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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10:43 a.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Here's what we know about the Uvalde school massacre — and what questions remain

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt and Tina Burnside

The scene outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 25.
The scene outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 25. (Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Authorities in Texas are working to "gather the facts" to establish a concrete timeline for the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Lt. Chris Olivarez told CNN on Thursday.

Here's what we know and what questions remain about the massacre:

School resource officer was armed

Olivarez told CNN's John Berman that officials are "trying to establish and corroborate exactly what was that role" for the school resource officer when he encountered the gunman at the school.

Texas Rangers conducted an interview last night with the school resource officer, Olivarez said. The officer was armed at the time of the shooting, he said, but it's unclear if he fired his weapon.

Yesterday, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Erick Estrada said that the suspect dropped a bag full of ammunition outside of the school prior to entering.

School door was unlocked

The gunman was able to enter the school "unimpeded" by any locks, Olivarez said, and gunfire was exchanged inside the school hallway between the gunman and officers who were right behind him.

Those two officers were shot, and then the gunman barricaded himself inside a classroom, Olivarez said. Officials are still trying to determine exactly how he barricaded himself inside.

CNN previously reported that the gunman was on the school premises for up to an hour before law enforcement forcibly entered a classroom and killed him. 

When asked why it took tactical teams so long to respond to the shooting, Olivarez said that they are working to establish an accurate timeline, which is part of the investigation. 

"Right now, we do not have an accurate or a concrete timeline to provide to say 'the gunman was in the school for this period,' so we want want to obtain that factual information once we're able to attain that," the lieutenant said.

Parents seek answers

The father of a victim of the shooting told The Washington Post that he and other dads wanted to storm the elementary school to retrieve their children as they heard gunshots from inside. Video posted to social media appears to show frustrated and distraught parents and other adults outside the school clashing with law enforcement officers, urging the officers to go inside and get the gunman or let them go inside themselves.

"I can tell you right now, as a father myself, I would want to go in too. But it's a volatile situation. We have an active shooter situation. We're trying to preserve any further loss of life. ... We cannot have individuals going into that school, especially if they're not armed," Olivarez said.

FBI involvement

Olivarez also said local authorities are working with the FBI to obtain surveillance video from the school.

The FBI is also doing cell phone forensics for the gunman to "establish or obtain information from the suspect's phone, if there was any social media posts that was posted, any other facts that would help the case in terms of as far as there were any indicators for this shooter leading up to this mass shooting," he said.

9:20 a.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Texas Sen. John Cornyn says he will meet with Connecticut Sen. Murphy today to discuss shooting

From CNN's Lauren Fox

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn is back at the Capitol today after spending yesterday in Texas meeting with grieving families and officials. 

Cornyn recounted how “horrible” it was to see the community of Uvalde grieving. He also said that he is thinking through what could have been done or what could be changed to have stopped this shooting. He said this shooter was a “ticking time bomb” and troubled, but he said it is hard to know if enhanced background checks would have caught anything. 

He also said he is going to meet today with Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy to see what can be worked on. He said he and Murphy have met on and off for the last year on the issues around shootings and are going to try and resume some of their talks. 

He said he doesn’t know if they can reach an agreement on background checks or other bills, but he did say “this hopefully will provide a new, greater sense of urgency.”

Murphy has been a proponent of gun reform, particularly since the Sandy Hook school shooting in his state. After the Uvalde shooting, he gave a speech on the Senate floor and pleaded for his fellow lawmakers to take action.

9:08 a.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Trauma surgeon treating shooting victims wipes away tears as she discusses "patients that we did not receive"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt


Dr. Lillian Liao, pediatric trauma medical director at University Hospital in San Antonio, told CNN that her hospital is currently treating three children injured in the Uvalde school shooting.

"They are critical but stable and will be continuing to receive care over the next days to weeks," she said.

"Broadly speaking ... we were treating destructive wounds, and what that means is that there were large areas of tissue missing from the body, and they required emergency surgery because there was significant blood loss," Liao told CNN's John Berman.

Liao blinked back tears as she described receiving the injured children.

She said that her unit had experience treating mass shooting victims from the 2017 Sutherland Springs church shooting, and they were able to prepare quickly for the Uvalde shooting patients.

But she said the hardest part was knowing that many of victims were likely already dead.

"And also from the last experience we realized that when we're dealing with high-velocity firearm injuries, we may not get a whole lot of patients. I think that's what has hit us the most, not of the patients that we did receive and we are honored to treat them, but the patients that we did not receive. I think that that is the most challenging aspect of our job right now," she said, wiping away tears.

But, she added, "our job as the trauma center is to be focused on treating the patients that we did receive, and that's what we're going to do today." 

The hospital is also treating the gunman's grandmother, who officials say he shot in the face before fleeing their home and then getting into a crash near the school.

"She's critical but stable as well," Liao said.

Hear trauma surgeon here:

8:41 a.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Parents say police held them back: "We wanted to get our babies out"

From CNN's Chris Boyette

General view at Robb Elemntary School on May 25, in Uvalde, Texas.
General view at Robb Elemntary School on May 25, in Uvalde, Texas. (John Lamparski/NurPhoto/AP)

The father of a school shooting victim in Uvalde, Texas, told The Washington Post that he and others wanted to storm the elementary school to retrieve their children as they heard gunshots from inside.

Javier Cazares said he arrived at Robb Elementary soon after hearing something was going on at his daughter’s school, and he told the Post 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 newspaper. “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.”

The Washington Post reported that hours later, Cazares learned his daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, 9, had been shot and killed.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw, the gunman was in the school between 40 to 60 minutes before law enforcement forcibly entered and killed him.

Video posted to social media appears to show frustrated and distraught parents and other adults outside the school clashing with law enforcement officers, urging the officers to go inside and get the gunman or let them go inside themselves.

The gunman was in a standoff with law enforcement officers for about a half-hour after firing on students and teachers, Rep. Tony Gonzales, a Republican whose district includes Uvalde, told CNN’s Jake Tapper, citing a briefing he was given.

"And then [the shooting] 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."

8:07 a.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Scene of mass shooting was "something I never want to see again," Uvalde justice of the peace says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Justice of the Peace Lalo Diaz said that when he was called to the scene of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and told by officers that multiple children had been killed, his "heart dropped knowing that I was going to go in and have to assess a scene so horrific," he told CNN's John Berman outside the school on Thursday.

Because the county, which has less than 50,000 people, does not have a medical examiner, it was Diaz's job to process the dead.

When he went inside, he saw "something I never want to see again."

"It was unbelievable. I have children; I have an eighth-grader and a senior in high school and I know how precious life is, right? And these are our children in our community," Diaz said.

He recognized the body of Irma Garcia, a teacher at the school who had been a classmate of his.

Diaz attended the school, as did his children. He called it "a pillar of the community."

He said he never thought a mass shooting could occur in his town.

"We're a community of hunters, we see guns regularly, we see people loading up to go dove hunting or deer hunting, but never like this. Never to this caliber that you say we're going to have multiple homicides or whatever. Normally it happens in a case-by-case basis and it's rare. Never would I have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would have had to have gone and assess a site in that condition," he said.

Hear Uvalde justice of the peace here:

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

Former Columbine principal: Network of school leaders who experienced shootings is ready to help

From CNN's Travis Caldwell

Frank DeAngelis, longtime principal at Columbine High School is seen at his home in Arvada, Colorado on Thursday, March 17.
Frank DeAngelis, longtime principal at Columbine High School is seen at his home in Arvada, Colorado on Thursday, March 17. (Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post/Getty Images)

Frank DeAngelis, who was principal of Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 when two gunmen killed 13 people on campus, told CNN a network of educational leaders who have experienced gun violence is available to help those at Robb Elementary School after Tuesday's shooting.

"There are about 29 of us that have actually been involved in shootings within our community. So, we reach out and we have guides just to help them wherever we can. And it's not a one-time phone call," DeAngelis said of the group, the Principal Recovery Network.  
"I will be there every step of the way to help them just as people helped me in our community."

DeAngelis said after the Columbine shooting, Bill Bond, who was then-principal of Heath High School in Kentucky when a gunman opened fire and killed three schoolmates in 1997, called him to offer his support and guidance.

"He said, ‘Frank, you don’t even know what you need at this point but just keep my number.’"

DeAngelis has since called multiple schools after mass shootings to provide the same support, he said, and has reached out and left a voice message for the principal of Robb Elementary.

"I made a comment right after Columbine — I said, you know, I just joined a club in which no one wants to be a member. And I just want to reach out."

As part of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, members of the Principal Recovery Network "reach out directly to their colleagues to provide much-needed support, share the combined wisdom of their experience with the larger principal community through various outlets, assist schools during recovery, and advocate for national school safety enhancements and violence prevention programs," according to its website.

DeAngelis credited improved police response times and the introduction of lockdown drills over the last two decades, but stressed that more must be done.

"I think back to Parkland, which occurred back on Valentine's Day 2018, and everybody was fired up and we've got to do things. And the students were stating, ‘you adults have let us down, we need to do something.’ Now four years later, we're having these same discussions. It's time to stop talking and start doing things.
"And I know last night, every parent who hugged their child as they came home last night, they put them in bed just wondering, you know, there's no guarantees. And we can't allow this evil to win out."
3:03 a.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Analysis: Why Republicans feel little political pressure for stricter gun control

Analysis from CNN's Harry Enten

The fatal shooting of 19 children and two adults on Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas, has shocked the country, evoking memories of other tragic school shootings such as Columbine, Newtown and Parkland, and renewing calls for Congress to do something.

But the response to those calls from many Republican lawmakers is the same now as it pretty much always is: The country should not have stricter gun control.

Why do these Republicans refuse to act? Beyond the fact that many believe stricter gun control would not prevent such mass shootings, a look at the data reveals that there is simply no political pressure to do so.

While there are certainly some Americans who want stricter gun control, the public at large is far more split on the issue than a lot of commonly cited polling data would have you believe.

Read the full analysis:

2:38 a.m. ET, May 26, 2022

NRA's annual meeting starts Friday in Texas. Here's what you need to know

From CNN's Devan Cole

The National Rifle Association is set to hold its 2022 annual meeting in Houston on Friday, bringing together its top brass and several notable conservatives, including former President Donald Trump, for the first time in three years.

The NRA's annual meeting was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but this year the organization is moving ahead with its plans, holding the meeting at a time when both gun rights and the organization itself have come under intense scrutiny, especially after a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, left 21 dead.

Read the full story:

1:59 a.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Analysis: America's divide on guns is keeping schoolchildren in danger

From CNN's Stephen Collinson

It's not that America can't stop its bloody sequence of mass killings. It's that it lacks the national cohesion and common will to do so.

The elementary school massacre in Texas underscored that the world's most powerful nation can't even ensure that its most vulnerable young children are safe from violent death at their desks. A more stunning failure of government would be hard to find.

A deep political and cultural estrangement on guns caused principally by the right's blocking of efforts from Democrats and moderate Republicans to pass even modest safety measures is boiling up again over Tuesday's shooting.

Mass killings are a sickeningly familiar background noise to daily life in the US, but the latest school bloodbath, which killed 19 children and two teachers, came as an especially devastating blow. It rekindled the sense of dread millions of American parents feel when say goodbye to their kids at school drop off.

And it will further scar a generation of students haunted by the perpetual fear of a school shooting -- a frightful vision for young minds that was only alleviated by Covid-19 pandemic virtual learning, which traumatized many of them in other ways.

Read the full analysis: