10-year-old Lexi Rubio's parents say "she had a bright future" before her life was cut short by gunman
Felix and Kimberly Rubio celebrated their daughter Lexi making the All-A honor roll and receiving a good citizen award at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday shortly before the shooting that claimed her life.
Lexi was 10 years old and in the fourth grade, her parents told CNN.
“We told her we loved her and would pick her up after school. We had no idea this was goodbye,” Kimberly Rubio wrote in a post on Facebook.
The parents told CNN they were proud of their daughter.
“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,” they said.
1:34 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022
NOW: Texas Gov. Abbott holds a news conference a day after the Uvalde elementary school shooting
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is holding a news conference to provide an update after Tuesday's mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in the town of Uvalde.
He is joined by Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, other state lawmakers, Uvalde police chief Pete Arredondo and other officials.
The conference is being held at Uvalde High School.
12:58 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022
US defense secretary offers condolences to victims' families: "Today, we are all citizens of Uvalde"
From CNN's Ellie Kaufman
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that “today, we are all citizens of Uvalde” at the beginning of his commencement remarks at the US Air Force Academy graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, on Wednesday, the day after a deadly shooting left 19 children and two teachers dead.
“All of us here today are moms and dads, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and our hearts break for them, and for the unspeakable grief that they are enduring,” Austin said. “We cannot assuage that grief, we know that. But we can endeavor to keep them and the loved ones that they lost close to our hearts and deep in our prayers.”
“So today, we are all citizens of Uvalde,” he added.
Austin extended his condolences and “those of the entire department” of Defense to the people of Uvalde, Texas, in his opening comments.
At the beginning of the graduation ceremony, Chaplain Col. Julian Gaither held a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting.
12:38 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022
Gabby Giffords' husband Sen. Mark Kelly says doing nothing about the Texas mass shooting "is nuts"
From Ali Zaslav and Jessica Dean
Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly expressed his outrage over the deadly Uvalde school shooting, telling reporters on Wednesday that "it's f--king nuts to do nothing about this."
Kelly's wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords, was critically wounded after being shot by a gunman outside a supermarket in 2011.
The couple has been active in calling for gun reform and responsible gun ownership.
12:15 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022
Uvalde funeral homes will cover funerals for victims at no cost
From CNN’s Amanda Watts
The two funeral homes in Uvalde will cover the cost of funerals for those who were killed Tuesday during the Robb Elementary School shooting.
In a post on Facebook, Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home said: “We have fought together as a community and we will pull together as one now in our time of need.”
“Hillcrest will be assisting families with NO COST for funerals for all involved in today’s horrific events. Prayer for our small amazing town,” according to the post.
The funeral home said they are “lost for words … our phones have been ringing off the hook from the outcry of the entire state.”
Additionally, the Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary said they have supported the Uvalde community for more than 60 years. “Today, our resolve is stronger than ever. We are here for the people of Uvalde and our professionals are currently at Robb Elementary assisting law enforcement.”
“As the situation develops and we have the opportunity to assist our community, not one family will be charged for our services,” they said.
12:05 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022
Uvalde school district sets up memorial fund donation account
From CNN’s Amanda Watts
Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD) has opened a memorial fund to accept donations for those affected by the shooting at Robb Elementary School, according to a tweet.
On Wednesday, UCISD said “an account has been opened at First State Bank of Uvalde for the families of Robb Elementary. If you would like to donate, you can do so at any FSB branch.” The tweet also gives details on how to donate.
5:48 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022
McConnell blames "maniac" for Texas killings, doesn't address possible solutions to recurring mass shootings
From CNN's Ted Barrett
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered an emotional speech on the Senate floor Wednesday following a mass shooting in a Texas school a day earlier.
The top Senate Republican put the blame clearly on the shooter, whom he described as a “deranged young man” and “maniac,” echoing the views of many Republicans that mental illness is the root cause of many of these recurring tragedies.
McConnell didn’t make any mention of the 18-year-old shooter’s easy access to high-powered weapons or any possible preventative legislative solutions.
In his speech, McConnell said it is “literally sickening to think of the innocent young lives stolen” and that he was praying for everyone involved.
In separate interviews with CNN, Florida GOP Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott pushed back on calls for AR-15s and semi-automatic weapons to be banned and dismissed demands for expanded background checks. Rubio instead said he would try to force a vote today on a measure to bolster school safety in other ways.
In a back-and-forth with CNN, Rubio contended that expanded background checks would not solve the problem and said even if Washington banned AR-15s, a killer would find a different weapon.
“Listen, at the end of day, you're arguing about what they're using to commit this, and the truth of matter is these people are going to commit these horrifying crimes whether they have to use another weapon to do it; they're going to figure out a way to do it,” Rubio said.
When asked about the prospect of banning AR-15s, Scott said, “I think we have in our Constitution our Second Amendment rights, and we shouldn’t take away rights for law-abiding citizens.”
11:46 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022
Texas official: "When I have to sign 21 death certificates, my heart will drop"
From CNN’s Amanda Watts
As the justice of the peace for precinct 4 in Uvalde County, where the Robb Elementary School shooting occurred, it’s up to Lalo Diaz to coordinate the processing of the deceased victims.
“When I have to sign 21 death certificates, my heart will drop," Diaz told CNN Wednesday.
In total, 21 people — 19 children and two adults — were shot and killed Tuesday. The shooter also died.
All 21 victims are currently with the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office in nearby San Antonio. The shooter is being held in a neighboring county and will not be moved to Bexar County until all the victims have been processed first, Diaz said.
“Our first priority was to ID the victims,” Diaz said.
Diaz was called to the scene a few hours after the shooting and was anticipating just a couple of victims. “I got there and thought it was 2-3 people and when I was told 16 children… You cannot believe it's happening in your community,” he said.
“Before this, my biggest one was four people who died in a car crash,” Diaz said. “You never think you'll be doing 21 inquests at one time.”
“It's a small town,” Diaz said, adding that everyone knows each other. He himself knows the families of several victims.
Diaz is working to get the bodies of the victims back to Uvalde as soon as possible. He is coordinating with the two funeral homes in Uvalde to get the victims back with their families as early as later today or tomorrow.
11:31 a.m. ET, May 25, 2022
Gunman sent ominous Instagram messages hours before shooting, according to social media screenshots
From CNN's Casey Tolan
The 18-year-old Uvalde shooter messaged someone on Instagram that “I got a lil secret” just hours before he gunned down 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School, according to a screenshot of messages posted on the social media site.
Three days before the attack, an Instagram account linked to shooter Salvador Ramos posted a photo of two rifles lying on a carpet. The story tagged another Instagram account by name in the photo.
The owner of the tagged Instagram account wrote in a story posted after the shooting that Ramos had tagged her and messaged her out of the blue.
The girl, who did not include her name on her account and has since made her account private, posted a series of screenshots of messages that she said she exchanged with the shooter in the days before the massacre.
“what your guns gotta do with me?” she asked him, according to the screenshots. “i’m so confused.”
“Be grateful I tagged you,” Ramos told her, the screenshots showed, and she replied: “i barely know you and u tag me in a picture with some guns.”
In another message that appeared to be sent the morning of the shooting, Ramos wrote “I’m about to” – but didn’t say what he would do. “I got a lil secret,” he wrote in another message. “I wanna tell u.”
In messages posted to her story before it went private, the girl said that she didn’t live in Texas and didn’t know Ramos.
“the only reason i responded to him was because i was afraid of him i wish i stayed awake to at least try to convince him to not commit his crime,” she wrote. “I didnt know.”