UVALDE, Texas — At least 19 children and two adults were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Tuesday, Texas authorities confirmed.
The gunman, identified earlier in the day by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement officers, KSAT-TV reported.
The shooting, the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, occurred in the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, about 85 miles west of San Antonio, WOAI reported.
Abbott said during a news conference that Ramos left his car and entered the school with a handgun and possibly a rifle, The Associated Press reported, noting that the rampage marks the deadliest at a U.S. grade school since the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, nearly a decade ago.
Update 1:50 a.m. EDT May 26: Hundreds of people gathered at a vigil Wednesday night at the Uvalde County Fairplex for the victims of Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“Amazing Grace” was played during the vigil, CNN reported.
“You may cry because our hearts are broken,” Pastor Tony Gruben told the audience, according to KHOU-TV.
Update 7:05 p.m. EDT May 25: Salvador Ramos, who killed 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School texted an online friend that he had just shot his grandmother and was about to “shoot up (an) elementary school,” moments before carrying out the deadly shootings, according to The New York Times and CNN.
The 15-year-old girl in Germany, who asked to be identified by “Cece,” her online nickname, said during an interview that she had met Ramos on Yubo, an app that allows people to live-stream themselves, the Times reported.
When they spoke Tuesday, Ramos allegedly complained about his grandmother speaking on the telephone with AT&T, texting the girl and calling it “annoying.”
Minutes later, Ramos texted the girl and said “I just shot my grandma in her head,” the Times reported.
Seconds later, he said, “Ima go shoot up a(n) elementary school rn (right now).”
Cece said she read the messages when Ramos sent them but was “curious” about whether he was serious, the Times reported. It was only after the shooting appeared on the news that she asked a friend in the United States to contact U.S. authorities.
“Maybe I could’ve changed the outcome,” the girl said, according to the Times. “I just could never guess that he’d actually do this.”
Update 5:52 p.m. EDT May 25: In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she hoped that bipartisan talks in the Senate about new gun control laws would lead to meaningful legislation.
“We pray that the bipartisan conversations unfolding in the Senate right now will reach agreement on legislation that can save lives and can be acted upon soon.” Pelosi said in a statement. “As we have promised again and again to the courageous survivors of gun violence, we will never stop until the job is done.”
Update 4:40 p.m. EDT May 25: President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he will travel to Uvalde, Texas, “in the coming days” to meet with the families mourning the students and teachers who were killed Tuesday at Robb Elementary School.
“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. “As a nation, I think we all must be there for them.”
Update 4:33 p.m. EDT May 25: In a news release, Uvalde Memorial Hospital said it received 15 patients, of which 11 were children. Four children were taken to other hospitals and seven were discharged.
The hospital also treated four adults, the release stated. One was transferred to another facility and three were discharged.
There are no more patients at Uvalde Memorial Hospital from Tuesday’s shooting.
Update 2:19 p.m. EDT May 25: The parent company of Facebook, Meta, responded to the information released by Gov. Gregg Abbott that the gunman posted to the platform shortly before the massacre.
Andy Stone, the company’s Policy Communications Director, said in a response to a Buzzfeed director on Twitter, that the posts were actually private one-to-one text messages that were discovered after the shooting happened.
Update 1:48 p.m. EDT May 25: Former congressman and current candidate for Texas Governor Beto O’Rourke interrupted the news conference. After an exchange of words, O’Rouke was escorted out.
Abbott spoke after O’Rourke was removed “There are family members who are crying as we speak. Think about the people who are hurt and help those who are hurt,” The New York Times reported.
After being removed from the news conference, O’Rourke said that Abbott has not supported red flag laws, gun storage laws and bans of AR-15 and AK-47 guns, the Times reported. Democrat O’Rourke is running against Abbott in an attempt to unseat the Republican governor.
Update 1:34 p.m. EDT May 25: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the shooting a “horrific tragedy” but that as bad as it is, it could have been worse when he spoke at a news conference Tuesday.
Abbott said that law enforcement “showed amazing courage by running toward gunfire” trying to save lives. He said by eliminating the gunman they were able to see lives “unfortunately, not enough.”
Abbott said he was sharing the best information they have at this time but he reminded the audience that it is an ongoing investigation and information may change as the investigation progresses.
He then gave a timeline of the events leading up to the shooting.
Abbott said the gunman shot his grandmother in the face. She then contacted the police.
The shooter drove off after shooting his grandmother and had an accident in front of the school. He entered the building through a back door after being confronted, but not engaged by a school resource officer, The New York Times reported. The gunman then went down two short hallways and entered the classroom that was connected internally to another, the governor said.
A Border Patrol officer along with other members of law enforcement converged to corner the shooter, but it was the Border Patrol officer who shot him, CNN reported.
Abbott said continued to confirm the death toll remains at 19 students and two faculty members. He added that 17 others were injured but their injuries were not life-threatening. All family members have been contacted about the status of their loved ones.
They confirmed that Salvador Ramos, 18, was the gunman and that he was a high-school dropout.
Ramos had no current criminal history that officials have been able to find but he may have a juvenile record that has not yet been discovered. He used only one weapon in the shooting.
The only warning of an attack came from the shooter himself via Facebook. About 30 minutes before the massacre he posted that he was going to shoot his grandmother. He followed that post with another that said he shot her. Abbott said Ramos posted again on Facebook less than 15 minutes before opening fire at Robb Elementary that he was going to shoot an elementary school.
Abbott pledged to “redouble down” on mental health services, but he also said that the shooter did not have any mental health history that he knew of.
Update 1:23 p.m. EDT May 25: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will hold a news conference shortly at the Uvalde High School, CNN reported.
Update 1:05 p.m. EDT May 25: The two funeral homes in Uvalde will provide the funerals for the victims at no cost to families, CNN reported.
Both Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home and the Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary announced on social media that they will not charge for the services for the 19 children or two adults who were killed in the rampage on Tuesday.
Update 12:01 p.m. EDT May 25: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that the Senate will not quickly vote on House-passed background check bills, NBC News reported. The move is to give more time for bipartisan negotiations.
“My Republican colleagues can work with us now. I know this is a slim prospect, very slim, all too slim — we’ve been burned so many times before — but this is so important,” Schumer said, NBC News reported.
Other lawmakers want action now on gun-safety legislation, but the bills need the support of at least 10 Republicans to break the filibuster, which is unlikely.
Schumer is instead telling voters to go to the polls if they don’t agree with how the lawmakers decide to act.
“Americans can cast their vote in November for senators or members of Congress that reflect how he or she stands with guns with this issue, this issue, at the top of voters’ lists,” Schumer said, according to NBC News.
Meanwhile, Sen. Mike Lee, (R-Utah) is one of three Republicans on the Judiciary Committee who are part of the confirmation hearing for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives nominee Steven Dettelbach.
Lee said that “the left” is using Uvalde to push its gun control agenda. He said mass shootings are because of a “glorification of violence” and the “breakdown of families” and urged others to investigate “the root causes of rampage violence,” The New York Times reported.
Update 11:52 a.m. EDT May 25: Lalo Diaz had some sobering words explaining what is next for Uvalde.
Diaz is the local justice of the peace for the area.
“When I have to sign 21 death certificates, my heart will drop,” he told CNN.
He said that the bodies of the 21 victims are currently with the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office in San Antonio. The shooter is in a neighboring county and will not be transferred until all of the victims are processed, Diaz told CNN.
He is trying to get the bodies back to their hometown and is working with two funeral homes in Uvalde to get them with their families as early as today.
The task is something he’s never dealt with before. At most, he’s had four victims in a deadly crash.
When he was called to the scene he thought there would only be one or two people killed. “When I was told 16 children ... You cannot believe it’s happening in your community.”
Update 11:34 a.m. EDT May 25: The White House said that President Joe Biden is planning to visit Texas. The details are being finalized so a day and time have not been released. Administration officials said they don’t want to distract from the investigation, CNN reported.
F.B.I. agents were going door-to-door at the houses surrounding Robb Elementary School. Law enforcement from the local, state and federal levels are still processing the scene, The New York Times reported.
As law enforcement continues to try to piece together what caused the gunman to open fire, the community of Uvalde are coming together, donating blood for those injured in Wednesday’s shooting. A line wrapped around the Herby Ham Activity Center as people lined up to donate blood.
Two mobile blood donation vans arrived in the town by 9 a.m. with more than 200 people lining up to do what they can, the Times reported.
Update 11:14 a.m. EDT May 25: The CEO of Uvalde Memorial Hospital said that the 15 patients the hospital received have either been discharged or transferred to other medical facilities.
Tom Nordwick said, “no patients remain in house from the incident yesterday.”
The hospital said 11 of the patients who were taken to the hospital were children. Four were taken to other hospitals in San Antonio. Seven were discharged and sent home.
Four adults were taken to Uvalde Memorial Hospital. One was sent to a San Antonio hospital; three were discharged and sent home, CNN reported.
Nordwick said some patients had scatter or fragment wounds, but he didn’t say what exactly caused the injuries.
University Hospital in San Antonio shared an update on Facebook.
Two patients, a 66-year-old and a 10-year-old are both in serious condition while two patients, one who is 10 years old and one who is 9 years old, are both in good condition.
Brooke Army Medical Center was treating two patients that had been listed in critical condition. The hospital tweeted that they are now in serious condition.
Update 10:51 a.m. EDT May 25: Texas Sen. John Whitmire said the gunman legally purchased two AR rifles from a licensed firearms dealer in the area on two separate occasions — May 17 and May 20, CNN reported.
Whitmire said law enforcement told him that the shooter also purchased hundreds of rounds of ammunition on May 18.
A backpack was found inside the school that contained seven 30-round magazines that were full of ammunition.
Whitmire was briefed by law enforcement last night.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said one of the rifles was in the truck he had crashed outside of the school. The other was in the school with him, CNN reported.
Update 10:43 a.m. EDT May 25: President Joe Biden is pushing lawmakers to pass gun safety legislation.
Biden went to Twitter to urge lawmakers to act, admitting that gun laws “can’t and won’t prevent every tragedy. But we know they do work and have a positive impact.”
While Biden and countless others around the country are calling for stronger gun laws, one Democratic senator said it will have to wait.
Sen. Dick Durban said he will schedule hearings on gun violence after lawmakers return from the Memorial Day recess.
Durban said that he believes that votes on legislation added to the Senate’s calendar last night will have to wait until after the holiday.
Despite the mass shooting, lawmakers are expected to leave Washington, D.C. on Thursday, CNN reported.
Durban said Democrats are committed to doing something to curb the violence, saying it’s an uphill battle to get Republican support, CNN reported.
Update 9:00 a.m. EDT May 25: All of the victims who were killed have been removed from the building. They all have been identified and their family members have been notified, CNN reported.
Update 8:20 a.m. EDT May 25: A Texas public safety official said all of the victims were in one fourth-grade classroom, the AP reported.
Lt. Chris Olivarez, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said the shooter barricaded himself in the classroom.
“Just goes to show you the complete evil from this shooter,’ Olivarez said on CNN Wednesday.
The gunman 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 told CNN.
Officers were trying to evacuate the school, breaking windows to pull students and teachers out of potential harm’s way. They forced entry into the classroom in which the shooter was barricaded.
Olivarez clarified initial reports where that had claimed that there was a chase before the shooter crashed his car into a ditch at the school.
Law enforcement is also trying to discover a motive or warnings before the massacre.
“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,” Olivarez told CNN.
Olivarez said the shooter’s grandmother was shot by the gunman but is still alive. Officials are trying to locate the grandfather and any other immediate family members, CNN reported.
Update 5:21 a.m. EDT May 25: A third child killed in Tuesday’s shooting has been identified.
According to the AP, Manny Renfro said his grandson, Uziyah Garcia, 8, was among the dead.
Renfro called Uziyah “the sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” the news agency reported.
U.S. Marshals said 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza, a fourth grader at Robb Elementary School, died in the shooting, her father, Angel Garza, confirmed in a statement late Tuesday.
“Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby,” read the statement obtained by ABC News. “She’s been found. 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.”
Update 11:35 p.m. EDT May 24: The first student to be identified by family members as one of the 19 slain in the attack was Xavier Lopez, KSAT reported.
Family members confirmed to the TV station that Xavier was in the fourth grade and that his mother was with him at the school just hours before the shooting for an awards ceremony.
Update 10:41 p.m. EDT May 24: Authorities in Texas revised the death toll late Tuesday night to include 19 children and two adults, the AP confirmed.
Travis Considine, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, provided the update and confirmed that Ramos also died.
Authorities offered no names or descriptions of the two slain adults.
According to University Health, four victims were still being treated at University Hospital just before 9 p.m. Tuesday, including a 66-year-old woman and 10-year-old girl, both in critical condition; a 10-year-old girl in good condition; and a 9-year-old girl in fair condition.
Update 10:13 p.m. EDT May 24: The suspected gunman, identified earlier in the day by Abbott as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, crashed his car outside the school and went inside armed. He wore body armor and hinted on social media of an upcoming attack, Sgt. Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety told CNN.
Meanwhile, Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, confirmed that Ramos shot his grandmother before driving to the school with two military-style rifles he had purchased on his birthday, KHOU reported.
“That was the first thing he did on his 18th birthday,” Gutierrez said.
It was not immediately clear if Ramos’ grandmother survived after being airlifted to an area hospital, KSAT reported.
Update 9:44 p.m. EDT May 24: The first victim in Tuesday’s shooting has been identified as Eva Mireles, a fourth grade teacher at Robb Elementary, KSAT reported.
Mireles’ aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado, issued the following statement, obtained by the TV station:
“My niece, Eva Mireles, approximately 17 yr teacher for UCISD along with another teacher and 18 children lost her lives to a senseless tragic shooting. I’m furious that these shooting continue, these children are innocent, rifles should not be easily available to all. This is a my hometown a small community of less then 20,000. I never imagined this would happen to especially to loved ones. not all the facts have been released, yet all we can do is pray hard for our country, state, schools and especially the families of all.”
Update 9:13 p.m. EDT May 24: According to the AP, a Border Patrol agent shot and killed the suspect.
A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss, the investigation told the outlet that the agent, who was nearby when the shooting began, rushed into Robb Elementary without waiting for backup. The gunman was hiding behind a barricade when the agent fatally shot him, the source stated.
The agent was wounded in the exchange but able to walk out of the school, the official said.
Update 8:51 p.m. EDT May 24: President Joe Biden addressed the nation from the White House just before 9 p.m. EDT Tuesday, openly grieving the loss of “beautiful, innocent second, third and fourth graders.”
Meanwhile, federal law enforcement officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release investigative details, confirmed to the AP that the death toll was expected to rise.
“I had hoped, when I became President, I would not have to do this again,” Biden said, invoking the memory of the Sandy Hook massacre that claimed 27 lives, including 20 first graders, nearly 10 years ago.
In addition to offering condolences to the families and loved ones of those lost in Tuesday’s mass shooting, Biden also urged the American public to pray for the “scores” of grade school survivors who saw “their friends die as if they were on a battlefield.”
“To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away,” Biden said, calling that unique grief “suffocating.”
Biden also stated that some 900 gun-related incidents have occurred on school grounds nationwide since the December 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, leaving him “sick and tired” of resistance to the passage of “common sense gun laws.”
“When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” he said, adding, “We have to act.”
Biden concluded his remarks simply: “God bless the loss of innocent life on this sad day.”
Update 8:17 p.m. EDT May 14: A Texas state senator confirmed to the AP on Tuesday night that the death toll from the shooting at the Uvalde elementary school has increased to 18 children and three adults.
Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, also confirmed to the outlet that at least three people wounded in the attack are hospitalized in serious condition. Gutierrez said he was briefed by state police on the fatalities.
Update 6:58 p.m. EDT May 24: Tuesday’s shooting occurred four years after a gunman fatally shot 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area and less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 Black shoppers and workers in what officials have described as a hate crime, the AP reported.
Update 6:30 p.m. EDT May 24: President Joe Biden will address the nation about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, at 8:15 p.m. EDT Tuesday from the White House, following his return from Asia.
The White House also issued a proclamation early Tuesday evening honoring the victims of the elementary school shooting, ordering U.S. flags on public buildings and military installations to be flown at half-staff through sunset Saturday. Read the full proclamation.
Update 6:22 p.m. EDT May 24: The suspected gunman, identified by Abbott earlier as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was either a current or former student at Uvalde High School, the governor confirmed.
Meanwhile, Uvalde Chief of Police Pete Arredondo told KSAT-TV that it appeared that Ramos acted alone.
According to the TV station, second through fourth graders attend Robb Elementary, and the rampage began at around 11:30 a.m. local time.
University Health officials confirmed to KSAT that two of the shooting victims being treated at University Hospital, a 10-year-old girl and a 66-year-old woman, remained in critical condition early Tuesday evening.
“Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde,” Abbott said in a prepared statement, noting that the two police officers wounded during the attack are expected to survive their injuries.
“Cecilia and I mourn this horrific loss, and we urge all Texans to come together to show our unwavering support to all who are suffering. We thank the courageous first responders who worked to finally secure Robb Elementary School. I have instructed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers to work with local law enforcement to fully investigate this crime. The Texas Division of Emergency Management is charged with providing local officials all resources necessary to respond to this tragedy as the State of Texas works to ensure the community has what it needs to heal.”
Update 5:22 p.m. EDT May 24: Abbott said during a news conference that the suspected gunman, whom he identified earlier as Salvador Ramos, was believed to have been killed by responding officers, the AP reported.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted shortly after 5 p.m. that President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting and will continue to monitor the situation.
Update 5:06 p.m. EDT May 24: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott identified the 18-year-old suspect in the shooting as Salvador Ramos. The high school student was taken into custody shortly after 1 p.m. local time and is believed to have killed his grandmother before going to the elementary school, KHOU reported.
Update 4:56 p.m. EDT May 24: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, delivering an update on the shooting, said Tuesday afternoon that 14 students and 1 teacher were killed in the shooting, The AP reported.
Update 3:55 p.m. EDT May 24: Uvalde Memorial Hospital officials said at least two children were dead and more than a dozen others were injured in the incident, ABC News reported.
Uvalde Memorial Hospital said the two students who were killed were dead on arrival, KSAT reported.
A 45-year-old person was also grazed by a bullet, according to Uvalde Memorial Hospital officials, ABC News reported.
University Hospital said a 66-year-old woman is in critical condition, according to The Associated Press.
Update 2:46 p.m. EDT, May 24: University Hospital has two patients, an adult and a child being treated at the facility. Uvalde Memorial Hospital also has several students being treated there, KENS reported. Neither hospital said why the individuals were brought in or what their conditions were.
Update 2:32 p.m. EDT, May 24: School officials clarified that the shooting took place off-campus, but the school was in lockdown, ABC News reported.
Update 2:17 p.m. EDT, May 24: Uvalde Police Department said that the alleged gunman who prompted the lockdown is in custody.
Original report: The entire district was under lockdown due to gunshots in the area, KENS reported.
A Uvalde police dispatcher said the scene is still active, but no other information was available, The Associated Press reported.
Students at the elementary school are being taken to a local civic center to be reunited with their parents once all students are accounted for, officials said on Facebook.
Just under 600 students attend Robb Elementary, the AP reported.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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