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

10-year-old Uziyah Garcia, "the sweetest little boy," identified as one of the victims killed at Texas school

From CNN’s Sara Smart and Caroll Alvarado

Uziyah Garcia
Uziyah Garcia (Mitch Renfro)

Uziyah Garcia, 10, has been identified as one of the victims killed at Robb Elementary, his family confirmed to CNN. 

He 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.” Uziyah leaves behind two sisters. 

His grandfather, Manny Renfro, also spoke with affiliate, KSAT.

“The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” Renfro said. “I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.”

Renfro said Uziyah last visited him in San Angelo during spring break.

“We started throwing the football together and I was teaching him pass patterns. Such a fast little boy and he could catch a ball so good,” Renfro said. “There were certain plays that I would call that he would remember and he would do it exactly like we practiced.”

10:18 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Biden says gun laws won't prevent every tragedy — "but we know they work and have a positive impact"

From CNN's Sam Fossum

President Biden urged Congress to pass gun safety legislation.

"We know common sense gun laws can’t and won’t prevent every tragedy. But we know they work and have a positive impact. When we passed the assault weapons ban — mass shootings went down. When the law expired — mass shootings tripled," Biden tweeted this morning. 

The President made similar remarks in his prime-time address to the nation last night. 

10:20 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Top Democratic senator says action on gun violence will have to wait until after Memorial Day recess

From CNN's Lauren Fox


Sen. Dick Durbin, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will work with his Democratic colleagues to schedule hearings on gun violence in America when lawmakers return from their Memorial recess, he said.

He also said that he believes a vote on the two pieces of legislation that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer put on the calendar last night will have to wait until after Memorial Day. 

Lawmakers are still expected to leave for recess Thursday. 

Durbin said Democrats are committed to action, but he conceded that it would be an uphill lift to get Republican votes. 

“The President was right it's time for us to stand up and fight back as a nation,” Durbin said. "We are loath to call ourselves leaders in this country if we don't address it.”

When CNN pushed Durbin on if he’d gut the filibuster to pass background checks, he said “absolutely.” 

10:24 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Sen. Murphy: It's easier to buy an assault weapon in the US than it is to get a pet


Sen. Chris Murphy dismissed placing the sole blame on mental health for school shootings in America, saying it is too easy to obtain an assault rifle to carry out mass killings.

"We don't have more mental illness than any other nation in the world. There's no evidence that there are more mentally ill people here than in Europe. The difference is when people have homicidal thoughts in the United States of America, they can walk down the street to a Walmart and get an assault weapon easier than they can buy a cat or a dog. There's more red tape involved in pet ownership in this country than there is in assault weapons ownership," he told CNN's Jim Sciutto.

"So the difference is not mental illness. The difference is that people who are having breaks with reality in the United States can get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction," he said.

Murphy also addressed the idea of putting more armed officers in schools.

"That shooter made it inside the school, and unless you are literally planning on putting an army battalion at every school in this country, it only takes a handful of minutes for an individual with an assault weapon to kill 20 or 30 people," Murphy said.

Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut who has been outspoken on gun reform since the Sandy Hook school shooting in his state, yesterday gave a speech on the Senate floor slamming his fellow lawmakers for doing "nothing" as school shootings continue.

He told Sciutto that "we just don't have enough Republican partners right now" to work out a compromise on gun legislation, like for stronger gun background checks.

"This is a problem that has been endemic in the Senate," he said, adding "maybe that changes this week."

Murphy said he refuses "to believe that this is inevitable."

"Is this Congress going to pass something substantial? I can't guarantee you that. I'm going to try all day today to try to find some compromise but this is ultimately up to voters. Voters get to decide this. Ask your candidates this fall, 'are you supportive of universal background checks, do you think 18-year-olds should have access to military-style assault weapons?' and if they say yes, if they support the current law, if they don't support reform, don't send them back to Congress. So this is up to Congress, but this is also up to voters as well," he said.

10:01 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

As nation reels from Texas school shooting, Biden's pick to lead ATF to face Senate hearing

From CNN's Clare Foran and Lauren Fox

Steve Dettelbach speaks during an event about gun violence in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 11.
Steve Dettelbach speaks during an event about gun violence in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 11. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Biden's nominee to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will come under scrutiny at a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, as the nation's attention is focused on gun violence again after a horrific shooting at a Texas elementary school.

An 18-year-old gunman on Tuesday fatally shot 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, before he was killed by law enforcement officers, officials said. It is the deadliest shooting at a school since the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut in 2012 that left 26 people dead, including 20 children between 6 and 7 years old.

The high-profile tragedy has shocked the nation and ratcheted up the pressure on Congress and the President to take action, though Democrats can do little to pass stricter gun control measures in a 50-50 Senate amid widespread Republican opposition.

Against that backdrop, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the nomination of Steve Dettelbach to run the ATF during a hearing on Wednesday in a high-stakes moment for the administration's agenda.

Dettelbach could be confirmed in the Senate without any GOP votes if all Democrats vote in favor and would just need 51 votes with Vice President Kama Harris breaking a tie.

But Democratic unity is not guaranteed on the contentious issue of gun policy. And the White House has already suffered an embarrassing setback over its efforts to confirm a nominee to head the bureau last fall.

Some background: In September 2021, the White House withdrew the nomination of David Chipman to lead the bureau. Biden put the blame on Republicans for the inability to get Chipman confirmed, even though there had been stiff resistance among moderate Democrats and independent Maine Sen. Angus King — as well as GOP senators — over Chipman's past record on gun control.

The incident laid bare the reality of confirming someone to a post that has made past comments on such a sensitive and divisive issue as gun control, something that is sure to once again be front and center in Dettelbach's hearing. Dettelbach made clear he supported universal background checks and a ban on assault-style weapons during his bid to be attorney general of Ohio in 2018. Those positions are expected to face scrutiny Wednesday.

Dettelbach is a former federal prosecutor and was previously unanimously confirmed by the Senate to serve as the US attorney for the Northern District of Ohio under President Barack Obama.

The ATF has operated under a series of acting directors since its last Senate-confirmed leader stepped down in 2015, and the Senate last confirmed an ATF nominee in 2013.

CNN's Manu Raju contributed reporting to this post.

8:59 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Shooter barricaded himself in classroom, killing 19 children and 2 teachers, official says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

All fatalities and injuries took place inside one classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, according to Lt. Chris Olivarez, spokesperson for the Texas Department for Public Safety.

The shooter barricaded himself in one room, killing two teachers and 19 children, he said.

"Just goes to show you the complete evil from this shooter," Olivarez told CNN's John Berman and Shimon Prokupecz.  

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, he said.

All the victims have been removed, identified and their families have been notified, the lieutenant said. Multiple children were wounded inside the classroom, according to Olivarez, but there is no exact number as to how many at this time. 

"It's a small classroom, you can have anywhere from 25 to 30 students in there, plus there were two teachers in there. ... So don't have exact number of how many students were in that classroom, but it could vary ... It was a classroom setting, a typical classroom setting where you have mass groups of children inside that classroom all together, with nowhere to go," Olivarez said.

Olivarez said there was no chase with law enforcement before the shooter crashed a car near the school.

When asked if the school was a target, Olivarez said there are still "a lot of unanswered questions."

"We're trying to determine that, that's why we're working with FBI right now to kind of look back to see if there were any indicators, any red flags, looking at social media. What we know about the shooter is that he is a resident here in Uvalde, he did attend one of the local high schools, he lived with his grandparents, was unemployed, no friends, no girlfriend that we can identify at this time, no criminal history, no gang affiliation as well," he said.  

Olivarez said the shooter had one rifle in his possession when he went into the school, and authorities are working to determine what type of rifle and the capacity. 

The shooter was wearing "a tactical vest carrier with no ballistic panels; so typically those type of carriers are used by tactical teams, SWAT teams, where they can place magazines, extra ammunition inside those carriers and be able to move in a tactical formation," Olivarez said.

Olivarez said his grandmother — whom the shooter shot beforehand — is still alive and authorities are trying to locate his grandfather and immediate family members.

CNN's Raja Razek contributed reporting to this post.

9:02 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Uvalde resident says she saw parents running toward elementary school after shooting

From CNN’s Amanda Watts


Kim Hammond, who lives two doors down from Robb Elementary School, said at first it didn’t register that it was gunfire that she heard at the school.

“I just kind of dismissed it,” she told CNN’s John Berman. “Then my living room started to shake, and it was a helicopter, it was literally right over my house just above the tree, and I thought ‘this is not good.’”

When Hammond realized something was happening at the school, she went onto Facebook to investigate, and she saw that police were reporting a shooting at Robb Elementary.

“There were parents running towards the building,” Hammond said, adding there were law enforcement vehicles all over the streets around the building. “And so in between the vehicles were parents just jumping out of their cars and running towards the school… they were panicked.”

Hammond, who is a Desert Storm veteran, knows what gunfire sounds like. She said she didn’t want to believe that it was coming from the school.

“That can’t be, not here,” she hoped. “But my mind wouldn’t even go there. I just figured somebody ran and they are having a shootout, so I’ll stay in the house and lock the doors.”

Hammond, getting emotional, said she very much looks forward to next school year when the kids will once again return to the school playing loudly at recess and loading buses.

“I’ll be happy to hear it to tell you the truth, I’ll welcome it. These kids, they need to be sheltered from it as much as they can be,” she said.  

8:37 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Former Robb Elementary principal on school shooting: "This absolutely can happen anywhere"

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Ross McGlothlin, top left.
Ross McGlothlin, top left. (CNN)

Former Robb Elementary School Principal Ross McGlothlin described the school and the city of Uvalde following yesterday's mass shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers.

"We never believe that something this tragic can happen so close to us," he said to CNN's John Berman following Tuesday's mass shooting. "Robb Elementary is a great school."

McGlothlin said that when he was principal at the school, in 2015 and 2016, it served students in the third and fourth grades. They come from across the city of Uvalde, since the city separates some students by grade levels at some campuses, said McGlothlin. 

"Uvalde is a great little town," McGlothlin said. "It's a quiet, friendly community, farmland to the south and ranchland to the north; it's the gateway to the Texas Hill Country."

"This is just a sad example that this absolutely can happen anywhere," he added.  

8:31 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Parkland survivor's message to America in wake of another mass shooting: "We are failing our children"

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

David Hogg
David Hogg (CNN)

David Hogg, activist and survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, told CNN on Wednesday that "there is no way to process what has happened" at Robb Elementary School

Hogg was hiding in a closet during the shooting at his high school in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14, 2018; 17 people were killed. 

"The reality is if I'm just talking about this, and Congress is talking about this, after there's been the equivalent of another Sandy Hook or another Parkland or another Buffalo...we are failing our children," Hogg told CNN's John Berman. 

Hogg said he spent a few days with victims of the recent mass shooting in Buffalo and says there is still "shock" in that community. 

"The only way we're going to be able to successfully address this is why we're working together as Americans to create a more perfect union, because right now, our union is incredibly imperfect and deeply broken because we can't protect our most valuable asset, which is our children," said Hogg. 

The March for Our Lives co-founder told CNN his message for action on gun violence is "first of all vote and second of all, show up at your state legislature every year demanding action on gun violence. Not just around how somebody gets a gun, but why they pick up a gun in the first place." 

"If we do that, mark my words, we could cut gun violence in half in a decade," said Hogg.