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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10:11 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Agents "didn’t hesitate" when responding to Uvalde shooting, US Border Patrol chief says

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

US Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said dozens of on-duty and off-duty agents responded to the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, adding that as soon as officers arrived, "they didn’t hesitate."

"We responded from various locations. I had both on-duty, off-duty, folks that were in a training environment all responded to this location," Ortiz said, adding between 80-100 officers responded.

"They didn’t hesitate. They came up with a plan. They entered that classroom and they took care of the situation as quickly as they possibly could," Ortiz told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Among those who responded were members of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit, or BORTAC, which is a specialized unit made up of highly trained officers that respond to "emergent and high-risk incidents," according to the agency.

One agent was injured and has since been released from the hospital.

"I talked to my officers and certainly talked to the agent that was injured yesterday. Nothing prepares you for a scene like they saw and witnessed yesterday," Ortiz said.  

Border Patrol will participate in the investigation, given its involvement.

Earlier Wednesday, Chief Jason Owens, who heads the Del Rio sector for Border Patrol, told CNN’s Mark Morales that the uniforms of the agents who responded to the scene were "covered in blood."

"I took my agents back to the Uvalde station. I had to bring new uniforms for them to change into. This was a travesty and a tragedy on the level that few people will ever see, and nobody should have to see," Owens said, stressing that the response was a joint law enforcement effort.

US Customs and Border Protection has a large presence in Uvalde, which is located about 60 miles from the Texas-Mexico border. Some agents had family members who attended the school, according to Owens. 

"I had agents that were responding to this scene that had kids in there that they didn’t know were okay or not. We had a couple that were impacted by this. And we had one agent that lost a granddaughter, we had others that lost extended family members," Owens said.

3:48 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

10-year-old Annabell Guadalupe Rodríguez  identified as victim in school shooting

From CNN’s Caroll Alvarado and Sara Smart

Annabell Guadalupe Rodríguez, 10, has been identified as one of the 21 victims killed at Robb Elementary.

Family members of Annabell confirmed her identity to CNN affiliate KHOU.

She was a fourth grader at the school. Her family told KHOU that she was in the same classroom as her cousin, who was also shot and killed.

Correction: An earlier version of this post placed Annabell in the wrong grade. She was in the fourth grade.

9:55 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Father of shooting victim: "I just want people to know that she just died trying to save her classmates"

From CNN’s Joseph Bonheim

Angel Garza, the father of Amerie Jo Garza, who was killed in Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper this evening that his daughter was trying to help her classmates as the attack was unfolding.

“She was just trying to do the right thing,” he said. “She was just trying to call the cops, that’s all.”

The father noted that his daughter had received a phone for her birthday two weeks ago.

"She just got her phone. She'd been wanting a phone for so long, and we finally got it for her. She just tried to call the police," he told CNN.

“I just want people to know that she just died trying to save her classmates. She just wanted to save everyone," he later added.

Garza, who works as a med aide, learned this information while arriving on the scene to help the shooting victims. He stated that two students in the classroom confirmed that she was trying to call police when she got shot.

“One little girl was just covered in blood head-to-toe,” Garza said. “I asked her what was wrong, and she said ‘she was ok.’ She was hysterical saying they shot her best friend. ‘She’s not breathing, and she tried to call the cops.’ I asked her what’s her name and she said, she told me ‘Amerie, she said Amerie.’”

The father described his daughter, calling her "the sweetest little girl."

"She was the sweetest little girl who did nothing wrong. She listened to her mom and dad. She always brushed her teeth. She was creative. She made things for us. She never got in trouble in school," he said.

Watch the interview:

9:34 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Officials confirm hospitalized woman at San Antonio hospital is shooter's grandmother 

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

The 66-year-old woman in serious condition being treated at a San Antonio hospital is the shooter’s grandmother, officials confirmed Wednesday.

According to officials, the shooter’s grandmother had been airlifted in critical condition to the hospital Tuesday after being shot by the gunman

“The first thing that happened was the gunman shot his grandmother in the face. She then contacted police. The gunman fled, and as he was fleeing had an accident just outside the elementary school and he ran into the school,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a news conference earlier Wednesday.

In a televised CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer, Sgt. Erick Estrada, a public information officer for the Texas Department of Public Safety, echoed Abbott’s comments and confirmed the 66-year-old woman is the shooter’s grandmother.

University Hospital in San Antonio declines to comment on individual patients, but in a Wednesday morning statement confirmed they were treating three children and a 66-year-old woman, who is in serious condition after being downgraded from critical condition.

9:54 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Vigil underway in Uvalde for school shooting victims

(Jae C. Hong/AP)
(Jae C. Hong/AP)

A vigil is underway in the Uvalde County Fairplex for the victims of the school shooting at Robb Elementary.

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

With 21 dead and 17 others injured, the attack was the deadliest school shooting in almost a decade and shook a nation still reeling from a mass shooting just 10 days ago.

"Amazing Grace" was played during the vigil as members of the community wept and hugged.

Children look on during the vigil at Uvalde County Fairplex.
Children look on during the vigil at Uvalde County Fairplex. (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Watch a moment from the vigil:

8:39 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

More than 100 federal officers responded to Uvalde school shooting

From CNN’s Mark Morales and Andy Rose

More than 100 federal officers responded to Tuesday’s deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, according to Customs and Border Patrol.

“When it was all said and done, we had over 80 officers immediately on the scene, and then right after that, 150 or so officers converged on this area,” Customs and Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz told CNN on Wednesday.

Ortiz said those officers came from several divisions, including the Border Patrol, Air and Marine Operations and Homeland Security Investigations.

Jason Owens, who commands the Del Rio sector of the Border Patrol, told CNN the scene was incredibly disturbing.

“I took my agents back to the Uvalde section, and I had to bring new uniforms for them to change into,” Owens said. When asked why, Owens responded, “Covered in blood. What this person did was evil.”

8:14 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Uvalde shooter was inside school for up to 1 hour before being killed by law enforcement, officials say

From CNN’s Andy Rose

The Robb Elementary School shooter was on the premises for up to an hour before law enforcement forcibly entered a classroom and killed him, officials said Wednesday.

“It's going to be within, like 40 minutes or something, [within] an hour,” Texas Department of Public Safety director Steven McCraw told CNN’s Ed Lavandera at a news conference. 

Rep. Tony Gonzales, whose district includes Uvalde, told CNN’s Jake Tapper he was briefed that shooter Salvador Ramos was in a standoff with law enforcement for about a half-hour after firing on students and teachers.

“And then it stops, and he barricades himself in. That’s where there’s kind of a lull in the action,” Gonzales said. “All of it, I understand, lasted about an hour, but this is where there’s kind of a 30-minute lull. They feel as if they’ve got him barricaded in. The rest of the students in the school are now leaving.”

Department of Public Safety spokesperson Sgt. Erick Estrada declined to be more specific about the timeline in a CNN interview Wednesday night.

8:08 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

4th-grade teacher Irma Garcia "sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom"

From CNN's Sharif Paget

(From Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District)
(From Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District)

Irma Garcia, a fourth-grade teacher at Robb Elementary School, has been identified as a victim in Tuesday's school shooting, CNN has confirmed through a GoFundMe site set up to raise funds for funeral expenses and family needs.

Garcia was a wife and mother to four children, the GoFundMe campaign says. "Sweet, kind, loving. Fun with the greatest personality. A wonderful 4th grade teacher at Robb Elementary that was a victim in a Texas school shooting in Uvalde, Texas," it added.

"She sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom. She was a hero. She was loved by many and will truly be missed," the campaign went on to say.  

Garcia's nephew John Martinez told the Washington Post that officials informed the family that she helped shield students from the gunfire.

“I want her to be remembered as someone who sacrificed her life and put her life on the line for her kids,” Martinez told the Washington Post on Wednesday. “They weren’t just her students. Those were her kids, and she put her life on the line, she lost her life to protect them. That’s the type of person she was.”

According to Garcia's profile on the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District website, she had been an educator for 23 years. It was her fifth year co-teaching with Eva Mireles, who was also tragically gunned down at the elementary school.

8:16 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Shooting victims’ bodies starting to be released to funeral homes for arrangements, official says

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

The bodies of nine victims of the Uvalde Elementary School shooting will be released to funeral homes this evening, Judge Lalo Diaz tells CNN.

Diaz is the justice of the peace for precinct 4 in Uvalde County.

The remaining 12 bodies of victims will be released either later tonight or tomorrow, Diaz said.

The body of the shooter is in another county’s morgue, Diaz noted, telling CNN that the priority is to handle the victims and then they will worry about his remains.