May 26 Texas shooting news

By Travis Caldwell, Seán Federico-O'Murchú, Adrienne Vogt and Aditi Sangal, CNN

Updated 12:07 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022
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3:46 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Fourth-grader Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares and her cousin were killed in the Texas school shooting

From CNN’s David Williams

Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares.
Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares. (Cazares family photo)

Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares has been identified as one of the victims of Tuesday’s mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, according to posts by her family on social media.

Jacklyn was killed along with her cousin Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez. They were cousins, friends and classmates in their fourth-grade class at Robb Elementary School.

"She was full of life and full of love. She touched a lot of people. Recently, she had her first baptism, her first communion. Through COVID, through the death of a family member a year ago, it brought us together and it was something beautiful. And now, we're being brought together, but it is in tragedy," her father Jacinto Cazares told reporters in a video distributed by Reuters.

"She was full of love and full of life. She would do anything for anybody. And to me, she's a little firecracker, man. It comforts me a little bit to think she would be the one to help her friends in need," he said.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Javier Cazares said that he and others wanted to rush the building to retrieve their children as they heard gunshots from inside.

Cazares told The Washington Post he arrived at the Robb Elementary School Tuesday soon after hearing something was going on at his daughter’s school. He added that he was joined near the building’s front door by several other men who had children at the school.

“There were five or six of [us] fathers, hearing the gunshots, and [police officers] were telling us to move back,” Cazares told the paper. “We didn’t care about us. We wanted to storm the building. We were saying, ‘Let’s go,’ because that is how worried we were, and we wanted to get our babies out.”

 

3:22 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Texas official provides timeline of gunman's actions outside and inside the school during shooting

Law enforcement works on scene at Robb Elementary School on May 25 in Uvalde, Texas.
Law enforcement works on scene at Robb Elementary School on May 25 in Uvalde, Texas. (Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)

The Texas elementary school shooter also fired at witnesses across the street from his vehicle before heading to the Robb Elementary campus in Uvalde, Texas, according to Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director for the Department of Public Safety.

"At 11:28 a.m. [local time,] he's sitting there at the ditch" where he crashed his vehicle, Escalon detailed at a news briefing Thursday as he provided a timeline of events. "He jumps out the passenger side of his truck. According to witnesses, he's got a long arm rifle and a bag. Later we find out it's ammunition."

"He walks around, he sees two witnesses at the funeral home across the street from where he wrecked [his vehicle]. He engages and fires towards them. He continues walking towards the school. He climbs a fence. Now he's in the parking lot, shooting at the school. Multiple times," he added.

At 11:40 a.m. local time, the shooter walked into the west side of Robb Elementary School and shot multiple rounds, Escalon continued.

The Texas Department of Public Safety official said the gunman was not confronted by a school resource officer outside the school, and apparently entered an unlocked door. The same law enforcement agency previously said an officer had "engaged" him.

"Four minutes later, local police departments, Uvalde Police Department, the Independent School District Police Department are inside, making entry. They hear gunfire, they take rounds, they move back, get cover. And during that time, they approach where the suspect is at," Escalon explained.

“According to the information I have, he went in at 11:40, he walks approximate 20 feet, 30 feet, he makes a right and walks into the hallway, he makes a right, walks another 20 feet, turns left into a schoolroom – into a classroom and that has doors opened in the middle,” Escalon says.

These officers were not able to make entry initially, Escalon said, "because of the gunfire they're receiving." They called for backup and additional resources, while the evacuation of children and teachers in other classrooms was underway, he added.

"Approximately an hour later, US Border patrol tactical teams arrive," Escalon continued. "They make entry. Shoot and kill the suspect." 

A Zavala county deputy and members of the Uvalde Police Department also made entry into the classroom, Escalon said, and also shot the suspect.

The scene of the shooting then immediately turned into a "rescue operation," Escalon said.

"How do we save these children? Some made it out — we don't have a hard number yet but that was our goal," he said.

2:46 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Gunman "was not confronted by anybody" while entering school, Texas official says

The gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers in Robb Elementary School was not confronted by a school resource officer, according to Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director for the Department of Public Safety.

"It was reported that a school district police officer confronted the suspect that was making entry. Not accurate. He walked in unobstructed initially. So, from the grandmother's house to the bar ditch to the school, into the school, he was not confronted by anybody. To clear the record on that. Four minutes later, law enforcement are coming in to solve this problem," Escalon said during a news conference.

He said he "wanted to clear that up" amid reports to the contrary.

Escalon also said the school also appeared to be unlocked when the gunman entered.

"We will find out as much as we can why it was unlocked — or maybe it was locked. But right now, it appears it was unlocked," he said.

2:40 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Texas official says investigators are "still grabbing a lot of information" about the school massacre

Victor Escalon speaks at a press conference in Uvalde, Texas on May 26.
Victor Escalon speaks at a press conference in Uvalde, Texas on May 26. (CNN)

Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director for the Department of Public Safety, said "we're still grabbing a lot of information" regarding the deadly school shooting in Uvalde.

"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.

Escalon also said the investigation is focusing on the shooter's motive as well.

Recreating the crime scene "takes days — that takes hours, that takes time, a lot of information," he said.

He said his department "cannot do it alone," thanking Texas Rangers, state, federal and local authorities.

"Thank you for being here and being patient with us," he said.

2:31 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

NOW: Local authorities provide an update on Texas elementary school shooting

(CNN)
(CNN)

Law enforcement in Uvalde, Texas, are holding a briefing to share updates on the Tuesday mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that killed 19 children and two adults.

2:40 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Musicians cancel performances at upcoming NRA convention in wake of Uvalde school massacre

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Don McLean performs on May 12 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Don McLean performs on May 12 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

At least three musicians who were set to sing in a concert at this weekend’s annual convention of the National Rifle Association in Houston have canceled their performances after Tuesday's mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

“In light of the recent events in Texas, I have decided it would be disrespectful and hurtful for me to perform for the NRA at their convention in Houston this week. I’m sure all the folks planning to attend this event are shocked and sickened by these events as well. After all, we are all Americans,” said Don McLean in a statement to CNN. “I share the sorrow for this terrible, cruel loss with the rest of the nation.” McLean is best known for the 1970s hits “American Pie” and “Vincent.”

Larry Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers fame is also canceling, telling CNN in part, “I cannot, in good conscience, perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend.”

“While I agree with most of the positions held by the NRA, I have come to believe that, while background checks would not stop every madman with a gun, it is at the very least a step in the right direction toward trying to prevent the kind of tragedy we saw this week in Uvalde— in my beloved, weeping TEXAS,” Gatlin said in a statement, adding, “I'm a 2nd Amendment guy, but the 2nd Amendment should not apply to everyone. It's that simple.”

Larry Stewart, who contributed lead vocals in the band Restless Heart, has also opted to cancel, saying, “I want to honor the victims, families, the town and our friends in the great state of Texas the best I know how.”  

CNN has reached out to other musicians slated to perform, including Danielle Peck, T. Graham Brown, Jacob Bryant, and Lee Greenwood, known for the Fourth of July favorite “God Bless the U.S.A.”

1:56 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Conditions of hospitalized victims in school shooting remain unchanged, hospital officials say 

From CNN's Rosalina Nieves, Rosa Flores and Tina Burnside 

The conditions of the six hospitalized victims of Tuesday's shooting at Robb Elementary School 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 a tweet from University Health in San Antonio.

Two other victims, 10-year-old and 9-year-old girls, were both listed in good condition as of Thursday morning.

Robert Whetstone, a spokesperson for Brooke Army Medical Center, told CNN that the two adult patients in their care are both listed in serious condition. 

1:46 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Exclusive: McConnell has directed Cornyn to engage with Democrats for a "bipartisan solution" on gun violence

From CNN's Lauren Fox, Morgan Rimmer and Ted Barrett

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP Texas Sen. John Cornyn.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP Texas Sen. John Cornyn. (Getty Images)

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.

The Democrats include Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona

McConnell would not say specifically what the contours of that legislation should be, instead signaling he wants Cornyn to be the one to negotiate.

“I met with Sen. Cornyn this morning. As you know, he went home yesterday to see the family members and begin the fact-finding of this awful massacre, and I have encouraged him to talk with Sen. Murphy and Sen. Sinema and others who are interested in trying to get an outcome that is directly related to the problem. I am hopeful that we could come up with a bipartisan solution,” McConnell said.

Earlier Thursday, Senate Republicans blocked a bill designed to combat domestic terrorism from advancing in a key vote. The vote comes as lawmakers are under intense pressure to take action in the wake of multiple recent episodes of horrific gun violence.

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.

Read more here.

12:57 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

The bodies of 19 school shooting victims have been released to funeral homes, officials say 

From CNN's Tina Burnside 

An additional 10 bodies of school shooting victims were released to funeral homes on Thursday, bringing the total number to 19, according to Judge Lalo Diaz, Uvalde County justice of the peace. 

Nine victims were released on Wednesday evening, CNN previously reported. 

Diaz told CNN that the bodies of the remaining two victims will be released later this afternoon.