May 24, 2022 -- Deadly shooting at Texas elementary school

By Amir Vera, Mike Hayes, Aditi Sangal, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 2:26 PM ET, Thu May 26, 2022
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9:03 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Biden says it's time to act: "Where in God's name is our backbone?"

From CNN's Amir Vera

In his remarks to the nation Tuesday, President Biden said on his 17-hour flight from Asia he wondered why mass shootings are so prevalent in America.

"They have mental health problems. They have domestic disputes in other countries. They have people who are lost. But these kinds of mass shootings don’t happen with the frequency they happen in America,” Biden said.

"Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with and stand up to the lobbyists," Biden said.

Biden said it is time to "turn this pain into action" for the parents and citizens of the US.

"We have to make it clear to every elected official in this country it’s time to act,” he said.

9:05 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

"I'm sick and tired of it," Biden says of mass shootings as he calls for gun reform

While addressing the nation after Tuesday's mass shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, President Biden remembered the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults, and the others that have followed since.

"Since then, there have been over 900 incidents of gunfires reported on school grounds. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Santa Fe High School in Texas, Oxford High School in Michigan — list goes on and on. The list grows. When you include mass shootings in places like movie theaters, houses of worship, as we saw just 10 days ago at a grocery store in Buffalo New York," he said.

"I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don't tell me we can't have an impact on this carnage," he added.

He stressed the importance of "common-sense gun laws," saying that not every tragedy can be prevented, but these laws can have a positive impact.

"The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong. What in God's name do you need assault weapon for except to kill someone?" he said.

"Deer aren't running through the forest with Kevlar vests on for God's sake. It's just sick," he added.

9:39 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Biden: "When in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?"

(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

President Biden addressed the nation from the White House tonight, opening his remarks by saying, "I had hoped, when I became President, I would not have to do this, again."

He called today's mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, "another massacre" in the US.

"Beautiful, innocent, second, third, fourth graders. And how many scores of little children who witness what happened, see their friends die, as if they're on a battlefield for God's sake," Biden said.

The President said, "To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away." He said the feeling is "suffocating."

The President called on the nation to pray for the victims and "stand up to the gun lobby" in the wake of today's events.

"So tonight, I ask the nation to pray for them, to give the parents and siblings the strength in the darkness they feel now. As a nation, we have to ask when in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God's name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?"

Watch full speech:

8:44 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Biden helped craft tonight's speech "with Sandy Hook in mind"

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

President Biden insisted on delivering a speech to the nation tonight in the wake of the horrific Texas shooting, aides said, demanding to his White House advisers that he address the latest unspeakable slaughter of children in America.

As he flew back to Washington and worked on his speech aboard Air Force One, the President referred to the tragedy of Newtown – and the disappointing aftermath when Congress failed to pass any gun safety legislation.

Biden, who was vice president at the time of the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, was the point person for the Obama administration during that legislative push. He has often called that one of the biggest disappointments of his public life – unable to persuade enough senators to support even modest legislation.

The President helped write tonight’s speech “with Sandy Hook in mind,” a senior White House official said, “and his fervent belief that he cannot stop trying to push Congress.” 

8:44 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

NOW: President Biden speaks after 18 children killed in mass shooting

President Biden is addressing the nation after a shooter killed 18 children and one adult at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday.

He just returned from a presidential trip to Asia, where he met Indo-Pacific leaders in a high-level summit.

11:07 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022

Suspect was wearing tactical vest and crashed car before entering school, Texas DPS says

From CNN's Anderson Cooper

A police vehicle is seen parked near the truck believed to belong to the shooting suspect.
A police vehicle is seen parked near the truck believed to belong to the shooting suspect. (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Erick Estrada told CNN's Anderson Cooper Tuesday there were two incidents involving the suspected gunman prior to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

The first was the gunman shooting his grandmother, resulting in her being airlifted to a hospital, Estrada said.

The second incident was the suspect crashing a vehicle near the elementary school.

“The suspect did crash near a ditch nearby the school," Estrada said. "That’s where he exited his vehicle with what I believe was a rifle and that’s when he attempted to enter the school where he was engaged by law enforcement. Unfortunately, he was able to enter the premises and then from there that’s when he entered several classrooms and started shooting his firearm.” 

Estrada went on to say the gunman was seen with a "long rifle and backpack."

Estrada could not confirm what type of rifle the gunman had, but says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating.

On Wednesday, DPS spokesperson Lt. Chris Olivarez clarified information about what the shooter was wearing. Olivarez told CNN that 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."

This post has been updated with new details about the gunman from authorities.

8:28 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

18 children killed in Texas school shooting, sergeant says

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Eighteen children and one adult were killed in Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, according to Sgt. Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Estrada did not provide any other information on the victims.

Gov. Greg Abbott said earlier Tuesday “it is believed” that the shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos was killed by law enforcement. Estrada confirmed the suspect was killed.

8:39 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Former President Bill Clinton calls for action on guns: "We owe these families" 

From CNN's Shawna Mizelle

Former President Bill Clinton said in a statement on Tuesday that his heart breaks "for the families who sent their children and loved ones off to school today at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, whose lives will now never be the same."

The former president said the families struck by tragedy in in the city and a little over a week ago in Buffalo, New York, deserve action.

"We owe these families—and the families who have experienced similar losses, including as recently as last week in Buffalo—action. Enough is enough. The American people overwhelmingly agree. Our elected leaders at the local, state, and federal levels, regardless of party, must find common-sense ways to keep our children and communities safe. They can do so without touching the right to hunt, sport shoot, and keep guns for self-defense," Clinton said.

"Propaganda and paranoia have kept us from helping each other on this for too long. We can do—and be—better.The time to act is now," he continued.

See Bill Clinton's full statement:

 

8:19 p.m. ET, May 24, 2022

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says lawmakers opposing gun control "hold us hostage"

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr called out lawmakers in Washington in a fiery speech about today's school shooting ahead of tonight's NBA playoff game between the Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks.

A fiery Kerr opened his remarks by telling the press "basketball questions don't matter" right now. Kerr, while banging on the table he was seated at, said: "When are we going to do something?"

Kerr called out "50 senators who refuse to vote on HR-8," a House bill that strengthens firearm background checks, claiming, "they won't vote on it because they want to hold onto their own power."

While calling out the senators, including referring to Republican leader Mitch McConnell by name, Kerr asked: "are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of our children, and elderly, and churchgoers?"

"50 senators in Washington are going to hold us hostage," Kerr said.

"It's pathetic, I've had enough," he added.

Kerr said he was "fed up" and told those listening to think about their own family members and ask: "how would you feel if this happened to you today?"

"We can't get numb to this." the coach said before exiting the room.

Watch Kerr's remarks here:

CNN's Jill Martin contributed reporting to this post.