Our live coverage of the mass shooting in Texas has moved here.
While on a visit to the US, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shared her country's experience with gun reform in a discussion with Democratic and Republican representatives on Wednesday.
“New Zealand had its own horrific experience, and…we made changes as a result,” Ardern said, referring to the 2019 mass casualty mosque shootings in Christchurch.
“We are a nation that has very legitimate use of guns within our society…and yet still, we were able…with almost unanimous wide support to make those changes.”
Ardern said it is not for her to tell others what to do.
"It's not for me as the leader of a of a nation with different histories and experiences to tell other nations what they should or should not do," adding, "I was not here to do anything more than share the experience that New Zealand has had (in) our own reform and the role it's played."
The Prime Minister arrived in the US earlier this week on a trade mission to support export growth and the return of tourists post-Covid-19.
Reacting to the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, while appearing on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," an emotional Ardern said she saw the events “not as a politician,” but “as a mother,” adding she was “so sorry” for what happened.
Tess Marie Mata, 10, has been identified as one of the victims killed at Robb Elementary, her sister told the Washington Post.
Faith Mata, a college student at Texas State University, told the Post that Tess, a fourth-grader, loved TikTok dances, Ariana Grande and the Houston Astros.
The 10-year-old was currently saving money so that the whole family could go to Disney World, Mata said.
“My precious angel you are loved so deeply. In my eyes you are not a victim but a survivor. I love you always and past forever baby sister, may your wings soar higher then you could ever dream,” Mata posted on Twitter.
Eliahana 'Elijah' Cruz Torres, 10, has been identified as one of the victims killed at Robb Elementary, her aunt Leandra Vera told CNN.
“Confirm she passed,” Vera said. “Our baby gained her wings.”
Eliana "Ellie" Garcia, 9, has been named as one of the victims of the shooting at Robb Elementary.
Family members confirmed to CNN affiliate KHOU.
Rogelio Lugo and Nelda Lugo, Eliana's grandparents, told the LA Times that she was a fourth-grader at the school and the second-eldest of five girls in the family.
She loved the movie "Encanto," cheerleading and basketball, according to her grandparents. They added that she dreamed of becoming a teacher.
US Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said dozens of on-duty and off-duty agents responded to the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, adding that as soon as officers arrived, "they didn’t hesitate."
"We responded from various locations. I had both on-duty, off-duty, folks that were in a training environment all responded to this location," Ortiz said, adding between 80-100 officers responded.
"They didn’t hesitate. They came up with a plan. They entered that classroom and they took care of the situation as quickly as they possibly could," Ortiz told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Among those who responded were members of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit, or BORTAC, which is a specialized unit made up of highly trained officers that respond to "emergent and high-risk incidents," according to the agency.
One agent was injured and has since been released from the hospital.
"I talked to my officers and certainly talked to the agent that was injured yesterday. Nothing prepares you for a scene like they saw and witnessed yesterday," Ortiz said.
Border Patrol will participate in the investigation, given its involvement.
Earlier Wednesday, Chief Jason Owens, who heads the Del Rio sector for Border Patrol, told CNN’s Mark Morales that the uniforms of the agents who responded to the scene were "covered in blood."
"I took my agents back to the Uvalde station. I had to bring new uniforms for them to change into. This was a travesty and a tragedy on the level that few people will ever see, and nobody should have to see," Owens said, stressing that the response was a joint law enforcement effort.
US Customs and Border Protection has a large presence in Uvalde, which is located about 60 miles from the Texas-Mexico border. Some agents had family members who attended the school, according to Owens.
"I had agents that were responding to this scene that had kids in there that they didn’t know were okay or not. We had a couple that were impacted by this. And we had one agent that lost a granddaughter, we had others that lost extended family members," Owens said.
Annabell Guadalupe Rodríguez, 10, has been identified as one of the 21 victims killed at Robb Elementary.
Family members of Annabell confirmed her identity to CNN affiliate KHOU.
She was a fourth grader at the school. Her family told KHOU that she was in the same classroom as her cousin, who was also shot and killed.
Correction: An earlier version of this post placed Annabell in the wrong grade. She was in the fourth grade.
Angel Garza, the father of Amerie Jo Garza, who was killed in Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper this evening that his daughter was trying to help her classmates as the attack was unfolding.
“She was just trying to do the right thing,” he said. “She was just trying to call the cops, that’s all.”
The father noted that his daughter had received a phone for her birthday two weeks ago.
"She just got her phone. She'd been wanting a phone for so long, and we finally got it for her. She just tried to call the police," he told CNN.
“I just want people to know that she just died trying to save her classmates. She just wanted to save everyone," he later added.
Garza, who works as a med aide, learned this information while arriving on the scene to help the shooting victims. He stated that two students in the classroom confirmed that she was trying to call police when she got shot.
“One little girl was just covered in blood head-to-toe,” Garza said. “I asked her what was wrong, and she said ‘she was ok.’ She was hysterical saying they shot her best friend. ‘She’s not breathing, and she tried to call the cops.’ I asked her what’s her name and she said, she told me ‘Amerie, she said Amerie.’”
The father described his daughter, calling her "the sweetest little girl."
"She was the sweetest little girl who did nothing wrong. She listened to her mom and dad. She always brushed her teeth. She was creative. She made things for us. She never got in trouble in school," he said.
Watch the interview:
The 66-year-old woman in serious condition being treated at a San Antonio hospital is the shooter’s grandmother, officials confirmed Wednesday.
According to officials, the shooter’s grandmother had been airlifted in critical condition to the hospital Tuesday after being shot by the gunman.
“The first thing that happened was the gunman shot his grandmother in the face. She then contacted police. The gunman fled, and as he was fleeing had an accident just outside the elementary school and he ran into the school,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a news conference earlier Wednesday.
In a televised CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer, Sgt. Erick Estrada, a public information officer for the Texas Department of Public Safety, echoed Abbott’s comments and confirmed the 66-year-old woman is the shooter’s grandmother.
University Hospital in San Antonio declines to comment on individual patients, but in a Wednesday morning statement confirmed they were treating three children and a 66-year-old woman, who is in serious condition after being downgraded from critical condition.