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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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.

7:48 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Daughter of teacher killed in Texas school shooting pays tribute to mother on Twitter: "Mom, you are a hero"

From CNN’s Sara Smart and Elizabeth Joseph

After Eva Mireles, a 4th grade teacher at Robb Elementary School, was killed in Tuesday's mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, her daughter posted a tribute on Twitter.

"Mom, you are a hero. I keep telling myself that this isn’t real. I just want to hear your voice.” The tribute reads in part, “I want to thank you mom, for being such an inspiration to me. I will forever be so proud to be your daughter. My sweet mommy, I will see you again.”

Amber Ybarra, a family member of Eva Mireles, confirmed to CNN that the tribute was from Mireles’ daughter, Adalynn.

Mireles had been an educator for 17 years, according to her profile on the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District website.

See the tweet:

7:22 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Gunman dropped a bag full of ammunition before entering Texas school, official says

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

Sgt. Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety
Sgt. Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety (CNN)

The gunman who shot and killed 19 children and two teachers inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, dropped a black bag full of ammunition outside of the school when he was “engaged” by the school resource officer (SRO), Sgt. Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said.

When the shooter arrived at the school, he was encountered by the SRO who saw him carrying the large black bag, he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room.

“Inside that bag was actually more ammunition. He actually dropped that ammunition and ran inside the school where he barricaded himself inside one of the classrooms and unfortunately, that is where he started conducting his business of shooting innocent children, shooting the two innocent adults that were inside that classroom,” he said. 

The shooter dropped the bag during that interaction and ran inside the school, Estrada said. 

DPS is still investigating what happened during that interaction, but during an earlier conference, DPS Director Steven McCraw said that no shots were fired in that interaction.

Estrada spoke of the heartbreak in the community following the mass shooting.

“I’m a father of two children,” Estrada said. “It took me a while to even step out my vehicle and know what I was about to see inside that school.”

3:56 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Here are the new details that have emerged so far about the Texas elementary school shooting

From CNN staff

Community member Amanda Welch brings flowers to lay at Robb Elementary School on Wednesday, May 25, in Uvalde, Texas.
Community member Amanda Welch brings flowers to lay at Robb Elementary School on Wednesday, May 25, in Uvalde, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

President Biden announced he will visit Texas "in the coming days" to meet the grieving families after a gunman killed 19 children and two adults at the Robb Elementary School in the town of Uvalde on Tuesday.

More information has come to light about how Tuesday's events unfolded and the lives claimed by the gunman:

The victims:

  • Lexi Rubio, 10, has been identified by her parents as one of the victims. Felix and Kimberly Rubio celebrated their daughter making the All-A honor roll and getting a good citizen award at Robb Elementary on Tuesday, shortly before the shooting. In a text message to CNN, Felix and Kimberly Rubio said, “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.”
  • Jose Flores Jr., 10, has been identified as one of the victims, his father Jose Flores Sr. told CNN. Flores said his son was in the 4th grade and loved baseball and video games. “He was always full of energy,” Flores said. “Ready to play till the night.” Flores also described his son as an amazing kid and big brother to his two siblings. 
  • Uziyah Garcia, 10, has been 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. 
  • 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 in her off time enjoyed running, hiking, biking and spending time with her family, according to her profile on the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District 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: "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.
  • All the fatalities and injuries took place inside one classroom at Robb Elementary, officials said, and all the victims have been identified, removed from the school and families notified.
  • The two funeral homes in Uvalde will cover the cost of funerals for those who were killed Tuesday during the Robb Elementary School shooting.
  • Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD) has opened a memorial fund to accept donations for those affected by the shooting.

Here's a look at the order of events on Tuesday:

  • The 18-year-old gunman, who has been identified by officials, had shared his plans on Facebook about 30 minutes before reaching the school, Texas Gov. Abbott said. A spokesperson for Meta, formerly known as Facebook, said Wednesday these were “private one-to-one text messages,” contrary to Gov. Abbott’s assertion the gunman made the posts on Facebook.
  • He shot his grandmother in the face before heading to the elementary school. The 66-year-old grandmother made it to a nearby home and called police, said Texas public safety department Director Steven McCraw, adding she now remains hospitalized in critical condition.
  • Minutes before his deadly assault at the school, the gunman allegedly sent a series of chilling text messages to a girl in Germany he met online, saying 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, Ramos complained about his grandmother being “on the phone with AT&T abojt (sic) my phone” and then told her he had shot his grandmother in the head.
  • The gunman drove his grandmother’s vehicle about 0.29 miles, a block and a half away from Robb Elementary School. "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, McCraw added.
  • According to McCraw, a school resource officer “engaged” with Ramos, and no gunfire was exchanged. This is when Ramos entered the school through a back door and went down the hallway to the adjoining classrooms, the director said.
  • Gov. Abbott offered additional details, saying, "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."
  • According to Abbott, the gunman entered a classroom, which was then connected internally to another classroom. "Border Patrol, Consolidated ISD officers, police, sheriffs and DPS officers converged on that classroom. And a Border Patrol officer killed the gunman," Abbott said.
  • Chip King, a firefighter and city council member from Uvalde, said it took about 30 minutes after he arrived on the scene for the gunman inside the school to be neutralized by law enforcement.
  • The shooter had one rifle in his possession when he went into the school and was wearing "a tactical vest carrier with no ballistic panels," a law enforcement official said.

The suspect:

  • The 18-year-old Salvador Ramos was from Uvalde and had attended Uvalde High School, according to Abbott.
  • Ramos legally purchased two AR platform rifles at a local sporting goods store on two separate dates, and 375 rounds of ammunition on another date.
  • State Sen. Ronald Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde, said the gun purchases were made for the suspect's 18th birthday.
  • A photo of two AR-15-style rifles was posted to an Instagram account linked to the gunman three days before the shooting.
  • The shooter had a history of physically fighting with others, according to a former friend and a video obtained by CNN that depicts him repeatedly throwing punches. The former friend and classmate said Ramos sent him the video on Shapchat. He said the video, which he received more than a year ago, depicts Ramos fighting with someone else, which the former friend said was not out of the ordinary. “He would always get in fights in school,” the former classmate said, noting that he received multiple messages from Ramos that depicted fights, some in which Ramos was involved. 
  • Two additional former classmates told CNN the individual shown in the video is Ramos. The face of the other individual who was fighting Ramos is not visible in the video. Nadia Reyes, a high school classmate, told the Washington Post that she could remember about five times that Ramos got into fistfights in middle school and junior high. CNN has reached out to the Uvalde school district for more information, but received no response.

The city and the school:

  • Uvalde is about 90 miles west of San Antonio and just east of the US-Mexican border. 
  • Robb Elementary includes 2nd through 4th grades and had 535 students in the 2020-21 school year, state data shows. About 90% of the 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. 
  • The Uvalde school district canceled the rest of its school year, which was set to end Thursday, the school's superintendent Hal Harrell said.

Remember: Tuesday's massacre is the deadliest school shooting since 2012, when 26 children and adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. This is at least the 30th shooting at a K-12 school in 2022, according to a CNN tally.

7:40 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Supreme Court could soon loosen gun laws in its first major Second Amendment opinion in more than a decade

From CNN's Ariane de Vogue

While the Supreme Court has been working behind closed doors on its first major Second Amendment opinion in more than a decade, three mass shootings have broken the country, including Tuesday's massacre of 19 schoolchildren in Texas.

Closed off from public view, the justices are penning opinions and dissents in a dispute that targets one concealed carry law in New York that is more than a century old. A narrow ruling could impact only a handful of states with similar laws, but a more expansive ruling could open a new chapter in constitutional challenges to gun safety laws across the country.

"As a formal matter, the Supreme Court's ruling on New York's gun law doesn't call into question gun laws restricting types of weapons or sensitive places where individuals can carry guns," said Jacob Charles, executive director of the Center for Firearms Law at Duke University School of Law.

"But a broader ruling that changes the way courts evaluate gun laws could call into question a wider array of gun regulations like assault weapons bans and other restrictions like high-capacity magazine bans," Charles added.

The deliberations come as the country mourns another tragedy, victims of gun violence plea for more action, and the political branches seem forever divided on a path forward.

In 2008, the Supreme Court held for the first time, that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms at home for self-defense.

After the ruling, however, to the frustration of gun rights advocates, lower courts relied upon language in the opinion to uphold many gun regulations.

"Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings," then-Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority in the Heller case.

Except for a follow-up decision two years later, the justices largely stayed away from the issue, infuriating gun rights advocates and even some of the justices themselves.

Justice Clarence Thomas declared at one point that the "Second Amendment is a disfavored right in this court."

After Amy Coney Barrett took her seat, the court agreed to take up a new case, highlighting the impact of former President Donald Trump's three nominees on the court.

Keep reading here.

6:03 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

See how US gun culture compares to the world in 5 graphics

From CNN's Kara Fox, Krystina Shveda, Natalie Croker and Marco Chacon

Ubiquitous gun violence in the United States has left few places unscathed over the decades. Still, many Americans hold their right to bear arms, enshrined in the US Constitution, as sacrosanct. But critics of the Second Amendment say that right threatens another: The right to life.

America's relationship to gun ownership is unique, and its gun culture is a global outlier.

As the tally of gun-related deaths continue to grow daily, here's a look at how gun culture in the US compares to the rest of the world.

Read the full story and see how CNN reported it here.

4:54 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Parents: What are your elementary school children feeling and asking you about the Texas school shooting?

As a parent, it can be gut-wrenching to discuss violence happening across the country with your kids, and even harder when the violence is happening in our schools. In the wake of the Texas school shooting, what questions are your school-aged children asking and how are they feeling?

Please call in with your child and leave us a voicemail at (404) 618-1992 to let us know your thoughts and what you are discussing with your children.

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Thank you for weighing in with your important perspective.