May 25 Texas shooting news

By Travis Caldwell, Seán Federico-O'Murchú, Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 7:04 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022
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5:48 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

McConnell blames "maniac" for Texas killings, doesn't address possible solutions to recurring mass shootings

From CNN's Ted Barrett

(Senate TV)
(Senate TV)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered an emotional speech on the Senate floor Wednesday following a mass shooting in a Texas school a day earlier.  

The top Senate Republican put the blame clearly on the shooter, whom he described as a “deranged young man” and “maniac,” echoing the views of many Republicans that mental illness is the root cause of many of these recurring tragedies.   

McConnell didn’t make any mention of the 18-year-old shooter’s easy access to high-powered weapons or any possible preventative legislative solutions.

In his speech, McConnell said it is “literally sickening to think of the innocent young lives stolen” and that he was praying for everyone involved. 

In separate interviews with CNN, Florida GOP Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott pushed back on calls for AR-15s and semi-automatic weapons to be banned and dismissed demands for expanded background checks. Rubio instead said he would try to force a vote today on a measure to bolster school safety in other ways.

In a back-and-forth with CNN, Rubio contended that expanded background checks would not solve the problem and said even if Washington banned AR-15s, a killer would find a different weapon.

Listen, at the end of day, you're arguing about what they're using to commit this, and the truth of matter is these people are going to commit these horrifying crimes whether they have to use another weapon to do it; they're going to figure out a way to do it,” Rubio said.

When asked about the prospect of banning AR-15s, Scott said, “I think we have in our Constitution our Second Amendment rights, and we shouldn’t take away rights for law-abiding citizens.”

11:46 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Texas official: "When I have to sign 21 death certificates, my heart will drop"

From CNN’s Amanda Watts 

As the justice of the peace for precinct 4 in Uvalde County, where the Robb Elementary School shooting occurred, it’s up to Lalo Diaz to coordinate the processing of the deceased victims. 

“When I have to sign 21 death certificates, my heart will drop," Diaz told CNN Wednesday.

In total, 21 people — 19 children and two adults — were shot and killed Tuesday. The shooter also died. 

All 21 victims are currently with the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office in nearby San Antonio. The shooter is being held in a neighboring county and will not be moved to Bexar County until all the victims have been processed first, Diaz said. 

“Our first priority was to ID the victims,” Diaz said. 

Diaz was called to the scene a few hours after the shooting and was anticipating just a couple of victims. “I got there and thought it was 2-3 people and when I was told 16 children… You cannot believe it's happening in your community,” he said.  

“Before this, my biggest one was four people who died in a car crash,” Diaz said. “You never think you'll be doing 21 inquests at one time.” 

“It's a small town,” Diaz said, adding that everyone knows each other. He himself knows the families of several victims. 

Diaz is working to get the bodies of the victims back to Uvalde as soon as possible. He is coordinating with the two funeral homes in Uvalde to get the victims back with their families as early as later today or tomorrow.

11:31 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Gunman sent ominous Instagram messages hours before shooting, according to social media screenshots

From CNN's Casey Tolan

The 18-year-old Uvalde shooter messaged someone on Instagram that “I got a lil secret” just hours before he gunned down 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School, according to a screenshot of messages posted on the social media site. 

Three days before the attack, an Instagram account linked to shooter Salvador Ramos posted a photo of two rifles lying on a carpet. The story tagged another Instagram account by name in the photo.

The owner of the tagged Instagram account wrote in a story posted after the shooting that Ramos had tagged her and messaged her out of the blue.   

The girl, who did not include her name on her account and has since made her account private, posted a series of screenshots of messages that she said she exchanged with the shooter in the days before the massacre.

“what your guns gotta do with me?” she asked him, according to the screenshots. “i’m so confused.”

“Be grateful I tagged you,” Ramos told her, the screenshots showed, and she replied: “i barely know you and u tag me in a picture with some guns.”

In another message that appeared to be sent the morning of the shooting, Ramos wrote “I’m about to” – but didn’t say what he would do. “I got a lil secret,” he wrote in another message. “I wanna tell u.”

In messages posted to her story before it went private, the girl said that she didn’t live in Texas and didn’t know Ramos.

“the only reason i responded to him was because i was afraid of him i wish i stayed awake to at least try to convince him to not commit his crime,” she wrote. “I didnt know.”


11:06 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

White House planning for President Biden to visit Texas

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

White House aides are in the early stages of planning for President Joe Biden to visit Texas after 19 children and two adults were killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school, sources familiar with the planning say. 

The details are still being finalized and it remains to be seen when the president will go, with officials keeping in mind they don't want to distract from ongoing response efforts. 

11:05 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Senate majority leader urged GOP to work with Democrats on a gun reform bill but acknowledged it is "unlikely"

From CNN's Ali Zaslav 

(Senate TV)
(Senate TV)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday that he “aches for the families” of the victims of the horrific elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. He indicated in his remarks there might not be a vote on the two House-passed background check bills any time soon, arguing Americans know where senators stand on gun safety legislation.

“There is some who want this body to quickly vote on sensible gun safety legislation — legislation supported by the vast majority of Americans, Democrats, Republicans and independents alike,” he said in floor remarks. “They want to see this body vote quickly, so the American people can know which side each senator is on …. I'm sympathetic to that and I believe that accountability votes are important. But sadly, this isn't a case of the American people not knowing where their senators stand. They know. They know because my Republican colleagues are perfectly clear on this issue. Crystal clear. Republicans don't pretend that they support sensible gun safety legislation.”

The two House-passed background check bills — if ever brought to a vote in the Senate — are expected to fail due to strong GOP opposition.

Schumer urged Republicans to “work with us” to reach a bipartisan deal on gun reform legislation – but acknowledged this is a very “slim prospect” and “we’ve been burnt so many times before.” 

He added that if they cannot reach a “strong bill that has bipartisan support,” which he again reiterated is “unlikely” -- Democrats will “continue to pursue this issue on our own. We have no choice. It's too important. Lives are at stake.”

Schumer pleaded with Republicans to support gun reform legislation. “Please, please, please, Damnit. Put yourself in the shoes of these parents, for once,” he said. “Maybe that thought putting yourself in the shoes of these parents instead of in the arms of the NRA might let you wriggle free from the vice like grip of the NRA. Might free you to act even on a simple measure…Please damnit please think if it was your child or grandchild.” 

Schumer also criticized Republicans for focusing on the motives of shooter, as well as concerns of mental illness versus gun reform. “They talk about the real villain being mental illness and say nothing of the fact that we are a nation suffocated by firearms,” he said. “The US is not an outlier on mental illness, but we are in outlier in the sheer number of guns available in this country. That is why we have so many shootings and other Western countries don't.”

He added that in the US “the leading cause of death among children is a firearm.” 

“America doesn't stand out when it comes to the rate of mental illness, but we are unique among the world's developed nations in that today the leading cause of death among children, is no longer a car accident, is no longer illness or malnourishment, the leading cause of death among children is a firearm.. Do you hear that my Republican colleagues? A firearm.”

3:57 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

What we know so far about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas

From CNN Staff

People gather outside the local civic center where students were transported after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday.
People gather outside the local civic center where students were transported after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday. (Marco Bello/Reuters)

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:

The victims:

  • 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. Uziyah was in fourth grade, his aunt Nikki Cross told CNN. His uncle Mitch Renfro described him as a “great kid. Full of life. Loved anything with wheels, and video games.” He leaves behind two sisters. 

What happened: 

  • 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 suspect 

  • 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.
10:59 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

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.

11:34 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

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.

10:47 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

10-year-old shooting victim Jose Flores Jr. was "full of energy," his father says

From CNN’s Caroll Alvarado

Jose Flores Jr.
Jose Flores Jr. (from Jose Flores Sr.)

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.