21 killed in Texas school massacre

By Aya Elamroussi, Seán Federico-O'Murchú, Adrienne Vogt and Joe Ruiz, CNN

Updated 9:57 PM ET, Sun May 29, 2022
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1:50 p.m. ET, May 28, 2022

Vice President Harris: The US is "experiencing an epidemic of hate"

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the funeral service for Ruth Whitfield in Buffalo, New York, on May 28.
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the funeral service for Ruth Whitfield in Buffalo, New York, on May 28. (Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images)

Vice President Kamala Harris appealed to those mourning the death of an 86-year-old woman killed in this month's racist mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, that "all good people" should stand up and say "enough is enough."

Harris said there is a "through line" to the shootings in Buffalo and others, including this week's deadly school shooting in Uvalde.

"There's a through line, what happened here in Buffalo, in Texas, in Atlanta, in Orlando, what happened at the synagogues," she said. "And so this is a moment that requires all good people, all God-loving people, to stand up and say, 'We will not stand for this. Enough is enough,' we will come together based on what we all know we have in common, and we will not let those people who are motivated by hate separate us or make us feel fear."

Harris was seated in the front row at a memorial service for Ruth Whitfield, a woman who had just left from visiting her husband at a nursing home when she stopped at a supermarket to buy groceries. Nine other people were killed when a White supremacist opened fired inside a Tops grocery store in Buffalo two weeks ago today.

Harris was not expected to make remarks at the memorial service, but as the Rev. Al Sharpton was addressing the crowd, he said, "I'm going to break protocol. I think that we should insist that we hear from the Vice President of the United States of America."

"The pain that this family is feeling right now, and the nine other families here in Buffalo, I cannot even begin to express our collective pain as a nation for what you are feeling in such an extreme way," Harris said. "To not only lose someone that you love, but through an act of extreme violence and hate. And I do believe that our nation right now is experiencing an epidemic of hate."

She said Americans were "in this together" and that "we are strong in our belief of what is right."

"No one should be made to fight alone. We are stronger than those who would try to hurt us think that we are," she said. "That we are strong, we are strong in our faith, we are strong in our belief about what is right, and our determination to act to insure that we protect all those who deserve to be protected, that we see all those who deserve to be seen, that we hear the voices of those people, and that we rise up in solidarity to speak out against this. And to speak to our better angels."
11:34 a.m. ET, May 28, 2022

Biden urges action "to protect the lives of our people" ahead of Sunday visit to Uvalde

From CNN's Jasmine Wright and Nicky Robertson

President Joe Biden delivers the commencement address for his alma mater, the University of Delaware, on Saturday.
President Joe Biden delivers the commencement address for his alma mater, the University of Delaware, on Saturday. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

During his commencement address at the University of Delaware, President Joe Biden called on Americans to “make America safer” in the wake of the deadly Uvalde, Texas, school shooting.

“In the face of such destructive forces, we have to stand stronger. We cannot outlaw tragedy, I know, but we can make America safer. We can finally do what we have to do to protect the lives of our people and of our children," the President told the audience at his alma mater on Saturday. “So I call on all Americans this hour to join hands and make your voices heard to make this nation what it can and should be.” 

The President’s remarks come ahead of a scheduled trip to Texas on Sunday, where he is expected to grieve with the community. 

“I’ll be heading to Uvalde, Texas, to speak to those families. As I speak, those parents are literally preparing to bury their children — in the United States of America, bury their children. There is too much violence, too much fear, too much grief,” he said.

Biden also spoke about the shooting in Buffalo, New York, two weeks ago, where Vice President Kamala Harris is attending the funeral of one of the victims today.

12:02 p.m. ET, May 28, 2022

Texas state senator says "we're all angry" as details continue to emerge in shooting investigation

Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez interrupts Texas Governor Greg Abbott during a press conference in Uvalde, Texas, on Friday, May 27.
Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez interrupts Texas Governor Greg Abbott during a press conference in Uvalde, Texas, on Friday, May 27. (Matthew Busch for CNN)

Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez said he has spoken to the head of Texas Department of Public Safety this morning, who assured him there will be a "detailed report including ballistics by next week" about the response to the deadly school shooting in Uvalde.

"We're all angry. Law enforcement's angry. I had a long conversation this morning on the way in with [DPS Director] Steve McCraw, and he was crying to me and I'm crying to him. And everybody is frustrated about the failures of what happened. He's assured me I'll have a detailed report including ballistics by next week. I want to know when each agency was here. Moving forward, he assured me never again will DPS stand down for any law enforcement agency. I hope that that's true," Gutierrez told CNN's Boris Sanchez in front of a memorial in the city.

McCraw yesterday provided details and fielded questions about the timeline of the shooting. Rather than immediately try to breach a classroom and engage with the gunman, McCraw said the commander — who he later identified as the school district's chief of police — decided that "there was time to retrieve the keys, and wait for a tactical team with the equipment to go ahead and breach the door and take on the subject." McCraw called it "the wrong decision."

Gov. Greg Abbott also told reporters Friday he was misled by authorities the day after the shooting, and he is "livid."

Gutierrez said he has asked Abbott to give $2 million to Community Health Development, Inc., a nonprofit health clinic in Uvalde.

There is only one psychiatrist in the city, he said. "We need to have therapists here in place," he added.

He said if he cannot get the money from the governor's office, he'll be looking to the private sector to provide funding.

Abbott yesterday said that free mental health services will be provided for Uvalde residents.

The state senator also spoke about the tight-knit community reeling from the mass shooting.

"Latinos, there's something very humbling about us. I'm the son of immigrants, you know, and you strive to be in this country, and you come up and ... we work hard. And this community is an incredibly hardworking community, multi-generational Americans here, four, five generations [of] Hispanic Americans. And they're just such wonderful people," Gutierrez said, his voice shaking.

Gutierrez encouraged the media and Americans to "stay engaged."

"No community anywhere in the United States should have to deal with this. How an 18-year-old can access militarized weaponry anywhere is beyond me. And so please stay engaged. Please stay engaged," he said.

10:14 a.m. ET, May 28, 2022

"Right now, it's dark": In a Uvalde restaurant famous for its comfort food, grief is all around

From CNN's Alaa Elassar

Town House restaurant is less than 3 miles from Robb Elementary School.
Town House restaurant is less than 3 miles from Robb Elementary School. (Matthew Busch for CNN)

The four large mirrors on the wall at Town House usually capture the smiles and laughter of families as they gather for a warm meal among neighbors. Tonight, they reflect all angles of heartbreak.

The tan booths and dark wooden tables at this family-style restaurant overflow with diners. It’s hard for servers to squeeze by as they take orders and refill empty glasses. Despite the crowd, it’s uncomfortably quiet.

What’s there to say?

A gunman a day earlier had viciously murdered 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school just a couple miles down the road – and nothing will ever be the same.

“They were just babies,” one woman whispers, her body shifting toward the large television in the center of the dining room.

“Just babies,” the two men sitting beside her echo.

It’s tuned to the evening news, which appears stuck in a merciless loop of dead children’s faces and the gruesome details of a Texas massacre no one is likely to forget.

Juan Martínez, co-owner of the restaraunt, holds hands with his granddaughter Jillian Martinez, 7.
Juan Martínez, co-owner of the restaraunt, holds hands with his granddaughter Jillian Martinez, 7. (Matthew Busch for CNN)

Juan Martinez, Town House’s co-owner, has served this community for more than 40 years. He’s never seen it so somber, so torn up. People are crying in every corner of the restaurant famous for its comfort food.

“It’s dark and heavy,” waitress Cristy Marsh offers up. “But it’s not always like this; we’re a family here. People are usually happy, coming in to listen to the music and eat together. But right now, it’s dark.”

Marsh can’t stop picturing the carnage in her mind. She’s forgetting orders and walking around in a haze. The restaurant is short-staffed because five children related to employees were killed in the slaughter, she says, and her colleagues are out, grieving their dead. Servers who did come in take breaks in the back to cry.

Across the restaurant, a woman sits with her partner, holding a cup of coffee. Her eyes have not moved from the television screen, and tears drop silently. Her drink has surely gone cold, as she hasn’t taken a sip all night.

Continue reading here.

9:28 a.m. ET, May 28, 2022

Children have always been the center of Uvalde, residents say. Now it's reeling from the loss of its "babies"

From CNN's Nicole Chavez

People in Uvalde light candles during a memorial for the shooting victims on Wednesday, May 25.
People in Uvalde light candles during a memorial for the shooting victims on Wednesday, May 25. (Matthew Busch for CNN)

Crystal Sanchez recalls the smiles of hundreds of children when they got free manicures and had their hair spray-painted during the “Día de los Niños” celebration at the Uvalde County Fairplex. Parents and residents across this small South Texas town spent hours solely honoring and celebrating their youngest.

Nearly a month later, the memories of that April 29 event feel distant for Sanchez, a 42-year-old mother of two who works at a local beauty school.

Grief and frustration have set in, and prayers have replaced the laughter that once echoed throughout the venue that sits on the edge of a town 80 miles west of San Antonio. Since Tuesday, residents have gathered daily to mourn after sorrow burst into what feels like nearly every household in this town of about 16,000 people.

Mass tragedy arrived in Uvalde this week when 19 children and two of their teachers were slaughtered by a gunman at Robb Elementary School, just two days before summer break. Children have always been at the center of the town’s pride and joy, dozens of residents say. And now, the losses of some of Uvalde’s brightest lights have become a source of heartbreak.

In downtown Uvalde, two of the longest federal highways in America – US Highway 83 and US 90 – intersect just like the feelings of many families this week. In one corner, portraits of high school seniors line the lawn outside City Hall. At another corner, flowers were placed next to white crosses bearing the names of each of Tuesday’s 21 victims along the town square's fountain.

“This was something that should have never happened,” Sanchez said. “Our prayers are with everyone because everywhere I go, everyone was affected whether you had a child in there or not. If you didn’t there’s guilt because you get to go home and feel happy with your family when you know that they’re never going to be the same.”

"We run in packs"

Wearing maroon-colored clothing in Uvalde is not unusual. But the amount of people wearing the city’s colors has multiplied over the week and taken on new meaning.

For decades, parents, abuelas and children have filled the stands at the Honey Bowl Stadium every fall to cheer for the Uvalde Coyotes during Friday night football games. After farmers and ranchers return home from the fields and many businesses shut down, residents routinely make their way to the stadium to watch one of their favorite pastimes.

As Uvalde attempts to find solace after Tuesday’s shooting, Marie Alice Ramos says there was nothing she could tell her friends or family that would make them feel better. Wearing her maroon T-shirt, she says, signaled something beyond words.

“It’s a statement. It shows that we are trying to be unified as one in a community that has been devastated,” the 45-year-old bartender said after she and a group of family members, all wearing maroon, stood near Robb Elementary late Wednesday.

“We run in packs. Coyotes run in packs,” one of her cousins, Jessica Ahoyt, who was standing next to her said while embracing her daughter.

Ahoyt’s daughter then added, “once a Coyote, always a Coyote.”

Read the full story here:

6:25 a.m. ET, May 28, 2022

Timeline of the Uvalde school shooting, according to authorities

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

Steven McCraw, the Director and Colonel of the Texas Department of Public Safety, points to a map of the shooter’s movements during a press conference in Uvalde, Texas, on Friday, May 27.
Steven McCraw, the Director and Colonel of the Texas Department of Public Safety, points to a map of the shooter’s movements during a press conference in Uvalde, Texas, on Friday, May 27. (Matthew Busch for CNN)

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steven McCraw on Friday gave a detailed timeline of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

Here are the key moments he laid out (all times are in Central Standard Time):

11:27 a.m.: Video shows that an exterior door to Ross Elementary School that gunman Salvador Ramos entered was propped open by a teacher.

11:28 a.m: Ramos crashes a vehicle near the school into a ditch, gets out and begins firing upon two people who came outside to see the crash near a funeral home. Civilians are not struck by gunfire. The teacher runs to a room to get a phone, returns to the door, and the door remains open. 

11:30 a.m.: The first 911 call is made to Uvalde police reporting a car crash and a man with a gun outside the school.

11:30 a.m.: The US Marshals Service says it received a call from a Uvalde police officer requesting assistance. 

11:31 a.m.: The shooting suspect reaches the last row of cars in the school parking lot and shooting begins outside of the school. Patrol vehicles reach the funeral home, and a patrol car drives by shooter, who is hunkered down by another vehicle.

11:32 a.m.: The suspect fires at the school. 

11:33 a.m.: The suspect enters the school and begins shooting into a classroom. He shot more than 100 rounds.

11:35 a.m.: A total of seven officers are on the scene, and three officers enter the school, later followed by an additional team of three more officers and a sheriff. Two of the initial officers received grazing wounds from the suspect while the classroom door was closed.

11:37 a.m.: Sixteen rounds were fired from 11:37 a.m. to 11:44 a.m.

11:43 a.m.: Robb Elementary announces on Facebook that "Robb Elementary is under a Lockdown Status due to gunshots in the area."

11:51 a.m.: More officers arrive.

12:03 p.m.: As many as 19 officers are in the school's hallway. 

12:03 p.m.: A girl in room 112 of the school makes a 911 call.

12:10 p.m.: A 911 call is received from the same girl in room 112, reporting multiple people are dead.

12:13 p.m.: The girl makes another 911 call.

12:15 p.m.: A Border Patrol tactical unit team arrives on scene.

12:16 p.m.: The same girl makes another 911 call, reporting there were “eight to nine students alive."

12:17 p.m.: Robb Elementary announces on Facebook: "There is an active shooter at Robb Elementary. Law enforcement is on site. Your cooperation is needed at this time by not visiting the campus. As soon as more information is gathered it will be shared. The rest of the district is under a Secure Status."

12:19 p.m.: A different 911 call is received from a caller in room 111, but the caller hung up after another student told them to.

12:21 p.m.: Suspect fires again.

12:21 p.m.: Another 911 call is received, and three shots fired are heard. 

12:21 p.m.: Officers move down the hallway.

12:36 p.m.: There is a 911 call that lasts 21 seconds, with a student saying, "he shot the door." 

12:43 and 12:47 p.m.: 911 caller says, "Please send police now." 

12:46 p.m.: 911 caller can hear police next door.

12:50 p.m.: Shots are heard being fired over the 911 call.

12:50 p.m.: Law enforcement breach door using keys from janitor and kill suspect. 

12:51 p.m.: On 911 call, it sounds like officers are moving children out of the room.

8:25 a.m. ET, May 28, 2022

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

Flowers and candles adorn a memorial site for the victims of the Robb Elementary shooting, on Friday, May 27, in Uvalde, Texas.
Flowers and candles adorn a memorial site for the victims of the Robb Elementary shooting, on Friday, May 27, in Uvalde, Texas. (Wong Maye-E/AP)

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.

11:20 a.m. ET, May 28, 2022

Here's the latest you need to know about the investigation into the Uvalde school mass shooting

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw speaks during a press conference held outside Robb Elementary School on Friday, May 27.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw speaks during a press conference held outside Robb Elementary School on Friday, May 27. (Wong Maye-E/AP)

Authorities are under scrutiny over the conflicting information as well as the timeline provided for law enforcement's response to Tuesday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

The most troubling issue has been the delay between when the gunman entered Robb Elementary School, soon followed by police officers, and when law enforcement confronted and shot the 18-year-old shooter. By then, the gunman had barricaded inside two adjoining classrooms with students and teachers.

Here are the latest details:

No confrontation with police: The gunman was not confronted by police before he entered the school, a Texas law enforcement official said Thursday, contradicting earlier comments from authorities and raising further questions about the police response to the massacre. A Texas Department of Public Safety representative on Wednesday said a school resource officer had "engaged" with the suspect before he went into the school.

More than an hour had passed between the first 911 call and when the shooter was killed: Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said Friday the first Uvalde police officers entered the school roughly two minutes after the gunman, identified as Salvador Ramos. While the shooter was inside two adjoining classrooms, a group of 19 officers stood outside in the hallway on instructions from the school district police chief, McCraw said. He added that the chief believed the “active shooter” situation was over and had become a “barricaded subject.” About 80 minutes after the shooter began his killing spree inside the school, a US Border Patrol officer shot and killed the shooter.

Parents are calling for accountability over the delayed response: Alfred Garza said he was outside the school as the shooting unfolded during which his daughter 10-year-old daughter, Amerie Jo, was killed. He said he’s in "disbelief” after learning that officers were in the school for more than an hour before they killed the shooter. “Somehow, someway, someone needs to answer for what was done," Garza said. “Somebody has to be held accountable. Somebody was wrong.” Other parents begged police officers to go into the school, but they didn’t budge. Officers held parents behind yellow police tape, refusing to let them enter, several videos show.

"It was the wrong decision": McCraw declined to say whether the Uvalde School District police chief who made the call for officers not to confront the shooter was on the scene during the shooting. "From the benefit of hindsight where I'm sitting now, of course it was not the right decision,” he said of the call. "It was the wrong decision. Period."

Texas governor declines to say whether the police chief should be fired: “As far as his employment status is concerned, that’s something that is beyond my control and I have no knowledge about,” Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday. Police chief Pedro "Pete" Arredondo served as the incident commander and the person who made the decision for officers to wait and not breach the classroom where the gunman was located. Demanding a full accounting of what happened during the shooting, Abbott said, “Every act of all of those officials will be known and identified and explained to the public.”

Shooter hid in a classroom closet: While the shooter was barricaded inside of the classrooms, he hid in a closet and apparently waited for officers to go inside the room. He then proceeded to kick open the closet door and fired at the US Border Patrol agents when they entered the room, a source familiar with the situation told CNN. One agent was holding a shield followed by at least two others who engaged the shooter, according to a US Customs and Border Protection official.

6:23 a.m. ET, May 28, 2022

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

(Various sources)
(Various sources)

Authorities and families of the victims have released the names of the 19 students and two teachers killed in Tuesday's shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Nevaeh Alyssa Bravo10, put a smile on everyone’s face, her cousin, Austin Ayala, told the Washington Post, adding that her family is devastated.

Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares,10, was full of love and full of life, her father Jacinto Cazares told reporters. “She would do anything for anybody. And to me, she's a little firecracker, man.”

Makenna Lee Elrod10, 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.”

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Xavier Lopez, 10, was 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. 

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.

Maranda Mathis, 11, was identified as one of the victims, according to Uvalde's website. Leslie Ruiz, who identified herself as a friend of Mathis' mother, told The Washington Post that Mathis was a bright girl who was fun and spunky. She said that Maranda's best friend was her brother, and he was also at Robb Elementary when the shooting happened.

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.

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.

Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez was 10 years old, family members told CNN affiliate KHOU-TV. Her family told the news station that she was in the same classroom as her cousin Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares, who was also killed in the shooting.

Maite Rodriguez, 10, dreamed of becoming a marine biologist and had her heart set on attending Texas A&M in Corpus Christi, said her mother, Ana Rodriguez, on Facebook. Maite was "sweet, charismatic, loving, caring, loyal, free, ambitious, funny, silly, goal driven" and her best friend, she said. Ana Rodriguez wrote that her daughter loved animals and photography and learned to sew on her own by watching YouTube videos.

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.”

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.

Jailah Nicole Silguero10, 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.

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.

Rojelio Torres, 10, was also killed in the shooting, his aunt Precious Perez told CNN affiliate KSAT. The family waited nearly 12 hours to find out if her nephew was one of the victims, Perez said. "We are devastated and heartbroken," she said. "Rojer was a very intelligent, hard-working and helpful person. He will be missed and never forgotten." In a Facebook post, Torres' mother Evadulia Orta posted a photo of her son and wrote "RIP to my son Rojelio Torres we love you and miss you."