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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6:12 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

President Biden says he'll go to Texas to meet families grieving after the Uvalde school shooting

(Alex Brandon/AP)
(Alex Brandon/AP)

President Biden announced Wednesday that he will be traveling to Texas "in the coming days" to meet with the families mourning the loss of their loved ones after a gunman killed 19 children and two adults at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Tuesday.

"Jill and I will be traveling to Texas in the coming days to meet with the families, and let them know that we have a sense of their pain, and hopefully bring some little comfort to the community in shock and grief and in trauma," Biden said at the White House during a signing event for an executive order on police reform. 

“As a nation, I think we all must be there for them. Everyone,” Biden said. “And we must ask when in God’s name will we do what needs to be done to — if not completely stop — fundamentally change the amount of the carnage that goes on in this country.”

Echoing remarks he made shortly after returning from Asia on Tuesday, Biden said he was “sick and tired of what’s going on.”

He said “common sense” gun reform wouldn’t “prevent every tragedy,” but would still “have significant impact, and have no negative impact on the second amendment.”

“The second amendment is not absolute,” Biden said. “When it was passed you couldn’t own a cannon. You couldn’t own certain kinds of weapons. There’s just always been limitations.” 

“Where’s the backbone?,” he asked. “Where’s the courage to stand up to a very powerful lobby?”

The President said “one modest step” Congress could take immediately would be to confirm his nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Steve Dettelbach, who vowed earlier Wednesday he would not be influenced by political considerations if he secures the job at a Senate confirmation hearing.

“The Senate should confirm him without delay, without excuse,” Biden said. “Send the nomination to my desk. It's time for action.”

Vice President Kamala Harris also addressed the shooting as she began her remarks.

“I know that today, following yesterday, that all of our hearts, of course, are with the people of Uvalde, Texas, with the parents, with the children, with all the folks that said goodbye yesterday morning to someone they loved not knowing that that goodbye would be their last,” she said.

“Enough is enough,” Harris continued. “As the President said last night, we must have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and pass reasonable gun safety laws.”

CNN's Nikki Carvajal and Maegan Vazquez contributed reporting to this post.

4:20 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

All 15 patients at Uvalde Memorial Hospital have been transferred or discharged, facility says

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

Uvalde Memorial Hospital provided an update on the victims they received from the shooting Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

The hospital received 15 patients in their emergency department, 11 of those being children, according to a news release. Four were transported to other hospitals in San Antonio and seven were discharged to go home, the hospital said.

The hospital also treated four adults, one of whom was transferred to another facility and three whom were discharged. 

In addition to the above, the hospital also received two children, a male, and a female who were pronounced dead on arrival, the release said. 

Currently, there are no patients at Uvalde Memorial from yesterday’s incident.

3:58 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Texas school shooting has implications for America's standing in the world, State Department spokesperson says

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

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

State Department spokesperson Ned Price acknowledged Wednesday that the mass school shooting in Texas has "implications" for the United States' standing in the world.

"The fact is that what happens in this country is — is magnified on the world stage," Price said at a State Department briefing.

When the US is at its best, it sets an example that other nations would seek to follow, and instances like these are examples that "no country would wish to emulate," he said.

"We have the potential to be a source of confusion, a source of disbelief, for our closest friends and allies, worse yet an object of pity, or in the case of competitors and adversaries, a source of schadenfreude, a source of, in some cases, glee," he added. "The power of our example has the potential to be our greatest asset. On days like today, however, it's that example, an example that the world is clearly watching, that will have implications for our standing, and we're very mindful of that."

Other governments send formal notes of condolence in the aftermath of such events, he noted, adding that his colleagues posted abroad often hear "disbelief [about] how something like this could continue to happen." 

"The toll of watching this even, even for those of us who are enmeshed day to day in foreign policy has been a real punch to the gut," Price said. "And it's been a punch that has landed on what is, in many ways, a bruise that hasn't healed, from just the other day and what we saw in Buffalo."

Adding a personal note, he said that he was the age of the students at Columbine, "and now that we're nearly 25 years beyond that, and there are kids in elementary schools, much younger than me, who have been targeted on a mass scale, twice in the past 10 years, it's not lost on me. And I don't think it's lost on anyone."

5:10 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Uvalde school shooting is "a reminder that gun violence is a serious public health threat," CDC director says

From CNN's John Bonifield

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said she is "heartbroken by another tragedy related to gun violence" and that the loss of life is "a reminder that gun violence is a serious public health threat that must be addressed.”

Here's her full statement issued Wednesday in response to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas: 

“I am yet again heartbroken by another tragedy related to gun violence; this time resulting in the senseless loss of children and adult souls in a classroom in Uvalde, Texas. My thoughts are with the families who are mourning the loss of loved ones and the entire Uvalde community grappling with the paralyzing and unbearable grief of this event. The senseless loss of each child and educator is a reminder that gun violence is a serious public health threat that must be addressed. As we mourn and reflect on another agonizing act of violence in this country, we must strengthen our commitment to action toward protecting all families and communities from these too frequent and devastating tragedies.”
4:23 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Uvalde shooter sent chilling messages to a girl he'd met online about his imminent attack

From CNN's Isabelle Chapman and Daniel A. Medina

Minutes before his deadly assault in Uvalde, Texas, the shooter, Salvador Ramos, allegedly sent a series of chilling text messages to a girl he met online, describing how he had just shot his grandmother and was going to “shoot up a(n) elementary school.”

According to screenshots reviewed by CNN and an interview with the teenage girl, who said she had been in contact with the gunman for weeks, Ramos complained about his grandmother being “on the phone with AT&T abojt (sic) my phone.” 

“It’s annoying,” he texted.

Six minutes later, he texted: “I just shot my grandma in her head.”

Seconds later, he said, “Ima go shoot up a(n) elementary school rn (right now).”

It was sent at 6:21 p.m. Central European time (CET), which was 11:21 a.m. Central time (CT) in Texas. It was his last message to the girl.

The 15-year-old girl, who lives in Frankfurt, Germany, said she began chatting with Ramos on a social media app on May 9. Ramos sent the girl selfie videos and discussed a plan to go visit her in Europe, according to videos and text messages. 

In one message, he sent her a screenshot of a Google flight itinerary from nearby San Antonio. “I’m coming over soon,” he wrote.

She said Ramos told her on Monday that he received a package of ammunition.

She said he told her that the bullets would expand when they struck somebody.

At some point, the girl asked what he planned to do. She said he told her it was a surprise and to “just wait for it.”

On Tuesday, at 11:01 a.m. CT, Ramos called and told her he loved her, she said. Then, about 20 minutes later, at 11:21 a.m. CT, he texted her that he had shot his grandmother.

The girl, whose mother gave permission for her to be interviewed, said she spoke daily on FaceTime with Ramos. She said she also communicated with him via a social livestreaming app called Yubo and played games with him on a gaming app named Plato. In their conversations, she said he asked about her life in Germany. “He looked happy and comfortable talking to me,” the girl said. She said he told her that he spent a lot of time alone at home. 

There were other text messages, however, that alarmed her. In one case, she said, he told her that he “threw dead cats at people’s houses.”

She said she got the impression that he kept to himself.

“Every time I talked to him,” she said, “he never had plans with his friends.”

Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the amount of time between Ramos' text messages.

3:15 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Uvalde superintendent says 2 teachers killed in shooting were "cornerstone" of the school

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch 

Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Hal Harrell said “our faith has been shaken” after the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in the Texas town.

Harrell said the staff at the school were heroes.

“Yesterday we lost two teachers. These two teachers, I would say, are the cornerstone of that campus to some great degree. They are two beautiful souls. They had taught on that campus for many years and they poured their heart and soul into what they did – educating our kids in Uvalde,” he said.

Harrell also spoke about the students who were killed.

“Nineteen students. Nineteen precious students who came to school yesterday to enjoy the day, to the enjoy the awards ceremony. As I look at their pictures, you can tell by their angelic smiles that they were loved and that they loved coming to school,” he said.

“We are hurting. We have been cut deep here in our community,” he added. 

2:43 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Snapchat suspends account associated with Uvalde school shooter

From CNN’s Brian Fung

Snapchat has suspended an account associated with the Uvalde school shooter, a Snap spokesperson told CNN. 

The account may no longer be used or accessed, the spokesperson said.

"We are investigating an account that may have been associated with the suspect and we are in active contact with law enforcement authorities to support their investigation," the spokesperson said in a statement.

Asked whether the account had raised any prior red flags, the company declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

3:27 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

FBI Director Wray says FBI feels the "heartbreak" of the Uvalde community after shooting

From CNN's Tierney Sneed

(Ting Shen/AFP/Getty Images)
(Ting Shen/AFP/Getty Images)

FBI Director Chris Wray said Tuesday that the Bureau was “heartbroken” by Tuesday's massacre at an elementary school in Texas, as he told lawmakers in Senate testimony that the FBI was “committed to doing our part to support our partners in the investigation and the community of Uvalde as we began to try to move forward.” 

“Yesterday, we got the news that we all dread, including those of us in law enforcement. We do this work for the victims — both actual victims and the victims we’re trying to prevent from being victims,” Wray said. “And there's no category of victims that more motivates the men and women of law enforcement — including the men and women of the FBI — than children.” 

 Wray is testifying in a previously scheduled Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the FBI’s budget. He kicked off his opening statement by addressing the shooting, which left 19 children and two adults dead.  

“Parents got calls yesterday that are too devastating to even fathom and a community really, a whole nation was shaken by another horrific mass shooting — this time once again in an elementary school full of young kids just days, days away from finishing their school year and my heart goes out to the families of the victims and to the entire community of Uvalde,” Wray said. “I know that you're experiencing unimaginable pain and trauma, and the entire FBI family feels your heartbreak and stands with you."

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

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

(CNN)
(CNN)

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.