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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3:11 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Gunman shared his plans on Facebook before the shooting, governor says. Company says messages were private


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said that prior to the Uvalde elementary school shooting, the gunman shared his plans on Facebook about 30 minutes before reaching the school.

Abbott said in the first message, he wrote: "I'm going to shoot my grandmother."

The gunman later said: "I shot my grandmother" and "I'm going to shoot an elementary school," according to Abbott who described the messages as posts.

A spokesperson for Meta, formerly known as Facebook, said Wednesday the messages written by the shooter were “private one-to-one text messages,” contrary to Abbott’s assertion the gunman made the posts on Facebook.

“The messages Gov. Abbott described were private one-to-one text messages that were discovered after the terrible tragedy occurred. We are closely cooperating with law enforcement in their ongoing investigation,” Meta spokesperson Andy Stone said in a Twitter post.

CNN is reaching out to Facebook and Abbott’s office for additional clarification.

2:20 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Gunman's grandmother "is in critical condition but she's still alive," Texas official says

The gunman shot his 66-year-old grandmother before heading to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in her car, according to Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The grandmother "reported him to the police department, when she was able to run across the street to a neighbor and get help," McCraw said at a news conference Wednesday. "She was medevaced to San Antonio in critical condition at this point but she's still alive."

The shooter used his grandmother's vehicle "to drive approximately 0.29 miles, which is a block and a half away from Robb Elementary School," McCraw continued.

"He crashed the vehicle at that point in time. He exited with a backpack, took a rifle with him" and went to the west side of the campus, which is a backdoor, he added.

7:04 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Official describes the guns and ammunition purchased by the Uvalde school shooter

Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, detailed how the gunman responsible for the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School obtained his guns and ammunition, at a news conference Tuesday.

The 18-year-old, identified as Salvador Ramos by officials, was a dropout of the Uvalde High School and authorities have not found a criminal history so far, McCraw said, adding that the gunman lived with his 66-year-old grandmother.

The official said Ramos purchased a semiautomatic rifle at a local sporting goods store and 375 rounds of ammunition for that rifle. Then, he purchased another semiautomatic rifle at this same local store, McCraw said.

McCraw had said the gunman purchased the ammunition and rifles in March, but according to state Sen. John Whitmire, who received a briefing from law enforcement Tuesday night, Ramos legally purchased two AR platform rifles at a local federal firearms licensee on May 17 and May 20.

He also purchased 375 rounds of ammunition on May 18, Whitmire said, citing law enforcement.

State Sen. Ronald Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde, said the purchases were made for the suspect's 18th birthday.

Update: The post has been updated with CNN's latest reporting about when the gunman purchased the gun and ammunition.

2:41 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Beto O'Rourke interrupts Texas governor's news conference

From CNN's Amanda Musa, Ashley Killough and Brian Rokus

(Veronica G. Cardenas/Reuters)
(Veronica G. Cardenas/Reuters)

Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke interrupted a news conference where Gov. Greg Abbott and other officials were providing updates on the Uvalde elementary school shooting.

He approached the stage where Abbott was speaking. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, among other officials and lawmakers, were in attendance.

“The time to stop the next shooting is right now and you are doing nothing,” O’Rourke told Abbott.

Cruz told O'Rourke to "sit down," and Lt. Gov Dan Patrick added, “you’re out of line.”

O'Rourke could be heard saying, "this is totally predictable," and then was told that he needed to leave while being shouted down by officials on stage.

Abbott didn’t engage and barely looked at O'Rourke, but Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin shouted at O’Rourke: “You’re a sick son of a b**ch that would come to a deal like this.”

O'Rourke was led away by officers.

As he walked out of the room, O'Rourke told Abbott, “This is on you, until you choose to do something different. This will continue to happen. Somebody needs to stand up for the children of this state or they will continue to be killed, just like they were killed in Uvalde yesterday.”

Abbott then said the outburst was about an "agenda."

"There are family members who are crying as we speak, there are family members whose hearts are broken, there is no words that anybody shouting can come up here and do anything to heal those broken hearts. We all, every Texan, every American has the responsibility. We need to focus not on ourselves and our agendas," he said.

Speaking to reporters after he left the news conference, O’Rourke said of Abbott, “He said he was going to do something. He did nothing. In fact, the only thing he did was make it easier to carry a gun in public.”

“His only interest is the gun lobby. He’s scheduled to speak at the NRA convention this Friday in Houston, Texas, just days after these kids were slaughtered right here in Uvalde, after they were slaughtered at Santa Fe High School, at Sutherland Springs, In Midland-Odessa, in El Paso, Texas. Five of the worst mass hosting in US history, right here in this state in the last five years, he was governor for every single one of them,” O’Rourke continued.

Less than an hour before O’Rourke interrupted the news conference, he sent an email to his supporters where he said the Uvalde shooting is a “direct consequence” of “choices made by Greg Abbott.”

“These massacres are not natural disasters, acts of God, or random. They are totally predictable, direct consequences of the choices made by Greg Abbott and the majority of those in the Texas legislature,” he wrote.

2:24 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Texas governor pins blame for shooting on mental health

(Marco Bello/Reuters)
(Marco Bello/Reuters)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott placed the blame for the Uvalde school shooting that killed 19 kids and two teachers on mental health issues.

"Before coming out here, we had a long discussion with law enforcement at all levels ... and I asked the sheriff and others an open-ended question and got the same answer from the sheriff as well as from the mayor of Uvalde. The question was, what is the problem here? And they were straightforward and emphatic. They said ... 'we have a problem with mental health illness in this community.' And then they elaborated on the magnitude of the mental health challenges that they are facing in the community and the need for more mental health support in this region," Abbott said.

Just prior to these remarks, Abbott said the gunman used an AR-15 to carry out the shooting and had no known mental health history.

The governor also said that mental health services and counseling is available for the community affected by the shooting.

When later asked by a reporter about an 18-year-old's ability to purchase firearms, Abbott doubled-down and said it's a "mental health challenge" whenever someone uses a gun to shoot someone else.

"So the ability of an 18-year-old to buy a long gun has been in place in the state of Texas for more than 60 years, and think about during the time over the course of that 60 years, we have not had episodes like this, and why is it that for the majority of those 60 years we did not have school shootings and why is it that we do now?" the governor said.

"What I do know in talking to the leaders here as well as leaders in other locations around the state and that is the one thing that has substantially changed is the status of mental health in our communities. What I do know is this, and that is we as a state, we as a society, need to do a better job with mental health. Anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge, period. We as a government need to find a way to target that mental health challenge and do something about it," he said.

Abbott also compared Texas's gun laws with those in cities like Chicago and New York.

"There are, quote, real gun laws in Chicago. There are, quote, real gun laws in New York. There are 'real' gun laws in California. I hate to say this, but there are more people who were shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas," he claimed. "And we need to realize that people who think that 'maybe if we could just implement tougher gun laws, it's going to solve it.' Chicago and LA and New York disprove that thesis. And so if you're looking for a real solution, Chicago teaches that what you're talking about is not a real solution. Our job is to come up with real solutions that we can implement."

5:40 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

A Border Patrol officer killed the Uvalde elementary school shooter, Texas governor says

During his news conference Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott detailed how law enforcement officers engaged and killed the gunman at Uvalde's Robb Elementary School.

"Officers with the Consolidated Independent School District (ISD) approached the gunman and engaged with the gunman," he said. "The gunman then entered a back door and then went down two short hallways and then into a classroom on the left-hand side."

The gunman entered into a classroom, which was the connected internally to another classroom, Abbott explained.

"Border Patrol, Consolidated ISD officers, police, sheriffs and DPS (Texas Department of Public Safety) officers converged on that classroom. And a Border Patrol officer killed the gunman," he said.

1:46 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Grandmother of gunman contacted police after she was shot in the face, Texas governor says


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the 18-year-old gunman first shot his grandmother in the face before going into Robb Elementary School and killing 19 children and two teachers.

She called the police, and the gunman fled, had an accident with a vehicle outside the school and then went into the school, the governor said.

1:39 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Texas governor says "people are rightfully angry" after Uvalde school shooting

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott opened a press conference the day after a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, left 21 people dead by saying that "people are rightfully angry" about what happened.

"These kids will never attend school again. To say the least, Uvalde has been shaken to its core. Families are broken apart heart are forever shattered. All Texans are grieving with the people of Uvalde. And people are rightfully angry about what has happened. Events like this, they tear at the fabric of the community. Our job is to ensure that the community is not going to be ripped apart. All Texans must come together and support the families who have been affected by this horrific tragedy."

The press conference is ongoing.

1:35 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

10-year-old Lexi Rubio's parents say "she had a bright future" before her life was cut short by gunman

Lexi Rubio
Lexi Rubio (courtesy Felix and Kimberly Rubio)

Felix and Kimberly Rubio celebrated their daughter Lexi making the All-A honor roll and receiving a good citizen award at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday shortly before the shooting that claimed her life.

Lexi was 10 years old and in the fourth grade, her parents told CNN.

“We told her we loved her and would pick her up after school. We had no idea this was goodbye,” Kimberly Rubio wrote in a post on Facebook.

The parents told CNN they were proud of their daughter.

“She was kind, sweet, and appreciated life. She was going to be an all-star in softball and had a bright future whether it’s sports or academic. Please let the world know we miss our baby,” they said.