May 24, 2022 -- Deadly shooting at Texas elementary school

By Amir Vera, Mike Hayes, Aditi Sangal, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 1826 GMT (0226 HKT) May 26, 2022
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7:27 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Uvalde shooting suspect believed to have shot grandmother first before going to the school, sources tell CNN

From CNN's Evan Perez, Priscilla Alvarez and Shimon Prokupecz

The Texas school shooting suspect is believed to have shot his grandmother before going to the school, three law enforcement sources tell CNN.

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez told CNN the grandmother was airlifted to San Antonio and “is still holding on,” according to information he was given by the Texas Rangers.

“This young man shot his grandmother and fled that scene from that incident,” Gutierrez told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

Earlier, the Texas governor said, “it is being reported that the subject shot his grandmother right before he went to the school.”


7:32 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Republican senator warns against curbing gun rights in wake of Texas school shooting

From CNN's Ted Barrett

GOP Sen. Thom Tillis warned Democrats against having a “reflexive reaction” in the wake of the Texas school shooting that left 15 people dead, by trying to pass laws that would impinge on Second Amendment rights, saying he is confident in the coming days it will be learned that there were “signs” the 18-year-old shooter was “at risk.”

“It's horrible. And you know what we need to avoid is the reflexive reaction we have to say this could all be solved by not having guns in anyone's hands. We can always talk about reasonable measures, but we also have to talk about better situational awareness. I'm almost certain that in the coming days or weeks, we're going to find out that there were signs that this person was at risk, and we need to have an equal or greater attention on prevention and that's a key part of it,” the North Carolina Republican told CNN.

Asked if there was a component of guns that could be part of the solution for the problem of mass shootings in the country, Tillis said “no.”

“What people immediately want to jump to are red flag laws. Virtually everyone that I've seen here has been one that sweep up law abiding gun owners into what I consider to be an overreach. So the question is can we can we actually get to policy that could make a difference, but not deny people their Second Amendment rights and give them due process? That's what we talk about every time something like this comes up and that hopefully will be the discussion if we have one versus what could potentially be the plot of people going into their political corners, which I've seen every time something tragic event like this has happened and the seven and a half years I've been here.”

7:26 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Texas school shooting is all too familiar for Newtown, Connecticut, as Sandy Hook families offer support

From CNN’s Ramon Escobar, Amir Vera and Aditi Sangal

Erica Lafferty
Erica Lafferty CNN

The shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, is all too familiar to some residents of Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were shot and killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

One of them was Erica Lafferty's mother.

"It is just all too familiar and completely devastating. As soon as I heard the news, my mind immediately went back" to the day of the Sandy Hook shooting, she told CNN. "These families in that community are walking into hell and there is definitely a network of people out there who have lived it, who are stepping up to support them ... But it's not going to just go away. Not for the families, not for the community. It's life-changing. It's devastating. It's traumatizing, and every single time it happens, it brings it back like it was yesterday."

The superintendent of the Newtown, Connecticut, school district offered prayers to the students, families and staff of the Uvalde school community Tuesday, saying she will reach out to the school to offer support during the difficult time.

In a message to staff and families, Superintendent Dr. Lorrie Rodrigue referenced the shooting at Robb Elementary School, noting the “horrific impact on their community.” She also said, out of an abundance of caution, there will be an enhanced police presence all Newtown schools.

“In Newtown, this news resonates with our students, staff, and families in ways many communities might not understand — and hopefully never will,” Rodrigue wrote in the letter. “I plan to alert our counseling teams at each of our schools, and particularly at Newtown High School, to be ready to respond to students who are upset, show signs of struggling with this event, or simply need to talk. In addition, we are working collaboratively with the Newtown Police, and in an abundance of caution there will be an enhanced police presence at all of our schools.”

Lafferty also told CNN about the loss she still experiences.

"I honestly can't put it into words. There are days where all I hear or smell or see is my mom all around me. There are days I wake up and I can't remember the sound of her voice or what her laugh sounded like. And I'm not quite sure which side of that is more painful," she said.

As President Biden is expected to address the nation shortly, Lafferty expects him to promise action but points to the "harsh reality that one person cannot change anything."

"I hope that we hear encouraging words, but it's going to take more than thoughts and prayers. Thoughts and prayers haven't brought my dead mom back in the past near decade. It's not going to bring back the people killed at the Robb Elementary School today," she added. 

7:29 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Vice President Kamala Harris: "Enough is enough"

From CNN's Amir Vera


Vice President Kamala Harris made remarks on the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, during the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies 20th Annual Awards Gala in Washington, DC.

"The President and I are monitoring the situation closely. While we do not know all the details, we do know that there are parents who have lost children, families who have lost children and many others who have been injured," Harris said.

The vice president said it's natural for leaders to say "our hearts break," but shootings keep happening over and over again.

"Our hearts keep getting broken … Every time a tragedy like this happens, our hearts break and our broken hearts are nothing compared to the broken hearts of those families. And, yet, it keeps happening," Harris said.

"Enough is enough. As a nation we have to have the courage to take action and understand the nexus between what makes for reasonable and sensible public policy to ensure nothing like this ever happens again," Harris continued. "People of Uvalde, please know that this is a room full leaders who grieve with you and we are praying for you and we stand with you."

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted earlier that President Biden had been briefed on the school shooting.

Biden plans to address the nation about the school shooting this evening at 8:15 p.m. ET from the White House, following his return from Asia.

6:56 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

NBA releases statement on school shooting ahead of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals

From CNN's Jill Martin

The National Basketball Association (NBA) released a statement following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

"Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences go out to the victims’ family and friends, and the entire Robb Elementary School and Uvalde community," the statement read.

The NBA's statement comes just hours ahead of tip-off for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors.

Read the NBA's full statement:

6:44 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Flag flying half-staff at White House after Texas school shooting

An American flag flies at half-staff at the White House on May 24, in Washington, DC.
An American flag flies at half-staff at the White House on May 24, in Washington, DC. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

The US flag is flying half-staff at the White House after today's deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

President Biden is expected to address the nation shortly.

6:53 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

March For Our Lives: "You can’t stop a bullet with thoughts and prayers"

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

The March For Our Lives organization released a statement after the shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

"Our hearts are utterly and completely broken. You can’t stop a bullet with thoughts and prayers. To honor those lost and save countless lives, we need action. We’re dying while we wait for it," the tweet read.

March For Our Lives was created after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February 2018, when 17 people were killed. The organization aims to "create safe and healthy communities and livelihoods where gun violence is obsolete," according to the group's website.

Read the full statement below:

7:34 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

First lady Jill Biden says she's "stunned" by Texas shooting and is "trying to make sense of it"

From CNN's Kate Bennett

A person close to first lady Jill Biden tells CNN she is “stunned and trying to make sense of it,” in regard to the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. 

The first lady tweeted later Tuesday: "Lord, enough. Little children and their teacher. Stunned. Angry. Heartbroken."

Biden is a career educator who has spent in total more than three decades working inside schools. She taught in public high schools for 13 years. She also taught at a psychiatric hospital for adolescents.

She will join the President in the Roosevelt Room when he delivers his remarks later this evening, a person familiar with the first lady’s plans tells CNN.

6:28 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Hillary Clinton: "We are becoming a nation of anguished screams"

From CNN's Shawna Mizelle

Former presidential candidate and first lady Hillary Clinton tweeted in response to reports that 15 people were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, saying, "Thoughts and prayers are not enough."

"After years of nothing else, we are becoming a nation of anguished screams. We simply need legislators willing to stop the scourge of gun violence in America that is murdering our children," Clinton said.

Read her tweet: