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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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. 

12:44 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Uvalde school district had detailed security plan in place at time of elementary school massacre

From CNN’s Peter Nickeas

The Uvalde school district where 19 children and two teachers were killed by a gunman this week 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 Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District 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.

Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Chris Olivarez on Thursday said the gunman, identified as Salvador Ramos, gained access to the school through an unlocked door.

Records show the district spent about $200,000 on security and monitoring services in 2017-18 and that figure rose to more than $450,000 in the 2019-20 school year.

The district employed four police officers, including a chief, detective, and two officers. The school district also had additional security staff “who patrol door entrances, parking lots and perimeters of the campuses.”

The plan included a “threat reporting system” for “students, parents, staff, and community members” to share information that is deemed “troubling,” which could include information about weapons, threats, fights, drugs, self- harm, suicide or disclosures made that are concerning.” The policy states reports could be made through the district site or to a district staff member.

The district also employed a company called Social Sentinel to monitor social media “with a connection to Uvalde as a measure to identify any possible threats that might be made against students and or staff within the school district.” 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the gunman wrote about his intentions on Facebook, including “I’m going to shoot an elementary school.” A spokesperson for Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said the gunman’s private one-to-one messages were discovered after the shooting.

Ramos allegedly sent similarly chilling text messages to a girl he met online describing how he had just shot his grandmother and was going to shoot up an elementary school. 

The security plan also refers to lockdown drills. “Students receive training on the Standard Response Protocol for lockout, lockdown, evacuate, shelter, and hold. In addition, drills are held for each of these emergency actions on a regular basis," the plan said.

Two other schools, Uvalde High School and Anthon Elementary, have security vestibules, though it is not clear if Robb had one. The plan lists security cameras at the high school and middle schools, though it’s not clear how many are at the grade school where the shooting happened. “Key staff” were also equipped with radios, but it’s not clear if those were for use within the building or meant to communicate across the district.

The document is undated, but has “19-20” in the file name, possibly a reference to the 2019-2020 school year. 

The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District has not responded to multiple CNN requests for comment.

12:40 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

In wake of Texas school shooting, domestic terrorism prevention bill blocked by Senate Republicans

From CNN's Clare Foran and Ted Barrett 

Senate Republicans on Thursday 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, including the shooting in Uvalde.

Republicans have pushed back against the bill put forward by Democrats, describing it as partisan and unnecessary.

The final tally of the vote was 47-47. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer changed his vote from an "aye" to a "no" at the end in a procedural move to be able to bring the bill back up again in the future if he wants. 

At least 10 Senate Republicans would have needed to vote with Democrats to overcome the 60-vote threshold imposed by the filibuster — and that was not expected to happen.

The bill passed the House last week following a tragic mass shooting at a supermarket in a predominately Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York.

Read more about the vote and bill here:

12:08 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Video shows crying and screaming parents being held back from entering school by law enforcement

From CNN's Tina Burnside and Caroll Alvarado 

Several social media videos shot outside Robb Elementary on Tuesday show frantic parents rushing to the school and pleading with officers to go inside to stop the gunman or let them go in themselves as the situation was still unfolding.

The video shows law enforcement officers holding parents back – behind the yellow tape of a police line — from entering the school, as crying and screaming can be heard in the background. 

“They’re shooting in there!” someone is heard saying, “and these motherf**kers are out here worried about us.”
“We have guys going in there to get kids,” an officer told the crowd. “They’re working, they’re working,” he said.  

During an interview with CNN on Thursday morning, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Chris Olivarez described Tuesday's school shooting as "volatile," and explained why parents who wanted to go in to help rescue students were held back. 

"I can tell you right now as a father myself, I wanted to go in too. It's a volatile situation," Olivarez said. 

Olivarez told CNN that with an active shooter situation, officials want to prevent any further loss of life and cannot have people go into the school.

A father of a student at Robb Elementary told The Washington Post that he and at least four other men who had children in the school were huddled near the building's front door when they started hearing gunfire coming from the building. 

"There were five or six of us fathers, hearing the gunshots, and police officers were telling us to move back," Javier Cazares told the Post. "We were saying, 'let's go,' because that is how worried we were and wanted to get our babies out."

Later, Cazares would learn that his 9-year-old daughter, Jacklyn, was one of the victims, reported CNN affiliate KSAT.  

11:14 a.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Schumer says Senate will vote on gun safety legislation if talks fail to find bipartisan compromise 

From CNN's Clare Foran

In the wake of the Texas shooting, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the Senate to take up the House-passed domestic terrorism prevention bill in a procedural vote set for later this morning, but acknowledged that it is unlikely to advance amid GOP opposition.

Schumer said that he is willing to give some time and space for efforts to reach some kind of bipartisan compromise on gun legislation – though he conceded that the odds are long.

He made clear that these efforts will not be given an unlimited amount of time to play out, and said that if they fail, then the Senate will move forward with votes on gun safety legislation. If that happens, those votes would be expected to fail again due to Republican opposition, but would give Democrats a chance to put lawmakers on record and criticize the GOP over gun control.

“This is not an invite to negotiate indefinitely. Make no mistake, if these negotiations do not bear fruit in a short period of time, the Senate will vote on gun safety legislation,” he said.

On the domestic terrorism bill, Schumer said, “today the Senate will have a chance to act on a pernicious issue that has recently become an increasingly prevalent component in America’s gun violence epidemic – the evil spread of white supremacy and domestic terrorism.”

Schumer said if the domestic terrorism prevention bill moves forward, there could be a debate on broader gun safety-related amendments.

“There is an additional benefit to moving forward today – it’s a chance to have a larger debate and consider amendments for gun safety legislation in general, not just for those motivated by racism as vital as it is to do that. I know that many members on the other side hold views that are different than the views on this side of the aisle so let us move on this bill, let us proceed, and then they can bring them to the floor,” he said.

But he acknowledged that Republicans are expected to block the bill from advancing.

Schumer outlined what he is willing to allow in terms of bipartisan efforts to reach a compromise on gun control – and what will happen if they fail.

“If Republicans obstruct debate today, we are prepared to have an honest and realistic discussion, conversation, negotiation for a little more time to see what they can come to the table with," he said. "We are under no illusions that this will be easy. We have been burned in the past when Republicans promised to debate only for them to break their promise. But even with long odds, the issue is so important, so raw to the American people, so personal to countless families with missing children, that we must pursue that opportunity.”

Schumer said Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy “has asked for space to see what progress can be done with Senate Republicans. Neither he nor I is under an illusion that this will be easy; it will not. But his view, my view and the overwhelming view of our caucus is we need to give it a short amount of time to try.”

10:54 a.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Today would've been the last day of the school year for Robb Elementary

Students and their families at Uvalde's Robb Elementary should've been celebrating the last day of school today before the summer break.

Instead, they are mourning the deaths of 19 children and two teachers who were shot to death by an 18-year-old gunman. Others remain hospitalized from their injuries.

Parents of some of the victims said they saw their kids hours before the shooting on Tuesday, lauding them for making the honor roll or receiving awards at an end-of-year ceremony.

One mother said her son “couldn’t wait to go to middle school.”

Now their families will have to start planning funerals as questions remain around the investigation.