May 26 Texas shooting news

By Travis Caldwell, Seán Federico-O'Murchú, Adrienne Vogt and Aditi Sangal, CNN

Updated 12:07 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022
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7:09 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Texas Department of Public Safety says officers saved lives in school, despite waiting to move on gunman

From CNN’s Andy Rose

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), facing questions about how officers dealt with the gunman who killed 21 people at a school in Uvalde, Texas, Tuesday, says those officers saved lives, despite waiting before physically confronting the suspect who was holed up inside a classroom.

“At that point, they had the suspect contained inside the classroom,” DPS spokesperson Lt. Chris Olivarez told CNN Thursday. “If those officers weren't there, if they did not maintain their presence, there is a good chance that gunman could have made it to other classrooms and commit more killings.” 

Olivarez said that officers did not have enough information on the exact location of the shooter to do an immediate takedown.

“They do not know where the gunman is. They are hearing gunshots, they are receiving gunshots,” said Olivarez. “At that point, if they proceeded any further not knowing where this suspect was at, they could have been shot. They could have been killed, and at that point, that gunman would have had the opportunity to kill other people inside that school.” 

Olivarez declined to explain the discrepancy between initial claims that a school resource officer “engaged” the gunman outside the school and Thursday’s statement saying Ramos was not confronted before entering the school.

"We’re conducting those investigations right now, speaking to witnesses, and those officers obviously are key to this investigation,” he told CNN.

7:27 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Husband of teacher killed in Uvalde school shooting has died, according to nephew and GoFundMe post

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

Irma and Joe Garcia
Irma and Joe Garcia (From Jamie and Debra Austin/GoFundMe)

The husband of Irma Garcia, one of the Robb Elementary teachers who was killed in Tuesday’s mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, has died, according to a GoFundMe post and a Twitter post from Garcia’s nephew.

On the school’s website, Irma Garcia's bio states that she and her husband had four children.

Joe Garcia “has tragically passed away this morning(5/26/2022) as a result of a medical emergency. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life of more than 25 years was too much to bear,” the GoFundMe post from Irma Garcia’s cousin said.  

Irma Garcia’s nephew also acknowledged the death of his aunt's husband.

“Lord god please on our family, my tias husband passed away this morning due to a heart attack at home he’s with his wife now, these two will make anyone feel loved no matter what they have the purest hearts ever I love you sm tia and tio please be with me every step of the way,” the tweet said

CNN has reached out to the Garcia family for additional comment. 

8:37 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

10-year-old Makenna Lee Elrod identified as victim in school shooting: "Her smile would light up a room"

From CNN’s Sara Smart, David Williams, and Alexa Miranda

(Courtesy April Elrod)
(Courtesy April Elrod)

Makenna Lee Elrod, 10, has been identified as one of the victims in the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, April Elrod, Makenna’s mother, confirmed to CNN.

Allison McCullough, Makenna’s aunt, also confirmed the information to ABC News. 

“Her smile would light up a room,” McCullough told ABC.

She added that Makenna loved to play softball, do gymnastics and spend time with her family. She was a natural leader and loved school. McCullough described her niece as “a light to all who knew her.”

“She loved her family and friends so much,” McCullough added.

5:53 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Eyewitness describes the scene outside the Texas elementary school as the gunman opened fire

From CNN’s Jason Carroll and Linh Tran

(CNN)
(CNN)

Derek Gonzales was about to go for lunch with his colleague Julio Luna when he heard gunshots on Tuesday. So he rushed to Robb Elementary School from his nearby shop with Luna.

What they saw upon arrival was a chaotic scene.

“The funeral lady was screaming like ‘shooting shooting," Gonzalez told CNN.

Gonzales said bullets were going into the direction of a nearby funeral home, and some were coming in his direction, he added. "We were like, in shock."

He said he didn’t expect a shooting at the school and thought something else might have happened.

"We didn’t expect for this to happen here in Uvalde," Luna added.

The two tried to get out of their car, but police told them to get back in.

In a news briefing earlier Thursday, Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director of Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), told reporters that the gunman shot towards eyewitnesses across the street at a funeral home after he wrecked his car. The official said the shooter then continued to walk towards the school and climbed a fence.

7:00 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Student's father pleaded with officers to give him a gun and vest so he could enter school to save children

From CNN’s Jason Carroll and Linh Tran

Victor Luna, a parent of a student at Robb Elementary School
Victor Luna, a parent of a student at Robb Elementary School (CNN)

Victor Luna, a parent of a student at Robb Elementary School, said he pleaded with officers to give him their gear so he could go inside as the shooting was happening.

“I told one of the officers myself, if they didn’t want to go in there, let me borrow his gun and a vest, and I’ll go in there myself to handle it, and they told me no,” he told CNN, adding that he wanted the officers to “go in and get rid of that man, that shooter.”

“I mean, they took a while for them to go in there. So I mean this tragedy happened, like kids didn’t make it out," he continued. "They were doing their job, but they could have done it quicker before that man went in the school.”

His son Jayden survived Tuesday's mass shooting. He said he also had grandchildren in the school.

Luna told CNN that he saw some officers going in and out of the building, but he wanted to see more.

“In a situation like that they should have just all went in – I mean they’re innocent students in there. They could have gunned him down just like he did them when he walked in," he said.

Luna noted that he had waited about two to three hours before they started bringing kids out of the school. “That was what was aggravating me, cause I want to see my son. I didn’t know what was going on he could have been in there dead," he said.

Jayden is hurting and doesn’t want to be by himself, Luna added.

Derek Gonzalez, a witness to the scene, told CNN he saw “family members crying, screaming.”

“They were like give me the vest, you know, I'll go in there,” he said. “And the cops were pushing people back to get out of the way."

They were outside for what felt like “forever,” Gonzalez added. 

He said his aunt is a fourth-grade teacher in the same building. She survived and is “shaken up," he said. His cousin lost his daughter, Amerie Garza, in the massacre.

Watch:

4:47 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

President Biden and first lady will visit Uvalde on Sunday, White House says

From CNN's Sam Fossum

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will visit Uvalde, Texas, on Sunday to meet with families who lost loved ones in the horrific mass shooting, as well as to meet with other community members and religious leaders, the White House announced.

"On Sunday, May 29, the President and the First Lady will travel to Uvalde, Texas to grieve with the community that lost twenty-one lives in the horrific elementary school shooting," according to an advisory from the White House.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierr offered more details about the trip during a press briefing Thursday.

"While he's there, the President will meet with the community leaders, religious leaders and the families of the victims. The President and first lady believe it is important to show their support for the community during this devastating time and to be there for the families of the victims," Jean-Pierre told reporters at the White House. 

Jean-Pierre also urged Congress to take action and lamented the loss of life from Tuesday's terrible mass shooting that killed 19 children and two adults. 

"Schools should be sanctuaries of learning, not battlefields," Jean-Pierre said. "These were elementary school kids — they should be losing their first teeth. Not losing their lives. They should be at little league, softball, and soccer practices this weekend. These parents should be planning their kids' summer, not their child's funeral."

She added: "Teachers should be there to teach, nurture, and prepare our children for the future. Not to be gunned down or asked to sacrifice their own lives for the kids they love. But that is what two heroic teachers did in Uvalde — killed while trying to protect their students."

Jean-Pierre continued: "As the President said this week it is time to turn this pain into action. It's time for Congress to act."

4:07 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, visited Uvalde to offer "condolences and support in person," spokesperson says  

From CNN’s Max Foster in London

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, places flowers at a makeshift memorial outside Uvalde County Courthouse in Uvalde, Texas, on Thursday, May 26.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, places flowers at a makeshift memorial outside Uvalde County Courthouse in Uvalde, Texas, on Thursday, May 26. (Chandan Khanna//AFP/Getty Images)

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, visited Uvalde, Texas, on Thursday where a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Duchess told CNN.

“She took this trip in a personal capacity as a mother, to offer her condolences and support in person to a community experiencing unimaginable grief,” the spokesperson said. 

3:52 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

10-year-old Jailah Nicole Silguero did not want to go to school the day she was killed

From CNN’s Caroll Alvarado

(From Veronica Luevanos)
(From Veronica Luevanos)

Ten-year-old Jailah Nicole Silguero has been identified as one of the victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting, her mother Veronica Luevanos told CNN network partner, Univision.

Luevanos said her daughter did not want to go to school Tuesday morning and asked to stay home, but she said no.

In tearful interview, Luevanos said Jailah enjoyed dancing and making TikTok videos.

Nancy Salazar, a family friend, started a GoFundMe page to help the parents and wrote that Jailah “was a Delighted, energetic, Lovely little girl.”

3:46 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Fourth-grader Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares and her cousin were killed in the Texas school shooting

From CNN’s David Williams

Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares.
Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares. (Cazares family photo)

Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares has been identified as one of the victims of Tuesday’s mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, according to posts by her family on social media.

Jacklyn was killed along with her cousin Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez. They were cousins, friends and classmates in their fourth-grade class at Robb Elementary School.

"She was full of life and full of love. She touched a lot of people. Recently, she had her first baptism, her first communion. Through COVID, through the death of a family member a year ago, it brought us together and it was something beautiful. And now, we're being brought together, but it is in tragedy," her father Jacinto Cazares told reporters in a video distributed by Reuters.

"She was full of love and full of life. She would do anything for anybody. And to me, she's a little firecracker, man. It comforts me a little bit to think she would be the one to help her friends in need," he said.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Javier Cazares said that he and others wanted to rush the building to retrieve their children as they heard gunshots from inside.

Cazares told The Washington Post he arrived at the Robb Elementary School Tuesday soon after hearing something was going on at his daughter’s school. He added that he was joined near the building’s front door by several other men who had children at the school.

“There were five or six of [us] fathers, hearing the gunshots, and [police officers] were telling us to move back,” Cazares told the paper. “We didn’t care about us. We wanted to storm the building. We were saying, ‘Let’s go,’ because that is how worried we were, and we wanted to get our babies out.”