May 27 Texas school massacre news

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

Updated 4:46 a.m. ET, May 28, 2022
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8:14 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

A fourth-grader who survived the shooting says she smeared friend’s blood on herself to appear dead

From CNN's Nora Neus

(Miah Cerrillo family photo)
(Miah Cerrillo family photo)

Eleven-year-old Miah Cerrillo, who survived the massacre in the fourth-grade classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, said she smeared her friend's blood on herself to appear dead in case the shooter came back.

She spoke exclusively to CNN about her horrific experience that day, but declined to speak to any men because of what happened and only feels comfortable speaking to women. She also did not want to go on camera.

Miah and her classmates were watching "Lilo & Stitch" when her teachers Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia got an email notifying them of a shooter in the school. CNN spoke to both Miah and her mother.

One teacher "went to the door and he was right there — they made eye contact," Neus told CNN's John Berman. "Mia says it just happened all so fast. He backed the teacher into the classroom. He made eye contact with the teacher, again, looked her right in the eye and said 'goodnight' and then shot her and killed her."

At this point, he opened fire in the classroom, which hit the other teacher and a lot of Miah's friends.

Miah was hit by fragments of the bullets, too. They are visible on her back, on her shoulders and the back of her head, Neus reported.

The shooter then went into the adjoining classroom, and Miah told CNN that she could hear screams, a lot more gunfire, and then she said she heard music.

"She thinks it was the gunman that put it on. He started blasting sad music," Neus said. "She just said it sounded like 'I want people to die' music."

Miah said she was scared the gunman would come back to kill her and a few other surviving friends. So, she put her hands in her friend's blood, who laid next to her— and already looked dead—and then smeared it all over herself to appear dead. 

She and a friend also managed to grab her dead teacher’s phone and call 911 for help. She says she told a dispatcher, “please send help because we’re in trouble.”

Miah says she thought she was there for three hours, but her mother then said, "sweetheart, I think it was closer to one hour but I'm sure it felt that way."

As she laid there, Miah thought the police just hadn't reached the campus, she told CNN.

She says afterwards, she overheard talk of police waiting outside the school. Recounting this during the interview, she started crying, saying she just didn’t understand why they didn’t come inside and get them.

Now, Miah is living through the trauma and her parents have started GoFundMe specifically to pay for her therapy.

WATCH: 11-year-old says she used her friend's blood to play dead in classroom

6:46 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

Off-duty CBP officer tells NYT he helped evacuate school

From CNN's Amanda Watts

An off-duty US Customs and Border Patrol officer heard there was an active shooter at Robb Elementary School and ran out of a barbershop as fast as he could. 

Jacob Albarado told The New York Times he had just sat down for a haircut when he got a text message from his wife, Trisha, a fourth-grade teacher at the elementary school, that there was an active shooter in the building. Their daughter, a second-grader at Robb Elementary, was locked in a bathroom, and she texted him.  

He borrowed a shotgun from his barber and sped to the scene. 

According to an interview with NYT, Albarado saw that a tactical team was already forming to enter the wing where the shooter was holed up, so he and several other officers on the scene came up with a plan to evacuate as many children as possible. 

Albarado said he led the team toward the wing of the school where his daughter was. “I’m looking for my daughter, but I also know what wing she’s in,” he said, “so I start clearing all the classes in her wing.” 

When he finally found his 8-year-old daughter Jayda, he hugged her, but then quickly kept rescuing other children. 

The children were “hysterical” as the team guided them out of the building and onto the sidewalk, bring out dozens of kids and teachers. 

“I did what I was trained to do,” Albarado told the NYT.

7:23 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

"I know it might happen again, probably": Shooting survivor, 10, says he's afraid to return to school

From CNN's Adrienne Broaddus and Bill Kirkos

Jayden Perez trained for days like Tuesday. But the 10-year-old never thought it would happen. The moment he and his classmates heard gunfire, he said his teacher at Robb Elementary School locked the door and told her students to “hide and be quiet.” 

“It was very terrifying because I never thought that was going to happen,” Jayden told CNN. “(I’m) still sad about some of my friends that died.”

During the interview, Jayden started calling the names of the deceased with whom he was friends. Then he stopped, looked at a row of crosses behind him bearing their names and said, “Basically all of them.” 

Now, the fourth-grader said he is scared it will happen again. 

When asked if he ever wants to go back to school, he was clear and concise.

“No, because after what happened. I don’t want to. I don’t want anything to do with another shooting or me in the school,” Jayden said.

“And I know it might happen again, probably.”

Jayden said he was hiding near the storage area for backpacks during the shooting, while others in his class were under a table. The entire time, he said, he wondered what was going to happen to them.

About 90 minutes before the shooting, his family celebrated Jayden’s achievement of making the honor roll. 

When reunited with his family, his mother was the first to give him a hug. 

Now the child is reminding everyone to hug those you love, while you can.

“You never know when you can lose someone close to you,” Jayden said.

Hear from the 10-year-old survivor here:

5:01 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

"I'm just hurt": Victim's father mourns loss, says police should have moved in sooner

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

Jessie Rodriguez, the father of 10-year-old victim Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, speaks with CNN on Thursday May 26.
Jessie Rodriguez, the father of 10-year-old victim Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, speaks with CNN on Thursday May 26. (CNN)

Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10, who was killed in Tuesday's massacre, was passionate about school, her father Jessie Rodriguez told CNN's Pamela Brown.

 "Even when she was sick, she didn’t like to miss a day of school," he said.

"As she was growing up, she’d always tell me she wanted to be a veterinarian. She was always challenging new things. She liked to work with me since I’m a carpenter, so, she liked to learn how to do whatever I did. She learned to rip carpet out, cut linoleum for me. Her and her twin sister would always be at work trying to help me doing something, painting or something,” he said.

Rodriguez noted that Annabell was protective of her twin sister and that the pair were close. 

“They did everything together. Now, it going to be a big gap there. She’s going to have to learn to grow into, as well as me,” he said. 

The father also spoke about Annabell’s cousin, Jackie Cazares, who was also killed on Tuesday. He described Jackie as smart and taught his twins how to use their phones, and that the three played together often.

“I’m just hurt,” Rodriguez said.

When asked about the amount of time the gunman was in the school and the other details released by authorities, Rodriguez said “it’s very upsetting.”

"As a father, I would have just went in. I don’t need nobody to tell me to go in and defend harmless children. Why wait … you’re officers serving the peace and protect us, protect our children. 
"And, one hour being in there is too long — that’s just too much. Should have been within minutes. 
"I believe the officers at that point should have went in and took control and not let this man finish off with them, one at a time.”
5:28 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

“I’m scared someone might shoot me.” 2nd-grader describes being at Robb Elementary during the shooting

From CNN’s Amanda Musa

Dora Mendoza, grandmother to victim Amerie Jo Garza, wipes tears from her eyes as she pays respects to her granddaughter and others at a memorial site for the victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting, on May 26.
Dora Mendoza, grandmother to victim Amerie Jo Garza, wipes tears from her eyes as she pays respects to her granddaughter and others at a memorial site for the victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting, on May 26. (Kin Man Hui/The San Antonio Express-News/AP)

Edward Timothy Silva, a second-grade student, told CNN on Thursday about what it was like being inside Robb Elementary School at the time of the mass shooting that killed 19 children and two adults.

Edward Timothy's class was located near the fourth-grade classroom when he heard "loud noises," he said. “Kind of like fireworks.”

A woman who works for the school told them to hide, he said, as the lights were turned off inside of the classroom.

“I learned that we were having a real drill. Because we've practiced a lot. I think we were safe because we practiced,” Edward Timothy said.

He started learning such drills in kindergarten, he said. Some of his classmates in the room were crying, Edward Timothy said.

“I was praying, thinking 'Why is this happening?'” the second-grader said.

Later, his class and others "ran out of their classrooms," he said. Officials have said all fatalities and injuries at Robb Elementary took place inside one classroom. 

When asked what he is afraid of now, Edward Timothy said, “I have the fear of guns now because I'm scared someone might shoot me.”

His mother, Amberlynn Diaz, then teared up, saying this is the first time she’d heard her son say that.

“It breaks my heart,” Diaz said. “He was asking me, does he have to go to school next year? And I just don't want him to be afraid of school. I want him to continue learning and not be scared of going back to school. I want him to have a normal life again.”
3:13 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

Texas newspaper editor says "urgent questions" about Uvalde massacre have not been answered

From CNN's Brian Stelter

Government statements are not adding up. Gaps and discrepancies are raising alarms. Elected officials are failing to answer the public's questions.

This is a moment when journalists are needed. And a moment when journalists have to get it right.

Unfortunately the subject matter is utterly heartbreaking: The deaths of 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary. How was the gunman able to murder so many people? Why wasn't he stopped sooner? Who was responsible for the police response? Why were so many of the initial accounts incorrect, according to newer statements? What should we believe?

Questions about the police response were front and center all day Thursday, due in large part to parents who spoke up, backed up by amateur video clips of Tuesday's chaotic crime scene. Most of their questions have not been answered. Frustrations have been boiling over.

"We've been given a lot of bad information," CNN's Shimon Prokupecz said at Thursday afternoon's press conference.
"These parents deserve to know exactly what happened, minute by minute, to their children," Anderson Cooper said to Prokupecz later in the day.

I checked in with Marc Duvoisin, editor of the San Antonio Express-News, the daily newspaper closest to Uvalde. He agreed with my perception that Thursday was a turning point in the coverage of the shooting.

Read the full story here:

8:02 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

Gunman's mother and grandfather express confusion and remorse over the shooting

From CNN’s Alexa Miranda, Monica Serrano, Andy Rose and Joy Marcelle

Adriana Martinez, the mother of Uvalde school shooter Salvador Ramos, speaks to the press on May 25.
Adriana Martinez, the mother of Uvalde school shooter Salvador Ramos, speaks to the press on May 25. (Televisa)

The mother of Uvalde school shooter Salvador Ramos said she was in shock and asked for forgiveness after her son shot and killed 21 people at an elementary school in Texas on Tuesday.

"I have no words, I have no words to say, I don't know what he was thinking. He had his reasons for doing what he did and please don't judge him. I only want the innocent children who died to forgive me," Adriana Martinez told CNN affiliate Televisa.

Martinez described Ramos as "quiet."

"He was very quiet. He was himself. He didn't bother anyone — he didn't do anything to anyone," she told Televisa.

His grandfather told CNN on Thursday that he knows many of the families affected by the massacre.

“Some of them are my friends, and I’m going to have to face them some day,” Rolando Reyes said.

Reyes’ wife was the first victim that day, shot in the face at their home before Ramos drove to Robb Elementary School and killed 21 people.

A bullet pierced the jaw and upper cheek of his wife, Reyes said, and she will need significant reconstructive surgery at a hospital in San Antonio.

The shooter’s grandmother “did everything for him,” Reyes said, including cooking and picking him up from late work shifts at a fast-food restaurant, and he does not understand why the 18-year-old would lash out at her.

Reyes is the father of Ramos’ mother, who has been crying so much since the shooting that one of her eyes is almost swollen shut, he said.

WATCH: Gunman's mother speaks out: 'Forgive me, forgive my son'

5:05 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

Analysis: Republicans heading to NRA convention expose hypocrisy of blaming Democrats for politicizing mass shootings

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

A convention attendee looks at NRA branded shirts for sale at the NRA Store at the NRA Annual Meeting held at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 26, in Houston, Texas.
A convention attendee looks at NRA branded shirts for sale at the NRA Store at the NRA Annual Meeting held at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 26, in Houston, Texas. (Michael Wyke/AP)

Some Republicans have an odd way of not politicizing the horrific Texas school massacre.

Despite accusing Democrats of constantly trying to manipulate mass shootings for political gain, several senior GOP figures — including ex-President Donald Trump — are expected to give speeches at the National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action's annual leadership forum on Friday.

The NRA is the highly politicized body that spent decades radicalizing the GOP on guns and tearing down moderate firearm laws, resulting in a torrent of high-powered weapons finding their way into private hands — like the kind an 18-year-old gunman bought legally and used to kill 19 children and two teachers on Tuesday.

And the group's annual meetings are taking place in Houston only three days after and about 275 miles to the east of the spot where innocent children were gunned down in their classroom in the city of Uvalde. The assault was both shocking in its barbarism but not at all surprising as it was just the latest mass shooting in America's endless cycle of gun violence.

Read the full analysis:

1:35 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

Secretary of State Blinken addresses Texas school massacre, calls it “unfathomable”

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a reception celebrating Eid at the State Department in Washington on Thursday May 26.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a reception celebrating Eid at the State Department in Washington on Thursday May 26. (Jacquelyn Martin/POOL/AFP/Getty Images)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed the school massacre in Texas for the first time publicly Thursday, calling it "unfathomable."

"I have to tell you,  it's really hard to look at the images on TV of these children, ten years old, each with their own story. Each so vibrant, each with so much ahead of them," Blinken said at an event celebrating Eid at the State Department. 

"And as a parent, as I suspect many of you are, you put yourself in the place of their parents. And it's unfathomable. It's just unfathomable," he said.

Blinken said they "all have them in their hearts," and referenced a previous speaker's comment about "the need to recommit ourselves to empathy."

"I hope that that part of the spirit of Ramadan is something that we can take from this evening and every evening and think about that, think about that in our own lives," he said. "It's so important."