Pete Buttigieg

Mayor of South Bend, Indiana
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Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the presidential race on March 1, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Buttigieg has positioned himself as a moderate and has called for generational change in political leadership. The second-term mayor is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and was a Rhodes scholar.
Harvard College, B.A., 2004; University of Oxford, Rhodes scholar, 2007
January 19, 1982
Chasten Buttigieg
Episcopalian
US Navy Reserve, 2009-2017;
Consultant at McKinsey and Co., 2007-2010

BUTTIGIEG IN THE NEWS

Buttigieg says 'we need to take a look at' a no-fly list for unruly passengers
Updated 2:01 PM ET, Mon Feb 7, 2022
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on CNN on Monday that "we need to take a look at" placing unruly passengers on a federal no-fly list as pressure mounts on the Biden administration to continue to address rising violence on airplanes. "I think we need to take a look at it. Look, the airlines are often doing their own internal no-fly list. Some of them have spoken about maybe coordinating on that, and we're looking at these policy recommendations as well," Buttigieg told CNN's Kate Bolduan in an interview. This comes as Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian sent a letter last week to US Attorney General Merrick Garland reiterating his call for the Justice Department to prosecute unruly passengers and place them on a no-fly list. Buttigieg has previously expressed openness to a federal no-fly list for violent airplane passengers, telling CNN in late October that it "should be on the table." The existing federal no-fly list is used to prevent terrorism. Asked Monday about the challenges of potentially implementing a federal no-fly list for unruly passengers, Buttigieg said, "Obviously, there are enormous implications in terms of civil liberties, in terms of how you administer something like that. I mean even when it was over terrorism, it was not a simple thing to set up. "So none of these things can be done lightly. But I think all of these things need to be looked at, at a moment like this," he added. 2021 was a record year for bad behavior Last year was the worst on record for unruly passenger behavior in the United States, according to Federal Aviation Administration data. Early in 2021, the FAA announced a "zero tolerance" policy for unruly passenger behavior that skips warnings or counseling and goes directly to penalties, which can include heavy fines and jail time. Buttigieg pointed to "encouraging news" that unruly incidents are trending downward, but he underscored how "this is happening at an unacceptable rate. Anything besides zero is an unacceptable rate." As of February 1, there have been 323 reports of unruly passenger behavior so far this year, according to FAA tracking. Of those, 205 were mask-related incidents. Seventy-three investigations have been initiated, with 26 enforcement action cases initiated so far this year. At least two flights in January turned around midflight because of unruly passenger behavior, and a man charged with groping a flight attendant on a flight in 2021 was recently sentenced to six months in prison. "You simply should not behave this way on an airplane -- you shouldn't behave this way on the ground either," Buttigieg later added. Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, told CNN over the weekend that unruly behavior on planes is creating "a situation where flight attendants every single day, when they're putting on their uniforms, they're not sure if that will be a sign of authority and leadership in the cabin or a target for a violent attack." Nelson said she is in favor of a no-fly list for unruly passengers. Buttigieg addressed infrastructure as well During Monday's interview, Buttigieg also discussed new report from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association that found one in three bridges in the United States are in need of major repair work or replacement. "We have already started putting out the funding to get these bridges repaired," Buttigieg said in the interview. "It's not just the big bridges that get a lot of attention, but sometimes it's a rural bridge that may seem small, but it's not a small thing in your commute or in your life." Buttigieg added that it's not only drivers and commuters affected by bridge closures but also consumers' ability to receive goods and services because of supply chain delays. "You don't even have to drive to be affected by the condition of our bridges because groceries and other goods can take longer and cost more to get to where they need to be if we don't have a healthy road and bridge network," Buttigieg added.
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STANCES ON THE ISSUES

climate crisis
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Buttigieg released a plan in September 2019 that aims to move the US to clean energy and agriculture, shield existing communities and industries from the effects of climate change and lead a global response to the crisis. He calls for the Department of Defense to set up a Climate Watch Floor and would create a new senior climate security role within the department. He aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, pledging to invest $25 billion annually in research by 2025 – a move he compares to the Manhattan Project – and to set a price on carbon, generating money that would be returned to Americans as a dividend. He says his plan would generate 3 million new jobs as the economy transitions to clean energy production. Buttigieg pledges to spend $5 billion annually on grants for rural communities and ensure that new infrastructure “can withstand extreme weather and sea level rise.” He calls for integrating climate change into national security planning. Buttigieg supports the Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. He has also proposed his own plan, which would impose a carbon tax on corporations and polluters and pass on the money raised from that tax to Americans as a dividend. Buttigieg has said he would rejoin the Paris climate accord, the landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon. Buttigieg says he wants to ensure the US – “not China” – will lead the climate response globally, and suggests he’d use sanctions to push other countries to adopt carbon-pricing programs. He has also said that while the Paris accord is critical, he would like to hold a “Pittsburgh summit” within his first 100 days as president, where cities would come together to work on curbing emissions. More on Buttigieg’s climate crisis policy
economy
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On the campaign trail, Buttigieg has clearly stated his view that manufacturing jobs are not returning to their previous levels because of factors like automation. In July 2019, he introduced a plan aimed at protecting workers and putting big tech companies firmly in the hot seat. Buttigieg would guarantee the right to join a union for all American workers including gig economy workers – like Uber and Lyft drivers, who are considered independent contractors and not employees of the companies. Buttigieg is no fan of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the trade deal with Canada and Mexico, and has suggested that it caused significant and largely irreversible job loss. He has also focused on the need for the federal government to spur entrepreneurship in underserved communities. He has proposed having the government “triple the number of entrepreneurs from underserved areas – particularly ones of color – within 10 years” by offering grants and incentivizing investment in underserved areas and overhauling credit scoring as a way to open up credit opportunities for traditionally underserved communities. In August 2019, Buttigieg rolled out a proposal to provide $500 million in federal funding for “Regional Innovation Clusters.” Those would allow state and local governments to take the lead on developing economic projects based on the specific needs of individual rural communities through a grant program judged by a panel of entrepreneurs across the country. Buttigieg pledges up to $5 billion to expand apprenticeship networks across the country “to ensure an apprenticeship program in a growing industry is available within 30 miles of every American,” including underserved rural areas. Buttigieg seeks to create “Community Renewal visas,” with the aim of attracting high-skilled immigrants with the promise of attaining green cards at the end of three-year residencies in rural communities. Buttigieg also supports raising the federal hourly minimum wage to $15 and passing paid family and medical leave. More on Buttigieg’s economic policy
education
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Buttigieg – who, along with his husband, Chasten, has student loan debt that combined amounts to six figures – does not support making college tuition-free. He argues that lower- and middle-income families should benefit from tuition-free public college but not the children of the wealthy, or, as he put it once, “even the children of billionaires.” Buttigieg has looked to tie education affordability to his national service plan. The mayor, who himself served in the Navy Reserve, said his administration would provide support and incentives for students who decide to go into a service field before or after college. Buttigieg says he supports charter schools in some instances, but he said in Iowa earlier this year that “for-profit charter schools should not be our vision for the future.” His plan to combat racial inequality in the United States would increase resources to historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions by $25 billion. More on Buttigieg’s education policy
gun violence
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Buttigieg released a plan in August 2019 that would increase federal funding to combat hate and violent extremism, boost federal research into gun violence and work with social media companies to stem incendiary rhetoric online. He would dedicate $1 billion to law enforcement, including increasing the FBI’s field staff, for “sufficient resources to counter the growing tide of white nationalist violence.” Those funds would also be reinvested in Department of Homeland Security efforts to fight extremism, violence and hate. Buttigieg supports universal background checks. He has also backed a nationwide gun licensing system and a ban on the sale of so-called assault weapons. As mayor of South Bend, he’s long had a focus on reducing gun violence. Buttigieg joined the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group of more than 1,000 current and former mayors advocating stricter gun laws, in 2013 and supported the South Bend Group Violence Intervention, a program aimed at combating gun violence in the city.Buttigieg often talks about gun laws through a personal lens. As the youngest candidate in the 2020 race, he grew up in an era when school shootings have become common. As a veteran, he has training and experience with weapons. More on Buttigieg’s gun violence policy
healthcare
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Buttigieg supports what he calls “Medicare for all who want it” – an idea that he says is a pathway to the “Medicare for All” proposal backed by other candidates, which would create a national government health care plan and essentially eliminate the private insurance industry. Under Buttigieg’s plan, private health insurance would still exist for consumers. Buttigieg also focuses on health care in his Douglass Plan, aimed at combating inequality for African Americans. He plans to diversify the medical workforce and create “health equity zones” to address health care disparities in certain geographic locations. In August 2019, he proposed a plan to improve health care access in rural communities by waiving visa requirements to attract immigrant doctors, increasing access to telehealth services by expanding high speed internet and creating a new office within the Department of Health and Human Services. Buttigieg plans to reduce maternal mortality rates by funding pre-maternity homes and offering subsidies for housing and transportation. He would also extend Medicaid coverage for one-year postpartum. Currently, Medicaid typically covers only 60 days of postpartum care. In October 2019, Buttigieg released a plan aimed at reducing prescription drug costs and jump-starting pharmaceutical innovation. The plan, titled “Affordable Medicine for All,” would penalize pharmaceutical companies that raise prices by more than the rate of inflation and by increasing the annual Branded Prescription Drug Fee, a section of the Affordable Care Act that sets an annual fee according to each manufacturer’s share of drug sales that goes to government programs like Medicare Part D and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Buttigieg also released an LGBTQ rights plan that proposes eradicating HIV/AIDS by 2030, ensuring access to the HIV drug PrEP for all who need it, finding a cure for AIDS and ensuring health insurance providers cover trans-specific medical care. More on Buttigieg’s health care policy
immigration
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Buttigieg has said he wants a comprehensive immigration plan, which would include providing a pathway to citizenship for those who received Obama-era protections for undocumented immigrants, including people brought to the US as minors. He also calls for addressing the backlogs in the immigration and asylum processes and having “reasonable” security measures at the US-Mexico border. “I don’t have a problem with enhanced border security, perhaps to include fencing,” Buttigieg told PBS in February 2019. He suggested border security cannot be simplified with “just putting up a wall from sea to shining sea.” He has also proposed ending family separation at the border and evaluating practices from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and US Customs and Border Protection “to ensure similar humanitarian crises never happen again.” More on Buttigieg’s immigration policy

LATEST POLITICAL NEWS

21 killed in Texas school massacre
Updated 2:04 PM ET, Fri May 27, 2022
Chilling details continue to emerge about Tuesday’s mass shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. One of the young survivors told CNN that she and her classmates were watching a movie when the shooter entered her room and shot her teacher and many of her friends. According to officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety, the shooter was in the school for up to an hour and had barricaded himself inside adjoining classrooms. As all this was taking place, parents had joined dozens of law enforcement officers outside the school, desperate to know if their children were still alive. Pete Luna, the general manager of The Uvalde Leader-News, was among those outside, waiting for a positive development. He then saw a group of children who were escaping through windows with the help of law enforcement. Luna’s photos are some of the few that CNN has seen from that turbulent time when the gunman was still in the school. View more photos here. Taking a question from CNN's Shimon Prokupecz during Friday's news conference, FBI special agent Oliver Rich, who leads the FBI's San Antonio field office, addressed the possibility of an "independent investigation" into the mass shooting. "First, I want to say I understand there are a lot of questions and a lot of frustration in and our hearts go out to the families and victims of this tragedy," Rich said. "We are here to assist in the investigation, to provide the support to the community," he continued, citing a total of 200 people from the bureau who he said have been working in Uvalde over the past four days. "We have people working all across the country to support this community and to support this investigation. We are continuing in that vein." "If the facts bear out that there is a federal nexus, then the FBI will conduct an appropriate investigation at that time," Rich concluded. "But for now, we continue in this to support the Texas Rangers." Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said there were at least two calls to 911 from children during the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School. He laid out one of the calls. McCraw did not provide the name of a girl who called and did not release the audio, saying it’s better that he reads it “than you listen to it." Here's the timeline from him: A 911 call came in from a girl in room 112 at 12:03 p.m. local time. The call lasted one minute, 23 seconds. She identified herself and her location in a whisper. At 12:10 p.m. local time she called back and said there were multiple dead. She called back at 12:13 p.m. local time and again at 12:16 p.m. local time to say there were “eight to nine students alive,” McCraw laid out. At 12:36 p.m. local time, McCraw said that on a 911 call, two or three shots could be heard. The student called back “and was told to stay on the line and be very quiet,” McCraw said. At one point, the girl said she could hear police nearby. At 12:51 p.m. local time, McCraw said the call got “very loud” and sounded like officers were moving children out of the room. While taking questions from reporters during Friday's news conference, Col. Steven McCraw of the Texas Department of Public Safety criticized some aspects of the police response to the shooting, in particular regarding the time it took for officers to engage with the gunman. "A decision was made that this was a barricaded subject situation," McCraw said of the incident commander's "thought process" at the time. Rather than immediately try to breach the classroom and engage with the gunman, McCraw said the commander — who he later identified as the school district's chief of police — decided that "there was time to retrieve the keys, and wait for a tactical team with the equipment to go ahead and breach the door and take on the subject." "From the benefit of hindsight where I'm sitting now, of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision, period. There's no excuse for that. But again, I wasn't there," he added. "We believe there should have been an entry as soon as you can," McCraw continued. "When there's an active shooter, the rules change." The revelation explains the lengthy wait between when officers first arrived to the school at 11:44 a.m. local time and when a tactical team finally entered the room and killed the gunman at 12:50 p.m. local time. The tactical team was able to enter using keys from a janitor, McCraw said. Hear the Texas official during the press conference here: CNN's Nora Neus, Eric Levenson, Michelle Krupa and Elizabeth Wolfe contributed reporting to this post.  The Uvalde shooter did not post publicly on Facebook that he shot his grandmother and then was going to shoot at a school, Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steven McCraw said. It was a private message on a Facebook application, he said. The shooter, Salvador Ramos, asked his sister in September 2021 to help him buy a gun, and she "flatly refused," McCraw said. In Instagram chats with four people in March, he discussed buying a gun, McCraw said. On March 3, one person wrote, "word on the street is you're buying a gun." Ramos replied, "just bought something rn," McCraw said. On March 14, there was an Instagram post by Ramos in quotations "10 more days." "A user replied, 'are you going to shoot up a school or something?' The subject replied, 'no and stop asking dumb questions, and you'll see,' McCraw said. Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steven McCraw outlined the ammunition that was found at the school and on the gunman. There were a total of 58 magazines at the school related to the crime scene, he said: 11 of those magazines were found inside the school: Three were on the shooter's body, two of the magazines were in classroom 112 and six inside classroom 111 and five of the magazines were on the ground and one was in the rifle. There were 32 magazines outside the school, but on school property, one was just outside the school building and 31 were in the suspect's backpack, which he did not take into the classrooms with him. There were 15 magazines at the site where the suspect crashed his car before entering the school. There were two magazines in the suspect's residence, for a total of 60 magazines. The gunman purchased and had a total of 1,657 total rounds of ammunition, 315 of the rounds were inside the school and 142 of those were spent cartridges. After firing "multiple shots" outside, the gunman entered Robb Elementary in Uvalde at 11:33 a.m. local time, Col. Steven McCraw of the Texas Department of Public Safety said at a news conference on Friday. "The suspect begins shooting into room 111 or 112. It's not possible to determine from the video angle that we have at this point in time," McCraw said. "We do know that he shot more than 100 rounds based on the audio evidence at that time. At least 100 rounds." Police officers were also inside the school within minutes, having entered using the same door as the gunman. "A total of seven officers were on the scene," McCraw said, by 11:35 a.m., which is approximately when two of those officers were shot — "grazing wounds," he clarified — near the door to the classroom the gunman was in. The gunman then continued to fire inside the classroom, with the door closed and locked, McCraw said. "He had purchased and had a total of 1,657 total rounds of ammunition," McCraw said, and fired nearly 200 rounds during his rampage. Authorities found 142 spent cartridges inside the school, with another 22 found outside on school property and another 22 again found at the site of the gunman's crashed car. Another 173 live rounds from the gunman's supplies were found inside the school. Thirty-five spent law enforcement cartridges were also located inside the school. "Eight of those were in the hallway," McCraw said, and "27 were inside classroom 111, where the suspect was killed."  CNN's Shawn Nottingham contributed reporting. Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steven McCraw said that when law enforcement arrived to the two classrooms that the gunman shot into, the doors were locked and they breached the door using a janitor's keys. They killed the suspect once they entered the room. Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steven McCraw outlined today at a news conference the timeline of the shooting at Uvalde's Robb Elementary School. At 11:27 a.m. local time, a teacher propped open the exterior door that the shooter eventually entered the school, according to video evidence, McCraw said. At 11:28 a.m., the gunman crashed a vehicle near the school into a ditch. Two men at a funeral home went to the crash scene and they began running when the gunman shot at them. The teacher then ran to retrieve a phone and walked back to exit door. The door remained propped open. The teacher called 911 at 11:30 a.m. local time. One minute later, the gunman started walking in the school parking lot and shooting into classroom windows. Patrol cars got to the funeral home at the same time, he said. A school resource officer was not on the scene, McCraw said, but heard the 911 call and drove to the area. The officer sped to who he thought was the suspect, driving right by the actual suspect who was hunkered down by a vehicle. Multiple shots were fired at the school starting at 11:32 a.m., he said. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) are giving an update right now at a news conference about Tuesday's mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, as questions emerge about their response. Some background: A Texas law enforcement official said Thursday the 18-year-old gunman who killed 21 people at the elementary school was not confronted by police before he entered the school, contradicting earlier comments from authorities and raising further questions about the police response to the massacre. The official's comments came in a news conference that added further confusion to the timeline of Tuesday's horrific shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead. The massacre marked the deadliest US school shooting in nearly a decade and was at least the 30th school shooting at a K-12 school in 2022. And it has thrown the nation — where active shooter attacks jumped more than 50% last year — yet again into a fury of anger and grief amid renewed calls for gun laws reform. CNN's Eric Levenson, Holly Yan and Joe Sutton contributed reporting to this post. The United States Marshals Service said its deputies responded to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, after receiving a call for assistance at 11:30 a.m. local time. After driving nearly 70 miles, deputies arrived at 12:10 p.m. local time, USMS said in a statement posted to Twitter. "The first Deputy US Marshals who arrived on scene entered the school to assist BORTAC and other law enforcement already engaging with the shooter," the statement said, referring to the tactical unit of the United States Border Patrol. "These Deputy US Marshals also rendered emergency trauma first aid for multiple victims. Additional Deputy U.S. Marshals were asked to expand and secure the official law enforcement perimeter around the school,” the statement said, adding that deputy marshals never arrested or placed anyone in handcuffs. Members of the USMS can be seen in a widely circulated social media video in which police are holding back parents pleading to enter Robb Elementary school as the violence unfolded. The children who survived the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde are now reeling from the trauma of fearing for their lives and seeing their friends die. These are their stories. Jayden Perez The moment his class heard gunfire, Jayden Perez's teacher locked the door and told her students to “hide and be quiet.”  “It was very terrifying because I never thought that was going to happen,” Jayden told CNN. “(I’m) still sad about some of my friends that died.” During the interview, Jayden started recalling the names of the deceased with whom he was friends. Then he stopped, looked at a row of crosses behind him bearing their names and said, “basically all of them.”  When asked if he ever wants to go back to school, the fourth grader was clear and concise. “No, because after what happened, I don’t want to. I don’t want anything to do with another shooting or me in the school,” Jayden said. “And I know it might happen again, probably.” Edward Timothy Silva Second grader Edward Timothy Silva's class was located near the fourth grade classroom when he heard "loud noises," he said, which sounded “kind of like fireworks.” “I have the fear of guns now because I'm scared someone might shoot me," he said. His mother, Amberlynn Diaz teared up, saying this is the first time she’d heard her son say that. “It breaks my heart,” Diaz said. “He was asking me, does he have to go to school next year? And I just don't want him to be afraid of school. I want him to continue learning and not be scared of going back to school. I want him to have a normal life again.” Miah Cerillo 11-year-old Miah Cerillo was in the fourth grade classroom where her friends and teachers were shot. When the shooter went to an adjoining classroom, she said she was scared that he would come back and shoot again. She put her hands in her friend's blood, who was dead next to her, and then smeared it all over herself to appear dead. She spoke exclusively to CNN about her horrific experience that day, but declined to speak to any men because of what happened. She said she feels comfortable only speaking to women and also did not want to go on camera. Cerillo was hit by fragments of the bullets, and they are visible on her back, shoulders and the back of her head. She told CNN that overnight, a lot of her hair fell out in big clumps from where the fragments had hit. Her parents say she is not sleeping, and Cerillo also said she keeps seeing bodies on the ground. Her parents have started GoFundMe specifically to pay for her therapy. Miranda Mathis, 11, has been identified as one of the victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting, according to the city of Uvalde’s website. The Washington Post also spoke with Leslie Ruiz, who identified herself as a friend of Miranda’s mother. Ruiz told the Washington Post that the 11-year-old was a “bright girl” who was “fun” and “spunky.” She said that Miranda’s best friend was her brother and he was also in the school when the shooting happened.  On Wednesday, Mathis’ cousin, Deanna Miller, expressed her grief on Facebook, writing, “My sweet baby cousin we loved u dearly I'm so sorry this happen to u baby please keep my family in your prayers."  The city of Uvalde has posted the names and photos of the 21 victims.  ##The Victims## The names and photos of all 21 victims from the shooting at Robb Elementary School have been listed on the city of Uvalde's website. It includes information on where to send donations for a memorial fund, as well as a link to resources. "We are working on setting up an online option for donations and will post that information as soon as we have that ready," according to the city's site. ##The Victims## Ten-year-old Rojelio Torres has been identified as one of the victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting, his aunt Precious Perez confirmed to CNN affiliate KSAT.  Perez said the entire family waited almost 12 hours to find out if her nephew was one of the victims. “We are devastated and heartbroken. Rojer was a very intelligent, hardworking and helpful person. He will be missed and never forgotten,” Perez told KSAT.  Prior to learning about his passing, Rojelio’s father, Federico Torres, spoke with CNN affiliate KHOU. In a very somber interview he told the affiliate he learned about the shooting through friends and left work to rush to the school where officials did not give him information right away.  In a Facebook post, Rojelio’s mother, Evadulia Orta, posted a photo of her son and wrote “RIP to my son Rojelio Torres we love you and miss you.” ##The Victims## A 10-year old girl has been discharged from University Hospital San Antonio, Dr. Lillian Liao said Friday.  Liao said she was happy to report that one of the children who was injured in the Robb Elementary school shooting was discharged. “So we're currently caring for two children and one adult patient at University Hospital,” Liao said. A 66-year old woman remains in serious condition. A 10-year old girl is also in serious condition and a 9-year old is in good condition, according to the hospital. Maite Rodriguez, 10, has been identified as a victim of the Robb Elementary School shooting, her mother Ana Rodriguez confirmed in a post on her Facebook page. Rodriguez said her daughter dreamed of becoming a marine biologist and had her heart set on attending Texas A&M in Corpus Christi. On Facebook, Rodriguez dedicated a lengthy post to her daughter where she said she wanted everyone to know that Maite was “sweet, charismatic, loving, caring, loyal, free, ambitious, funny, silly, goal driven,” and her best friend. She wrote that her daughter loved animals, photography and learned to sew on her own by watching YouTube videos.  In an interview with Rolling Stone, Rodriguez called Gov. Greg Abbott an “embarrassment to Texas,” and said that his refusal to even consider stronger gun laws after what happened on Tuesday is “inexcusable.” “In my opinion, nobody’s brain is fully developed at the age 18. You’re still a child, and what would a child do with an AR? I guess we all know now,” she said.  Abbott has said that tightening gun laws would not prevent mass shootings and regularly tweets about guns and his support for gun owners. He’s signed laws making Texas an open carry state for handguns and on public university campuses. Rodriguez also told the magazine her daughter was smart, competitive and determined. Rodriguez ended her Facebook post with a message to her daughter which read, “it’s not goodbye it’s I’ll see you later my sweet girl. I LOVE YOU.” ##The Victims## Eleven-year-old Miah Cerrillo, who survived the massacre in the fourth-grade classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, said she smeared her friend's blood on herself to appear dead in case the shooter came back. She spoke exclusively to CNN about her horrific experience that day, but declined to speak to any men because of what happened and only feels comfortable speaking to women. She also did not want to go on camera. Miah and her classmates were watching "Lilo & Stitch" when her teachers Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia got an email notifying them of a shooter in the school. CNN spoke to both Miah and her mother. One teacher "went to the door and he was right there — they made eye contact," Neus told CNN's John Berman. "Mia says it just happened all so fast. He backed the teacher into the classroom. He made eye contact with the teacher, again, looked her right in the eye and said 'goodnight' and then shot her and killed her." At this point, he opened fire in the classroom, which hit the other teacher and a lot of Miah's friends. Miah was hit by fragments of the bullets, too. They are visible on her back, on her shoulders and the back of her head, Neus reported. The shooter then went into the adjoining classroom, and Miah told CNN that she could hear screams, a lot more gunfire, and then she said she heard music. "She thinks it was the gunman that put it on. He started blasting sad music," Neus said. "She just said it sounded like 'I want people to die' music." Miah said she was scared the gunman would come back to kill her and a few other surviving friends. So, she put her hands in her friend's blood, who laid next to her— and already looked dead—and then smeared it all over herself to appear dead.  She and a friend also managed to grab her dead teacher’s phone and call 911 for help. She says she told a dispatcher, “please send help because we’re in trouble.” Miah says she thought she was there for three hours, but her mother then said, "sweetheart, I think it was closer to one hour but I'm sure it felt that way." As she laid there, Miah thought the police just hadn't reached the campus, she told CNN. She says afterwards, she overheard talk of police waiting outside the school. Recounting this during the interview, she started crying, saying she just didn’t understand why they didn’t come inside and get them. Now, Miah is living through the trauma and her parents have started GoFundMe specifically to pay for her therapy. WATCH: 11-year-old says she used her friend's blood to play dead in classroom An off-duty US Customs and Border Patrol officer heard there was an active shooter at Robb Elementary School and ran out of a barbershop as fast as he could.  Jacob Albarado told The New York Times he had just sat down for a haircut when he got a text message from his wife, Trisha, a fourth-grade teacher at the elementary school, that there was an active shooter in the building. Their daughter, a second-grader at Robb Elementary, was locked in a bathroom, and she texted him.   He borrowed a shotgun from his barber and sped to the scene.  According to an interview with NYT, Albarado saw that a tactical team was already forming to enter the wing where the shooter was holed up, so he and several other officers on the scene came up with a plan to evacuate as many children as possible.  Albarado said he led the team toward the wing of the school where his daughter was. “I’m looking for my daughter, but I also know what wing she’s in,” he said, “so I start clearing all the classes in her wing.”  When he finally found his 8-year-old daughter Jayda, he hugged her, but then quickly kept rescuing other children.  The children were “hysterical” as the team guided them out of the building and onto the sidewalk, bring out dozens of kids and teachers.  “I did what I was trained to do,” Albarado told the NYT. Jayden Perez trained for days like Tuesday. But the 10-year-old never thought it would happen. The moment he and his classmates heard gunfire, he said his teacher at Robb Elementary School locked the door and told her students to “hide and be quiet.”  “It was very terrifying because I never thought that was going to happen,” Jayden told CNN. “(I’m) still sad about some of my friends that died.” During the interview, Jayden started calling the names of the deceased with whom he was friends. Then he stopped, looked at a row of crosses behind him bearing their names and said, “Basically all of them.”  Now, the fourth-grader said he is scared it will happen again.  When asked if he ever wants to go back to school, he was clear and concise. “No, because after what happened. I don’t want to. I don’t want anything to do with another shooting or me in the school,” Jayden said. “And I know it might happen again, probably.” Jayden said he was hiding near the storage area for backpacks during the shooting, while others in his class were under a table. The entire time, he said, he wondered what was going to happen to them. About 90 minutes before the shooting, his family celebrated Jayden’s achievement of making the honor roll.  When reunited with his family, his mother was the first to give him a hug.  Now the child is reminding everyone to hug those you love, while you can. “You never know when you can lose someone close to you,” Jayden said. Hear from the 10-year-old survivor here: Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10, who was killed in Tuesday's massacre, was passionate about school, her father Jessie Rodriguez told CNN's Pamela Brown.  "Even when she was sick, she didn’t like to miss a day of school," he said. "As she was growing up, she’d always tell me she wanted to be a veterinarian. She was always challenging new things. She liked to work with me since I’m a carpenter, so, she liked to learn how to do whatever I did. She learned to rip carpet out, cut linoleum for me. Her and her twin sister would always be at work trying to help me doing something, painting or something,” he said. Rodriguez noted that Annabell was protective of her twin sister and that the pair were close.  “They did everything together. Now, it going to be a big gap there. She’s going to have to learn to grow into, as well as me,” he said.  The father also spoke about Annabell’s cousin, Jackie Cazares, who was also killed on Tuesday. He described Jackie as smart and taught his twins how to use their phones, and that the three played together often. “I’m just hurt,” Rodriguez said. When asked about the amount of time the gunman was in the school and the other details released by authorities, Rodriguez said “it’s very upsetting.” "As a father, I would have just went in. I don’t need nobody to tell me to go in and defend harmless children. Why wait … you’re officers serving the peace and protect us, protect our children.  "And, one hour being in there is too long — that’s just too much. Should have been within minutes.  "I believe the officers at that point should have went in and took control and not let this man finish off with them, one at a time.” ##The Victims## Edward Timothy Silva, a second-grade student, told CNN on Thursday about what it was like being inside Robb Elementary School at the time of the mass shooting that killed 19 children and two adults. Edward Timothy's class was located near the fourth-grade classroom when he heard "loud noises," he said. “Kind of like fireworks.” A woman who works for the school told them to hide, he said, as the lights were turned off inside of the classroom. “I learned that we were having a real drill. Because we've practiced a lot. I think we were safe because we practiced,” Edward Timothy said. He started learning such drills in kindergarten, he said. Some of his classmates in the room were crying, Edward Timothy said. “I was praying, thinking 'Why is this happening?'” the second-grader said. Later, his class and others "ran out of their classrooms," he said. Officials have said all fatalities and injuries at Robb Elementary took place inside one classroom.  When asked what he is afraid of now, Edward Timothy said, “I have the fear of guns now because I'm scared someone might shoot me.” His mother, Amberlynn Diaz, then teared up, saying this is the first time she’d heard her son say that. “It breaks my heart,” Diaz said. “He was asking me, does he have to go to school next year? And I just don't want him to be afraid of school. I want him to continue learning and not be scared of going back to school. I want him to have a normal life again.” Government statements are not adding up. Gaps and discrepancies are raising alarms. Elected officials are failing to answer the public's questions. This is a moment when journalists are needed. And a moment when journalists have to get it right. Unfortunately the subject matter is utterly heartbreaking: The deaths of 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary. How was the gunman able to murder so many people? Why wasn't he stopped sooner? Who was responsible for the police response? Why were so many of the initial accounts incorrect, according to newer statements? What should we believe? Questions about the police response were front and center all day Thursday, due in large part to parents who spoke up, backed up by amateur video clips of Tuesday's chaotic crime scene. Most of their questions have not been answered. Frustrations have been boiling over. "We've been given a lot of bad information," CNN's Shimon Prokupecz said at Thursday afternoon's press conference. "These parents deserve to know exactly what happened, minute by minute, to their children," Anderson Cooper said to Prokupecz later in the day. I checked in with Marc Duvoisin, editor of the San Antonio Express-News, the daily newspaper closest to Uvalde. He agreed with my perception that Thursday was a turning point in the coverage of the shooting. Read the full story here: The mother of Uvalde school shooter Salvador Ramos said she was in shock and asked for forgiveness after her son shot and killed 21 people at an elementary school in Texas on Tuesday. "I have no words, I have no words to say, I don't know what he was thinking. He had his reasons for doing what he did and please don't judge him. I only want the innocent children who died to forgive me," Adriana Martinez told CNN affiliate Televisa. Martinez described Ramos as "quiet." "He was very quiet. He was himself. He didn't bother anyone — he didn't do anything to anyone," she told Televisa. His grandfather told CNN on Thursday that he knows many of the families affected by the massacre. “Some of them are my friends, and I’m going to have to face them some day,” Rolando Reyes said. Reyes’ wife was the first victim that day, shot in the face at their home before Ramos drove to Robb Elementary School and killed 21 people. A bullet pierced the jaw and upper cheek of his wife, Reyes said, and she will need significant reconstructive surgery at a hospital in San Antonio. The shooter’s grandmother “did everything for him,” Reyes said, including cooking and picking him up from late work shifts at a fast-food restaurant, and he does not understand why the 18-year-old would lash out at her. Reyes is the father of Ramos’ mother, who has been crying so much since the shooting that one of her eyes is almost swollen shut, he said. WATCH: Gunman's mother speaks out: 'Forgive me, forgive my son' Some Republicans have an odd way of not politicizing the horrific Texas school massacre. Despite accusing Democrats of constantly trying to manipulate mass shootings for political gain, several senior GOP figures — including ex-President Donald Trump — are expected to give speeches at the National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action's annual leadership forum on Friday. The NRA is the highly politicized body that spent decades radicalizing the GOP on guns and tearing down moderate firearm laws, resulting in a torrent of high-powered weapons finding their way into private hands — like the kind an 18-year-old gunman bought legally and used to kill 19 children and two teachers on Tuesday. And the group's annual meetings are taking place in Houston only three days after and about 275 miles to the east of the spot where innocent children were gunned down in their classroom in the city of Uvalde. The assault was both shocking in its barbarism but not at all surprising as it was just the latest mass shooting in America's endless cycle of gun violence. Read the full analysis: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed the school massacre in Texas for the first time publicly Thursday, calling it "unfathomable." "I have to tell you,  it's really hard to look at the images on TV of these children, ten years old, each with their own story. Each so vibrant, each with so much ahead of them," Blinken said at an event celebrating Eid at the State Department.  "And as a parent, as I suspect many of you are, you put yourself in the place of their parents. And it's unfathomable. It's just unfathomable," he said. Blinken said they "all have them in their hearts," and referenced a previous speaker's comment about "the need to recommit ourselves to empathy." "I hope that that part of the spirit of Ramadan is something that we can take from this evening and every evening and think about that, think about that in our own lives," he said. "It's so important." A spokesperson for Daniel Defense, the manufacturer of a firearm used in the Robb Elementary School shooting, told CNN the company has no plans to attend this weekend’s NRA meeting in Houston, Texas.  “Daniel Defense is not attending the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) meeting due to the horrifying tragedy in Uvalde, Texas where one of our products was criminally misused. We believe this week is not the appropriate time to be promoting our products in Texas at the NRA meeting,” Steve Reed, vice president of marketing, said in an email. The company also issued a statement on its website calling the shooting an “evil act.”   “We are deeply saddened by the tragic events in Texas this week,” the statement said. Daniel Defense said the company will cooperate with “all federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities in their investigations.” “We will keep the families of the victims and the entire Uvalde community in our thoughts and our prayers,” the statement said. The parents of the victims from Robb Elementary School in Uvalde deserve a complete accounting of what happened during the shooting, Texas state senator Roland Gutierrez said Thursday.   “I’ve talked to the troopers, I’ve talked to the (Texas) Rangers, they suggested that over the course of the next 24 to 36 hours we should have a full-blown report,” Gutierrez told CNN’s Don Lemon. “Listen, this isn’t rocket science, everything is on video in there. And we deserve to know what happened, these parents deserve to know what happened.” Gutierrez, a Democrat whose district covers Uvalde County, said nothing he has seen so far has been “satisfactory.” “At the end of the day I understand that this is an active investigation, but the shooter is dead,” he said. “We’re not talking about motive anymore. We have to figure out where there was a failure and if there was a failure.” Gutierrez said he knows “there was a failure here,” and that he has seen video of law enforcement entering the building and well as the standoff that took place. “I don’t want to 'Monday morning quarterback' this thing but at the end of the day we have to find out for the future, so that this never happens again, what kind of failures happened," he said. “And I feel in this situation standing back was not the thing to do.” “There’s no way in the world that an 18-year-old kid should access a militarized weapon like it happened in this situation,” he said. “And I put that on people that are in power in Texas.” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott — who was scheduled to speak Friday on the first day of the National Rifle Association's annual meeting — is canceling his in-person appearance to attend a press conference on the school shooting in Uvalde. Abbott will speak to the convention instead "through prerecorded video," spokesman Mark Miner told the Dallas Morning News Thursday. The NRA event takes place in Houston, more than 250 miles away from Uvalde. Several scheduled speakers and performers have bowed out since Tuesday’s deadly school shooting. Abbott is now scheduled to be at a 3:30 p.m. CT news conference on the school shooting Friday, which his office says will come after “a briefing with state agencies, local officials, and members of the community.” Layla Salazar, 11, has been identified as one of the victims in Tuesday’s shooting, her family confirmed to CNN’s Gary Tuchman. Her father, Vincent Salazar III, and her mother, Melinda Alejandro Salazar, said Layla was an active child who loved to run, film TikTok videos and dance. Her grandfather, "Our hearts are shattered because of this," her grandfather Vincent Salazar Jr. said. Her family also told CNN that Layla loved to swim in the river with her two big brothers. ##The Victims## 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. Each voicemail can be three minutes in length. All or part of your call may be used by CNN on television and/or digital as part of our coverage. Please include your name, contact information and where you're calling from. By calling in with your child, you are representing that you have authority to consent for your child's voice and statements to be used by CNN on television and/or digital and are agreeing to such use. Thank you for weighing in with your important perspective. Questions remain over the police response to Tuesday’s deadly mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas as investigators are "still grabbing a lot of information" about what happened, according to one official. "We're going to find out. With all the different agencies that are involved, we're working every angle that's available. We won't stop until we get all the answers that we possibly can," Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director for the Department of Public Safety, told reporters Thursday. Here are the latest developments: Husband of slain teacher dies two days after shooting, family says: The husband of Irma Garcia, one of the teachers killed in the shooting, has died, according to a GoFundMe post and a Twitter post from Garcia’s nephew. 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 wrote on Twitter, “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.” Student's father pleaded with officers for gun and vest to save children: 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.” Luna told CNN that he saw some officers going in and out of the building, but he wanted to see more. His son Jayden survived Tuesday's mass shooting, he said, and he also had grandchildren in the school. 6 people remain hospitalized, officials say: The conditions of six hospitalized victims have remained the same, according to hospital officials. A 10-year-old girl and a 66-year-old woman — whom police have identified to CNN as the grandmother of the gunman — remain in serious condition, according to University Health in San Antonio. Two other children hospitalized were both listed in good condition as of Thursday morning. A spokesperson for Brooke Army Medical Center told CNN that the two adult patients in their care are both listed in serious condition. Governor cancels NRA appearance in Houston, will be in Uvalde Friday: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott — who was scheduled to speak Friday at the first day of the National Rifle Association's annual meeting — is canceling his in-person appearance to attend a press conference on the school shooting in Uvalde. The governor will instead address the convention through prerecorded video, according to a spokesperson. President will visit Uvalde on Sunday; Duchess Meghan visited Thursday: President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will visit Uvalde on Sunday to meet with families who lost loved ones as well as to meet with other community members and religious leaders, the White House announced. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, visited Uvalde on Thursday “in a personal capacity as a mother, to offer her condolences and support in person to a community experiencing unimaginable grief,” a spokesperson for the Duchess told CNN. Read more about what we know — and don't know — about the shooting here. ##What We Know## Since Tuesday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, the details about what happened have changed and been updated by authorities. Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director for the Department of Public Safety, told reporters Thursday that investigators are "still grabbing a lot of information" regarding the shooting. "We're going to find out. With all the different agencies that are involved, we're working every angle that's available. We won't stop until we get all the answers that we possibly can," he said during a news conference. Here is the latest timeline of events that police claim occurred: Escalon said that the suspect, Salvador Ramos, shot his grandmother and then wrecked his truck in a ditch outside the school at 11:28 a.m. local time Tuesday. He exited the truck with a rifle and shot at two people across the street, Escalon said. The gunman then approached the school and shot at the building multiple times and walked in through an apparently unlocked door at 11:40 a.m., according to Escalon. That door is normally locked, "unless you are leaving to go home on the school bus," former principal Ross McGlothlin told CNN's Newsroom on Thursday. Escalon said the gunman was not confronted by a school resource officer outside the school. The same law enforcement agency previously said an officer had "engaged" him. “He walked in unobstructed initially,” Escalon said. According to the current information available, Escalon said there was not an armed officer readily available. Inside, the suspect walked into a classroom and fired more than 25 times, Escalon said. The majority of the gunfire was at the beginning of the attack, he added. Officers arrived at the school at 11:44 a.m., but when they went to confront the gunman, they received fire and took cover, Escalon said. They called for more resources and personnel, evacuated students and teachers in other parts of the school, and at some point entered "negotiations" with the suspect, he said. A US Border Patrol tactical team came to the classroom, forced entry and fatally shot the suspect after about an hour, he said. Thursday's news conference underscored the confusion and disorganization of the police response and failed to answer questions as to how the gunman was able to remain inside the classroom for such a long time. CNN reported Thursday that the Uvalde school district, where the shooting occurred, had a safety plan that included its own police force, social media monitoring and a threat-reporting system to “provide a safe and secure environment” for students.  The two-page document on the district's website lists 21 different measures that it says it has undertaken for the safety of the school community, ranging from an app for reporting bullying to physical security measures, like fencing and a buzz-in door system. It’s not clear to what degree the plan was developed with active shooters in mind. Officials defend response: Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez issued a statement Thursday defending his officers' response to the shooting. Two responding officers were shot by the suspect but are expected to survive. "It is important for our community to know that our officers responded within minutes" alongside school resource officers, he said. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), meanwhile, said officers who responded to the shooting saved lives, despite waiting before physically confronting the suspect who was holed up inside a classroom. A spokesperson for the agency said that officers did not have enough information on the exact location of the shooter to do an immediate takedown. CNN's Eric Levenson, Holly Yan, Joe Sutton, Clare Foran and Ted Barrett contributed reporting to this post. ##What We Know## Authorities and families of the victims continue to identify the 19 students and 2 teachers killed in Tuesday's shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Layla Salazar, 11, has been identified as one of the victims of Tuesday’s shooting. Layla was an active child who loved to run, film TikTok videos and dance, her family told CNN. She also loved to swim in the river with her two big brothers. Makenna Lee Elrod, 10, loved to play softball, do gymnastics and spend time with her family. “Her smile would light up a room,” Allison McCullough, Makenna’s aunt, told ABC News. McCullough described her niece as a natural leader who loved school and was “a light to all who knew her.” Jayce Luevanos, 10, has been identified as one of the victims by CNN through a GoFundMe site set up to raise funds for funeral expenses and family needs. Jayce's grandfather, Carmelo Quiroz, told USA Today, the Jayce and his mother lived with him. He said the 10-year-old was happy and loved. "He was our baby," Quiroz said. Alithia Ramirez, 10, was in fourth grade and loved to draw, her father, Ryan Ramirez, told CNN affiliate KSAT. He said she wanted to be an artist. Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10, enjoyed dancing and making TikTok videos, her mother Veronica Luevanos told CNN network partner, Univision. Jailah did not want to go to school Tuesday morning and asked to stay home, but Luevanos said she told her no. Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares and Annabell Guadalupe Rodríguez, both 10, were cousins, classmates and friends. Jacklyn's father Jacinto Cazares told reporters that she "was full of love and full of life. She would do anything for anybody. And to me, she's a little firecracker, man." Nevaeh Alyssa Bravo, 10, put a smile on everyone’s face, her cousin, Austin Ayala, told the Washington Post, adding that her family is devastated. 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, was one of the victims, his father Jose Flores Sr. told CNN. Flores said his son was in the fourth 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. He was in fourth grade, his aunt Nikki Cross told CNN. His uncle, Mitch Renfro, described Uziyah 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, was 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. Irma Garcia, a fourth-grade teacher, has been identified as a victim and confirmed through a GoFundMe page. A wife and mother to four children, she was "Sweet, kind, loving. Fun with the greatest personality," the page said, adding, "She sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom. She was a hero." Her husband, Joe Garcia, died two days after the shooting, according to family members. Xavier Lopez, 10, 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, 10, was 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. Eliana "Ellie" Garcia, 9, was among those killed, her family told KHOU. Rogelio Lugo and Nelda Lugo, Eliana’s grandparents, told the Los Angeles Times she loved the movie “Encanto,” cheerleading and basketball, and dreamed of becoming a teacher. Eliahana “Elijah” Cruz Torres, 10, has been identified as one of the victims, her aunt Leandra Vera told CNN. “Our baby gained her wings,” Vera said. Tess Marie Mata, 10, has been identified as one of the victims, her sister told the Washington Post. The fourth-grader loved TikTok dances, Ariana Grande and the Houston Astros, and was saving money so that the whole family could go to Disney World, her sister said. All the fatalities and injuries took place inside one classroom at Robb Elementary, officials said. The conditions of the six hospitalized victims of the shooting have remained the same, according to hospital officials Thursday. The two funeral homes in Uvalde will cover the cost of funerals for those who were killed Tuesday. Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD) has opened a memorial fund to accept donations for those affected by the shooting. CNN's Eric Levenson, Holly Yan, Joe Sutton, Clare Foran and Ted Barrett contributed reporting to this post. ##The Victims## As lawmakers are under intense pressure to take action in the wake of multiple recent episodes of horrific gun violence, Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a bill designed to combat domestic terrorism from advancing in a key vote. The bill passed the Democratic-controlled House last week following a tragic mass shooting at a supermarket in a predominately Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. But Republicans have pushed back against the measure put forward by Democrats, describing it as partisan and unnecessary. At least 10 Senate Republicans would have needed to vote with Democrats to overcome the 60-vote threshold imposed by the filibuster. The failure of the domestic terrorism bill in the Senate underscores yet again how challenging it is for lawmakers to enact any kind of major policy change in the wake of mass shootings amid a highly polarized political environment and widespread GOP opposition to stricter gun controls. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the Senate to take up the House-passed bill, but acknowledged ahead of the vote that it was unlikely to advance amid GOP opposition. He indicated Democrats are willing to give some time and space for efforts to reach some kind of bipartisan compromise on gun legislation though he noted the odds are long. He also made clear that these efforts will not be given an unlimited amount of time to play out, and that if they fail the Senate will move forward with votes on gun safety legislation. On the Republican side, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN he met this morning with GOP Texas Sen. John Cornyn after Cornyn returned from Texas, and encouraged the senator to begin discussions with Democrats to see if they can find a middle ground on some legislation to respond to the shooting in Texas. CNN's Eric Levenson, Holly Yan, Joe Sutton, Clare Foran and Ted Barrett contributed reporting to this post.
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