting were purchased by Ramos for his 18th birthday, according to the state senator who represents Uvalde. “Unfortunately, on his 18th birthday he bought those two assault rifles… It’s the first thing he did when he turned 18,” state senator Ronald Gutierrez told CNN’s Erin Burnett, citing a briefing he received from Texas Rangers. Gutierrez said the guns were bought legally from a federally authorized dealer in the Uvalde area.
- Ramos had stopped attending school regularly, one of his former classmates told CNN. “He barely came to school,” said the friend, who did not wish to be identified. Ramos had recently sent him a picture of an AR-15, a backpack with rounds of ammunition and several gun magazines, the friend added.
- A former classmate said Ramos “would get severely bullied and made fun of a lot” and was taunted by others for the clothes he wore and for his family’s financial situation.
- Ramos worked at a local Wendy’s, a manager, Adrian Mendes, confirmed to CNN.
The city & the school:
- Uvalde is about 90 miles west of San Antonio and just east of the US-Mexican border.
- Robb Elementary includes second through fourth grades and had 535 students in the 2020-21 school year, state data shows. About 90% of its students are Hispanic, and about 81% are economically disadvantaged, according to the data.
- Uvalde County had a population of about 25,000 in the 2020 census.
Mass shootings in the US:
- As of Tuesday, the Gun Violence Archive reports at least 213 mass shootings in 2022. CNN and the archive define a mass shooting as one in which four or more people were injured or killed, not including the shooter.
- This is at least the 30th shooting at a K-12 school in 2022, according to a CNN tally.
- So far, there have been more mass shootings than days in 2022 — including the racist attack at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store a little over a week ago that left 10 dead.
- Tuesday’s massacre is the deadliest school shooting since 2012, when 26 children and adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
7 hr 47 min ago
Uvalde shooting suspect’s grandmother is still alive, Texas Department of Public Safety says
From CNN’s Raja Razek
The grandmother of the Uvalde shooting suspect is still alive, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Lt. Chris Olivarez told CNN.
The suspect, Salvador Ramos, is believed to have shot his grandmother before going to Robb Elementary School. She was hospitalized in critical condition late Tuesday.
“We’re hoping, we’re praying, that the grandmother does pull through because obviously, she is a key witness,” Olivarez said.
He said authorities are trying to locate the suspect’s grandfather.7 hr 12 min ago
Texas hospitals give updates on patients injured in Uvalde school shooting
From CNN’s Amanda Watts
Tom Nordwick, the CEO of Uvalde Memorial Hospital, told CNN that of the 15 patients they received Tuesday from the shooting at Robb Elementary School, all have been either discharged or transferred to other hospitals.
On Wednesday morning, Nordwick said that “no patients remain in house from the incident yesterday.”
In total, Uvalde Memorial Hospital received 15 patients, he said. Eleven of them were children, and four of those were transferred to other locations in San Antonio. Seven were discharged and sent home. Of the four adults received, one was transferred to a San Antonio hospital and three were discharged and sent home.
Nordwick said some of the patients received scatter or fragment wounds, though he couldn’t say what caused the wounds. Those who were injured more significantly had to be transferred to San Antonio hospitals.
This morning, University Hospital San Antonio posted an update on its Facebook page providing an update on the four patients they have received from the Tuesday shooting:
- A 66-year-old woman in serious condition
- A 10-year-old girl in serious condition
- A 10-year-old girl in good condition
- A 9-year-old girl in good condition
All pediatric patients have their families with them, the hospital said in the post.
Brooke Army Medical Center tweeted Tuesday that it received two patients in critical condition. On Wednesday, BAMC said the two patients from the Robb Elementary School shooting remain in serious condition.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the patients, families and the community of Uvalde,” BAMC said.7 hr 59 min ago
10-year-old shooting victim Jose Flores Jr. was “full of energy,” his father says
From CNN’s Caroll Alvarado
Jose Flores Jr., 10, has been identified as one of the victims killed at Robb Elementary, his father Jose Flores Sr. told CNN.
Flores said his son was in the fourth grade and loved baseball and video games.
“He was always full of energy,” Flores said. “Ready to play til the night.”
Flores also described his son as an amazing kid and big brother to his two siblings. 8 hr 3 min ago
Texas school shooter legally purchased rifles and ammunition, state senator tells CNN
From CNN’s Paula Reid
The gunman in the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school legally purchased two AR platform rifles at a local federal firearms licensee on two separate dates, May 17 and May 20, according to Texas state Sen. John Whitmire, who received a briefing from law enforcement last night.
Whitmire also said that, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, one of the rifles the gunman had purchased was left in the truck he crashed at the school. The other rifle, manufactured by Daniel Defense, was located in the school with the suspect.
On May 18, the suspect also purchased hundreds of rounds of ammunition, Whitmire said, citing law enforcement.
It appears the suspect dropped a backpack with several magazines full of ammunition near the entrance of the school, authorities told the state senator. Inside the school, authorities found what appears to be seven 30-round magazines. Authorities said they will not know whether that ammunition was used until the crime scene is processed.8 hr 8 min ago
10-year-old Uziyah Garcia, “the sweetest little boy,” identified as one of the victims killed at Texas school
From CNN’s Sara Smart and Caroll Alvarado
Uziyah Garcia, 10, has been identified as one of the victims killed at Robb Elementary, his family confirmed to CNN.
Garcia was in fourth grade, his aunt Nikki Cross told CNN. His uncle Mitch Renfro described Garcia as a “great kid. Full of life. Loved anything with wheels, and video games.” Garcia leaves behind two sisters.
Garcia’s grandfather, Manny Renfro, also spoke with affiliate, KSAT.
“The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” Renfro said. “I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.”
Renfro said Uziyah last visited him in San Angelo during spring break.
“We started throwing the football together and I was teaching him pass patterns. Such a fast little boy and he could catch a ball so good,” Renfro said. “There were certain plays that I would call that he would remember and he would do it exactly like we practiced.”PAID CONTENT
Biden says gun laws won’t prevent every tragedy — “but we know they work and have a positive impact”
From CNN’s Sam Fossum
President Biden urged Congress to pass gun safety legislation.
“We know common sense gun laws can’t and won’t prevent every tragedy. But we know they work and have a positive impact. When we passed the assault weapons ban — mass shootings went down. When the law expired — mass shootings tripled,” Biden tweeted this morning.
The President made similar remarks in his prime-time address to the nation last night.
We know common sense gun laws can’t and won’t prevent every tragedy. But we know they work and have a positive impact.— President Biden (@POTUS) May 25, 2022
When we passed the assault weapons ban — mass shootings went down.
When the law expired — mass shootings tripled.
Top Democratic senator says action on gun violence will have to wait until after Memorial Day recess
From CNN’s Lauren Fox
Sen. Dick Durbin, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will work with his Democratic colleagues to schedule hearings on gun violence in America when lawmakers return from their Memorial recess, he said.
He also said that he believes a vote on the two pieces of legislation that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer put on the calendar last night will have to wait until after Memorial Day.
Lawmakers are still expected to leave for recess Thursday.
Durbin said Democrats are committed to action, but he conceded that it would be an uphill lift to get Republican votes.
“The President was right it’s time for us to stand up and fight back as a nation,” Durbin said. “We are loath to call ourselves leaders in this country if we don’t address it.”
When CNN pushed Durbin on if he’d gut the filibuster to pass background checks, he said “absolutely.” 8 hr 21 min ago
Sen. Murphy: It’s easier to buy an assault weapon in the US than it is to get a pet
Sen. Chris Murphy dismissed placing the sole blame on mental health for school shootings in America, saying it is too easy to obtain an assault rifle to carry out mass killings.
“We don’t have more mental illness than any other nation in the world. There’s no evidence that there are more mentally ill people here than in Europe. The difference is when people have homicidal thoughts in the United States of America, they can walk down the street to a Walmart and get an assault weapon easier than they can buy a cat or a dog. There’s more red tape involved in pet ownership in this country than there is in assault weapons ownership,” he told CNN’s Jim Sciutto.
“So the difference is not mental illness. The difference is that people who are having breaks with reality in the United States can get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction,” he said.
Murphy also addressed the idea of putting more armed officers in schools.
“That shooter made it inside the school, and unless you are literally planning on putting an army battalion at every school in this country, it only takes a handful of minutes for an individual with an assault weapon to kill 20 or 30 people,” Murphy said.
Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut who has been outspoken on gun reform since the Sandy Hook school shooting in his state, yesterday gave a speech on the Senate floor slamming his fellow lawmakers for doing “nothing” as school shootings continue.
He told Sciutto that “we just don’t have enough Republican partners right now” to work out a compromise on gun legislation, like for stronger gun background checks.
“This is a problem that has been endemic in the Senate,” he said, adding “maybe that changes this week.”
Murphy said he refuses “to believe that this is inevitable.”
“Is this Congress going to pass something substantial? I can’t guarantee you that. I’m going to try all day today to try to find some compromise but this is ultimately up to voters. Voters get to decide this. Ask your candidates this fall, ‘are you supportive of universal background checks, do you think 18-year-olds should have access to military-style assault weapons?’ and if they say yes, if they support the current law, if they don’t support reform, don’t send them back to Congress. So this is up to Congress, but this is also up to voters as well,” he said.8 hr 44 min ago
As nation reels from Texas school shooting, Biden’s pick to lead ATF to face Senate hearing
From CNN’s Clare Foran and Lauren Fox
President Biden’s nominee to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will come under scrutiny at a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, as the nation’s attention is focused on gun violence again after a horrific shooting at a Texas elementary school.
An 18-year-old gunman on Tuesday fatally shot 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, before he was killed by law enforcement officers, officials said. It is the deadliest shooting at a school since the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut in 2012 that left 26 people dead, including 20 children between 6 and 7 years old.
The high-profile tragedy has shocked the nation and ratcheted up the pressure on Congress and the President to take action, though Democrats can do little to pass stricter gun control measures in a 50-50 Senate amid widespread Republican opposition.
Against that backdrop, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the nomination of Steve Dettelbach to run the ATF during a hearing on Wednesday in a high-stakes moment for the administration’s agenda.
Dettelbach could be confirmed in the Senate without any GOP votes if all Democrats vote in favor and would just need 51 votes with Vice President Kama Harris breaking a tie.
But Democratic unity is not guaranteed on the contentious issue of gun policy. And the White House has already suffered an embarrassing setback over its efforts to confirm a nominee to head the bureau last fall.
Some background: In September 2021, the White House withdrew the nomination of David Chipman to lead the bureau. Biden put the blame on Republicans for the inability to get Chipman confirmed, even though there had been stiff resistance among moderate Democrats and independent Maine Sen. Angus King — as well as GOP senators — over Chipman’s past record on gun control.
The incident laid bare the reality of confirming someone to a post that has made past comments on such a sensitive and divisive issue as gun control, something that is sure to once again be front and center in Dettelbach’s hearing. Dettelbach made clear he supported universal background checks and a ban on assault-style weapons during his bid to be attorney general of Ohio in 2018. Those positions are expected to face scrutiny Wednesday.
Dettelbach is a former federal prosecutor and was previously unanimously confirmed by the Senate to serve as the US attorney for the Northern District of Ohio under President Barack Obama.
The ATF has operated under a series of acting directors since its last Senate-confirmed leader stepped down in 2015, and the Senate last confirmed an ATF nominee in 2013.
CNN’s Manu Raju contributed reporting to this post.9 hr 47 min ago
Shooter barricaded himself in classroom, killing 19 children and 2 teachers, official says
From CNN’s Adrienne Vogt
All fatalities and injuries took place inside one classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, according to Lt. Chris Olivarez, spokesperson for the Texas Department for Public Safety.
The shooter barricaded himself in one room, killing two teachers and 19 children, he said.
“Just goes to show you the complete evil from this shooter,” Olivarez told CNN’s John Berman and Shimon Prokupecz.
As the shooting was taking place, officers were going around the school, breaking windows and trying to evacuate children and staff. They were then able to force entry into the classroom where the shooter was, he said.
All the victims have been removed, identified and their families have been notified, the lieutenant said. Multiple children were wounded inside the classroom, according to Olivarez, but there is no exact number as to how many at this time.
“It’s a small classroom, you can have anywhere from 25 to 30 students in there, plus there were two teachers in there. … So don’t have exact number of how many students were in that classroom, but it could vary … It was a classroom setting, a typical classroom setting where you have mass groups of children inside that classroom all together, with nowhere to go,” Olivarez said.
Olivarez said there was no chase with law enforcement before the shooter crashed a car near the school.
When asked if the school was a target, Olivarez said there are still “a lot of unanswered questions.”
“We’re trying to determine that, that’s why we’re working with FBI right now to kind of look back to see if there were any indicators, any red flags, looking at social media. What we know about the shooter is that he is a resident here in Uvalde, he did attend one of the local high schools, he lived with his grandparents, was unemployed, no friends, no girlfriend that we can identify at this time, no criminal history, no gang affiliation as well,” he said.
Olivarez said the shooter had one rifle in his possession when he went into the school, and authorities are working to determine what type of rifle and the capacity.
The shooter was wearing “a tactical vest carrier with no ballistic panels; so typically those type of carriers are used by tactical teams, SWAT teams, where they can place magazines, extra ammunition inside those carriers and be able to move in a tactical formation,” Olivarez said.
Olivarez said his grandmother — whom the shooter shot beforehand — is still alive and authorities are trying to locate his grandfather and immediate family members.
CNN’s Raja Razek contributed reporting to this post.9 hr 44 min ago
Uvalde resident says she saw parents running toward elementary school after shooting
From CNN’s Amanda Watts
Kim Hammond, who lives two doors down from Robb Elementary School, said at first it didn’t register that it was gunfire that she heard at the school.
“I just kind of dismissed it,” she told CNN’s John Berman. “Then my living room started to shake, and it was a helicopter, it was literally right over my house just above the tree, and I thought ‘this is not good.’”
When Hammond realized something was happening at the school, she went onto Facebook to investigate, and she saw that police were reporting a shooting at Robb Elementary.
“There were parents running towards the building,” Hammond said, adding there were law enforcement vehicles all over the streets around the building. “And so in between the vehicles were parents just jumping out of their cars and running towards the school… they were panicked.”
Hammond, who is a Desert Storm veteran, knows what gunfire sounds like. She said she didn’t want to believe that it was coming from the school.
“That can’t be, not here,” she hoped. “But my mind wouldn’t even go there. I just figured somebody ran and they are having a shootout, so I’ll stay in the house and lock the doors.”
Hammond, getting emotional, said she very much looks forward to next school year when the kids will once again return to the school playing loudly at recess and loading buses.
“I’ll be happy to hear it to tell you the truth, I’ll welcome it. These kids, they need to be sheltered from it as much as they can be,” she said. 10 hr 8 min ago
Former Robb Elementary principal on school shooting: “This absolutely can happen anywhere”
From CNN’s Melissa Alonso
Former Robb Elementary School Principal Ross McGlothlin described the school and the city of Uvalde following yesterday’s mass shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers.
“We never believe that something this tragic can happen so close to us,” he said to CNN’s John Berman following Tuesday’s mass shooting. “Robb Elementary is a great school.”
McGlothlin said that when he was principal at the school, in 2015 and 2016, it served students in the third and fourth grades. They come from across the city of Uvalde, since the city separates some students by grade levels at some campuses, said McGlothlin.
“Uvalde is a great little town,” McGlothlin said. “It’s a quiet, friendly community, farmland to the south and ranchland to the north; it’s the gateway to the Texas Hill Country.”
“This is just a sad example that this absolutely can happen anywhere,” he added. 10 hr 15 min ago
Parkland survivor’s message to America in wake of another mass shooting: “We are failing our children”
From CNN’s Melissa Alonso
Hogg was hiding in a closet during the shooting at his high school in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14, 2018; 17 people were killed.
“The reality is if I’m just talking about this, and Congress is talking about this, after there’s been the equivalent of another Sandy Hook or another Parkland or another Buffalo…we are failing our children,” Hogg told CNN’s John Berman.
Hogg said he spent a few days with victims of the recent mass shooting in Buffalo and says there is still “shock” in that community.
“The only way we’re going to be able to successfully address this is why we’re working together as Americans to create a more perfect union, because right now, our union is incredibly imperfect and deeply broken because we can’t protect our most valuable asset, which is our children,” said Hogg.
The March for Our Lives co-founder told CNN his message for action on gun violence is “first of all vote and second of all, show up at your state legislature every year demanding action on gun violence. Not just around how somebody gets a gun, but why they pick up a gun in the first place.”
“If we do that, mark my words, we could cut gun violence in half in a decade,” said Hogg. 10 hr 33 min ago
Uvalde is among the deadliest K-12 shootings in the US
It is at least the 30th shooting at a K-12 school in 2022, according to a CNN tally.
At least 19 children and two teachers were killed in Tuesday’s mass shooting. The 18-year-old gunman is dead.https://ix.cnn.io/dailygraphics/graphics/20220524-deadliest-school-shootings/index.html?initialWidth=737&childId=responsive-embed-9781f6017b591881725507ef&parentTitle=(29)%20What%20we%20know%20so%20far%20about%20the%20school%20shooting%20in%20Uvalde%2C%20Texas&parentUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2Fus%2Flive-news%2Ftexas-elementary-school-shooting-05-25-22%2Fh_b9936a47dd43e3d0e2fc3c9286ff6f0b
CNN’s Elizabeth Wolfe, Nicole Chavez and Dakin Andone contributed reporting to this post.9 hr 46 min ago
10-year-old school shooting victim received an honor roll certificate just hours before he was killed
From CNN’s Justin Lear
“He was funny, never serious and his smile,” Martinez said about the fourth grader, her voice breaking. “That smile I will never forget. It would always cheer anyone up.”
Just a few days shy of completing his last year of elementary school, Xavier was counting the days until he would officially move up the academic ladder into Flores Middle School in Uvalde.
“He really couldn’t wait to go to middle school,” his mother said.
His dreams seemed so close on Tuesday at Robb Elementary School’s honor roll ceremony. Martinez was there to cheer him on as Xavier’s name was called to receive his certificate. Mere hours before the tragedy, Martinez snapped a photo of Xavier.
She told him she was proud and that she loved him before hugging him goodbye. She said she did not imagine that would be the last moment she would share with her “mama’s boy.”9 hr 46 min ago
10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza identified by her father as victim in Uvalde shooting
From CNN’s Melissa Alonso
The father of one of the children killed in Tuesday’s school shooting has identified his daughter as 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza.
Angel Garza said on Facebook early Wednesday morning that his daughter had been killed in the shooting at her elementary school.
“Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby. She’s been found. My little love is now flying high with the angels above. Please don’t take a second for granted. Hug your family. Tell them you love them. I love you Amerie jo. Watch over your baby brother for me,” said the father.
The post came hours after Angel’s original post asking for help in finding the girl in the wake of the shooting. “I don’t ask for much or hardly even post on here but please It’s been 7 hours and I still haven’t heard anything on my love. 💔 Please fb help me find my daughter.”10 hr 49 min ago
It’s unclear if Schumer may force a vote on 2 House-passed gun background check bills before recess
From CNN’s Manu Raju
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised for more than a year to have a vote on two House-passed bills to expand background checks on gun sales — but he has been reluctant to force a vote on the issue knowing that they will fail, even as he has set up failed votes on other issues, like abortion and voting rights, before.
The bills are likely to get less than 50 votes — much less the 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.
It’s unclear when Schumer will try to force a procedural vote to break a filibuster. Unless there’s an agreement from all 100 senators, the earliest he could set up the procedural vote would be Saturday, according to a Democratic aide.
But senators were expected to leave for next week’s Memorial Day recess on Thursday afternoon. So they may wait until after the recess to take that procedural vote, even though leaving town amid the Texas tragedy would be bad optics.
The aide said Schumer has not indicated when he may try to force the vote yet.