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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5:02 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

Texas state senator: "These parents deserve to know what happened"

From CNN’s Paradise Afshar

Texas state senator Roland Gutierrez speaks to CNN from Uvalde, Texas.
Texas state senator Roland Gutierrez speaks to CNN from Uvalde, Texas. (CNN)

The parents of the victims from Robb Elementary School in Uvalde deserve a complete accounting of what happened during the shooting, Texas state senator Roland Gutierrez said Thursday.  

“I’ve talked to the troopers, I’ve talked to the (Texas) Rangers, they suggested that over the course of the next 24 to 36 hours we should have a full-blown report,” Gutierrez told CNN’s Don Lemon.
“Listen, this isn’t rocket science, everything is on video in there. And we deserve to know what happened, these parents deserve to know what happened.”

Gutierrez, a Democrat whose district covers Uvalde County, said nothing he has seen so far has been “satisfactory.”

“At the end of the day I understand that this is an active investigation, but the shooter is dead,” he said. “We’re not talking about motive anymore. We have to figure out where there was a failure and if there was a failure.”

Gutierrez said he knows “there was a failure here,” and that he has seen video of law enforcement entering the building and well as the standoff that took place.

“I don’t want to 'Monday morning quarterback' this thing but at the end of the day we have to find out for the future, so that this never happens again, what kind of failures happened," he said.
“And I feel in this situation standing back was not the thing to do.”
“There’s no way in the world that an 18-year-old kid should access a militarized weapon like it happened in this situation,” he said. “And I put that on people that are in power in Texas.”
12:20 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

Gov. Abbott cancels scheduled in-person appearance at NRA convention, will deliver taped remarks

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a recent press conference in the Eastland Fire Department in Abilene, Texas on Friday March 18.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a recent press conference in the Eastland Fire Department in Abilene, Texas on Friday March 18. (Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News/USA Today Network)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott — who was scheduled to speak Friday on the first day of the National Rifle Association's annual meeting — is canceling his in-person appearance to attend a press conference on the school shooting in Uvalde.

Abbott will speak to the convention instead "through prerecorded video," spokesman Mark Miner told the Dallas Morning News Thursday.

The NRA event takes place in Houston, more than 250 miles away from Uvalde. Several scheduled speakers and performers have bowed out since Tuesday’s deadly school shooting.

Abbott is now scheduled to be at a 3:30 p.m. CT news conference on the school shooting Friday, which his office says will come after “a briefing with state agencies, local officials, and members of the community.”

12:08 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

Layla Salazar, 11, identified as victim in school shooting

From CNN’s Gary Tuchman, Amanda Lee, Sophie Scott and Sara Smart

Layla Salazar, 11, is seen in this undated family photo.
Layla Salazar, 11, is seen in this undated family photo. (From Salazar family)

Layla Salazar, 11, has been identified as one of the victims in Tuesday’s shooting, her family confirmed to CNN’s Gary Tuchman.

Her father, Vincent Salazar III, and her mother, Melinda Alejandro Salazar, said Layla was an active child who loved to run, film TikTok videos and dance. Her grandfather,

"Our hearts are shattered because of this," her grandfather Vincent Salazar Jr. said.

Her family also told CNN that Layla loved to swim in the river with her two big brothers.

11:59 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Parents: What are your elementary school children feeling and asking you about the Texas school shooting?

As a parent, it can be gut-wrenching to discuss violence happening across the country with your kids, and even harder when the violence is happening in our schools. In the wake of the Texas school shooting, what questions are your school-aged children asking and how are they feeling?

Please call in with your child and leave us a voicemail at (404) 618-1992 to let us know your thoughts and what you are discussing with your children.

Each voicemail can be three minutes in length. All or part of your call may be used by CNN on television and/or digital as part of our coverage.

Please include your name, contact information and where you're calling from. By calling in with your child, you are representing that you have authority to consent for your child's voice and statements to be used by CNN on television and/or digital and are agreeing to such use.

Thank you for weighing in with your important perspective.

1:05 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

Catch up on the latest details about Tuesday's mass shooting at Robb Elementary School

Flowers are placed on a make shift memorial outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 25.
Flowers are placed on a make shift memorial outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 25. (Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Questions remain over the police response to Tuesday’s deadly mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas as investigators are "still grabbing a lot of information" about what happened, according to one official.

"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," Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director for the Department of Public Safety, told reporters Thursday.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Husband of slain teacher dies two days after shooting, family says: The husband of Irma Garcia, one of the teachers killed in the shooting, has died, according to a GoFundMe post and a Twitter post from Garcia’s nephew. Joe Garcia “has tragically passed away this morning (5/26/2022) as a result of a medical emergency. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life of more than 25 years was too much to bear,” the GoFundMe post from Irma Garcia’s cousin said.  Irma Garcia’s nephew wrote on Twitter, “Lord god please on our family, my tias husband passed away this morning due to a heart attack at home he’s with his wife now.”
  • Student's father pleaded with officers for gun and vest to save children: Victor Luna, a parent of a student at Robb Elementary School, said he pleaded with officers to give him their gear so he could go inside as the shooting was happening. “I told one of the officers myself, if they didn’t want to go in there, let me borrow his gun and a vest, and I’ll go in there myself to handle it, and they told me ‘no,’” he told CNN, adding that he wanted the officers to “go in and get rid of that man, that shooter.” Luna told CNN that he saw some officers going in and out of the building, but he wanted to see more. His son Jayden survived Tuesday's mass shooting, he said, and he also had grandchildren in the school.
  • 6 people remain hospitalized, officials say: The conditions of six hospitalized victims 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 University Health in San Antonio. Two other children hospitalized were both listed in good condition as of Thursday morning. A spokesperson for Brooke Army Medical Center told CNN that the two adult patients in their care are both listed in serious condition.
  • Governor cancels NRA appearance in Houston, will be in Uvalde Friday: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott — who was scheduled to speak Friday at the first day of the National Rifle Association's annual meeting — is canceling his in-person appearance to attend a press conference on the school shooting in Uvalde. The governor will instead address the convention through prerecorded video, according to a spokesperson.
  • President will visit Uvalde on Sunday; Duchess Meghan visited Thursday: President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will visit Uvalde on Sunday to meet with families who lost loved ones as well as to meet with other community members and religious leaders, the White House announced. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, visited Uvalde on Thursday “in a personal capacity as a mother, to offer her condolences and support in person to a community experiencing unimaginable grief,” a spokesperson for the Duchess told CNN.

Read more about what we know — and don't know — about the shooting here.

1:05 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

What authorities revealed about the timeline of events inside and outside the school

Victor Escalon, Regional Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety South, speaks during a press conference in Uvalde, Texas on May 26.
Victor Escalon, Regional Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety South, speaks during a press conference in Uvalde, Texas on May 26. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

Since Tuesday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, the details about what happened have changed and been updated by authorities.

Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director for the Department of Public Safety, told reporters Thursday that investigators are "still grabbing a lot of information" regarding the shooting.

"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.

Here is the latest timeline of events that police claim occurred:

  • Escalon said that the suspect, Salvador Ramos, shot his grandmother and then wrecked his truck in a ditch outside the school at 11:28 a.m. local time Tuesday. He exited the truck with a rifle and shot at two people across the street, Escalon said.
  • The gunman then approached the school and shot at the building multiple times and walked in through an apparently unlocked door at 11:40 a.m., according to Escalon.
  • That door is normally locked, "unless you are leaving to go home on the school bus," former principal Ross McGlothlin told CNN's Newsroom on Thursday.
  • Escalon said the gunman was not confronted by a school resource officer outside the school. The same law enforcement agency previously said an officer had "engaged" him. “He walked in unobstructed initially,” Escalon said. According to the current information available, Escalon said there was not an armed officer readily available.
  • Inside, the suspect walked into a classroom and fired more than 25 times, Escalon said. The majority of the gunfire was at the beginning of the attack, he added.
  • Officers arrived at the school at 11:44 a.m., but when they went to confront the gunman, they received fire and took cover, Escalon said. They called for more resources and personnel, evacuated students and teachers in other parts of the school, and at some point entered "negotiations" with the suspect, he said.
  • A US Border Patrol tactical team came to the classroom, forced entry and fatally shot the suspect after about an hour, he said.

Thursday's news conference underscored the confusion and disorganization of the police response and failed to answer questions as to how the gunman was able to remain inside the classroom for such a long time.

CNN reported Thursday that the Uvalde school district, where the shooting occurred, 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 district's 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.

Officials defend response:

  • Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez issued a statement Thursday defending his officers' response to the shooting. Two responding officers were shot by the suspect but are expected to survive. "It is important for our community to know that our officers responded within minutes" alongside school resource officers, he said.
  • The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), meanwhile, said officers who responded to the shooting saved lives, despite waiting before physically confronting the suspect who was holed up inside a classroom. A spokesperson for the agency said that officers did not have enough information on the exact location of the shooter to do an immediate takedown.

CNN's Eric Levenson, Holly Yan, Joe Sutton, Clare Foran and Ted Barrett contributed reporting to this post.

12:19 a.m. ET, May 27, 2022

These are the victims of the elementary school mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas

Authorities and families of the victims continue to identify the 19 students and 2 teachers killed in Tuesday's shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

  • Layla Salazar, 11, has been identified as one of the victims of Tuesday’s shooting. Layla was an active child who loved to run, film TikTok videos and dance, her family told CNN. She also loved to swim in the river with her two big brothers.
  • Makenna Lee Elrod, 10, loved to play softball, do gymnastics and spend time with her family. “Her smile would light up a room,” Allison McCullough, Makenna’s aunt, told ABC News. McCullough described her niece as a natural leader who loved school and was “a light to all who knew her.”
  • Jayce Luevanos, 10, has been identified as one of the victims by CNN through a GoFundMe site set up to raise funds for funeral expenses and family needs. Jayce's grandfather, Carmelo Quiroz, told USA Today, the Jayce and his mother lived with him. He said the 10-year-old was happy and loved. "He was our baby," Quiroz said.
  • Alithia Ramirez, 10, was in fourth grade and loved to draw, her father, Ryan Ramirez, told CNN affiliate KSAT. He said she wanted to be an artist.
  • Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10, enjoyed dancing and making TikTok videos, her mother Veronica Luevanos told CNN network partner, Univision. Jailah did not want to go to school Tuesday morning and asked to stay home, but Luevanos said she told her no.
  • Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares and Annabell Guadalupe Rodríguez, both 10, were cousins, classmates and friends. Jacklyn's father Jacinto Cazares told reporters that she "was full of love and full of life. She would do anything for anybody. And to me, she's a little firecracker, man."
  • Nevaeh Alyssa Bravo, 10, put a smile on everyone’s face, her cousin, Austin Ayala, told the Washington Post, adding that her family is devastated.
  • Lexi Rubio, 10, has been identified by her parents as one of the victims. Felix and Kimberly Rubio celebrated their daughter making the All-A honor roll and getting a good citizen award at Robb Elementary on Tuesday, shortly before the shooting. In a text message to CNN, Felix and Kimberly Rubio said, “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.”
  • Jose Flores Jr., 10, was one of the victims, his father Jose Flores Sr. told CNN. Flores said his son was in the fourth grade and loved baseball and video games. “He was always full of energy,” Flores said. “Ready to play till the night.” Flores also described his son as an amazing kid and big brother to his two siblings. 
  • Uziyah Garcia, 10, has been identified as one of the victims, his family confirmed to CNN. He was in fourth grade, his aunt Nikki Cross told CNN. His uncle, Mitch Renfro, described Uziyah as a “great kid. Full of life. Loved anything with wheels, and video games.” He leaves behind two sisters. 
  • Eva Mireles, a fourth-grade teacher, was among those killed, her aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado, told CNN. She had been an educator for 17 years and in her off time enjoyed running, hiking, biking and spending time with her family, according to her profile on the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District website.
  • Irma Garcia, a fourth-grade teacher, has been identified as a victim and confirmed through a GoFundMe page. A wife and mother to four children, she was "Sweet, kind, loving. Fun with the greatest personality," the page said, adding, "She sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom. She was a hero." Her husband, Joe Garcia, died two days after the shooting, according to family members.
  • Xavier Lopez, 10, has been identified as one of the victims, his mother Felicha Martinez confirmed to the Washington Post. “He was funny, never serious and his smile,” Martinez told the paper. 
  • Amerie Jo Garza, 10, was identified by her father as one of the children killed. Angel Garza posted to Facebook early Wednesday: "My little love is now flying high with the angels above. Please don’t take a second for granted. Hug your family. Tell them you love them. I love you Amerie Jo. Watch over your baby brother for me," said the father.
  • Eliana "Ellie" Garcia9, was among those killed, her family told KHOU. Rogelio Lugo and Nelda Lugo, Eliana’s grandparents, told the Los Angeles Times she loved the movie “Encanto,” cheerleading and basketball, and dreamed of becoming a teacher.
  • Eliahana “Elijah” Cruz Torres, 10, has been identified as one of the victims, her aunt Leandra Vera told CNN. “Our baby gained her wings,” Vera said.
  • Tess Marie Mata, 10, has been identified as one of the victims, her sister told the Washington Post. The fourth-grader loved TikTok dances, Ariana Grande and the Houston Astros, and was saving money so that the whole family could go to Disney World, her sister said.
  • All the fatalities and injuries took place inside one classroom at Robb Elementary, officials said. The conditions of the six hospitalized victims of the shooting have remained the same, according to hospital officials Thursday.
  • The two funeral homes in Uvalde will cover the cost of funerals for those who were killed Tuesday. Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD) has opened a memorial fund to accept donations for those affected by the shooting.

CNN's Eric Levenson, Holly Yan, Joe Sutton, Clare Foran and Ted Barrett contributed reporting to this post.

11:58 p.m. ET, May 26, 2022

Federal legislation designed to combat domestic terrorism is blocked from a vote in the Senate

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

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. At least 10 Senate Republicans would have needed to vote with Democrats to overcome the 60-vote threshold imposed by the filibuster.

The failure of the domestic terrorism bill in the Senate underscores yet again how challenging it is for lawmakers to enact any kind of major policy change in the wake of mass shootings amid a highly polarized political environment and widespread GOP opposition to stricter gun controls.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the Senate to take up the House-passed bill, but acknowledged ahead of the vote that it was unlikely to advance amid GOP opposition. He indicated Democrats are willing to give some time and space for efforts to reach some kind of bipartisan compromise on gun legislation though he noted the odds are long. He also made clear that these efforts will not be given an unlimited amount of time to play out, and that if they fail the Senate will move forward with votes on gun safety legislation.

On the Republican side, 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.

CNN's Eric Levenson, Holly Yan, Joe Sutton, Clare Foran and Ted Barrett contributed reporting to this post.