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Protests planned as annual NRA meeting set to take place in Texas days after mass shooting

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

(HOUSTON) -- The nation's largest pro-gun lobby is poised to gather in Texas days after one of the worst mass shootings in recent U.S. history unfolded in the state.

Despite demands to cancel the annual meeting in light of the tragedy, the National Rifle Association's Annual Leadership Forum is scheduled to take place in Houston from Friday through Sunday.

The pro-gun gathering comes days after authorities said an 18-year-old armed with an AR-15-style rifle opened fire in an elementary school classroom in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers and wounding 17 people.

Groups including the Harris County Democratic Party, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and March For Our Lives plan to rally outside the convention hall Friday, calling for gun reform in the wake of the massacre.

"Every single speaker at the NRA event this weekend bears responsibility for the innocent lives lost to gun violence," the Harris County Democratic Party said on Facebook. "It is past time for thoughts and prayers."

The NRA had the option of delaying the convention, particularly as families prepare to bury those killed in the shooting, but "did not choose to do so," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said during a press briefing Thursday. He noted that the city does not have the "legal right" to cancel a convention.

The city will be providing security for those attending the meeting, he said, as officials urged peace from protestors and attendees. Protest barricades will also be set up, according to Houston Police Chief Troy Finner.

"We will respect everybody's right to protest and speak their concerns and their voice," Finner said during the briefing. "We will not tolerate destruction of property, nor will we tolerate people assaulting individuals."

The annual NRA meeting typically draws up to 80,000 members, according to the association. Ahead of the convention, the NRA said in a statement that the organization will "reflect on these events, pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members, and pledge to redouble our commitment to making our schools secure."

Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at the forum on Friday. Firearms, ammunition, knives, toy guns and other items will be prohibited from that event, per a U.S. Secret Service notice.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday he was unsure if he would attend the meeting.

"I'm living moment-to-moment right now," he said when asked about his plans during a briefing. "My heart, my head and my body are in Uvalde right now, and I'm here to help the people who are hurting."

Singer Don McLean backed out of performing at the event in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting tragedy.

"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," he said in a statement. "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."

ABC News' Aliyah Thomas contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Students walk out of schools in protest of gun violence

Emily Elconin/Getty Images, FILE

(NEW YORK) -- Days after at least 19 elementary school students and two teachers were killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, students at schools around the country staged walkouts to protest gun violence.

In Michigan, students at Oxford High School, where a school shooting occurred in November, staged a walkout at 12 p.m. on Thursday. Four students were killed in the shooting.

Students at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, also walked out of class, in support of the national gun safety movement. The school was the site of a shooting in November 2019, in which two students were killed.

Students also staged walkouts at schools in Port Washington, New York, and Falls Church, Virginia.

Student organizers say at least 600 students walked out of Paul D. Schreiber Senior High School in Port Washington earlier this afternoon.

Emma Janoff, an 11th grader at Schreiber and a member of 'Students Demand Action', a national organization against gun violence, says she got active on gun control policy and school safety following the 2018 Parkland High School shooting.

"You see news every day about kids getting shot and people your age dying and it's just incredibly sad and unbelievable, especially to see like kids younger and kids my age," Janoff told ABC News. "I cant imagine that being me; but it is imaginable because it happens so often."

The 17 year-old says her school's administration was in support of the walkout and she hopes the over 200 planned demonstrations across the country send a clear message that students are a "united front."

A walkout may not necessarily change legislation, Janoff said, but these actions show "students are still united in this."

She said that although most students aren't old enough to vote, they still want to see change and are willing to take measures to have their voices heard in politics.

"Students don't have to be quiet about it just because they're a kid," Janoff said.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Texas school shooting live updates: Gunman entered unobstructed through unlocked door

Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

(UVALDE, Texas) -- A small town in rural Texas is reeling after a gunman opened fire at an elementary school on Tuesday, killing 19 children.

Two teachers were also among those killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, according to authorities.

Prior to opening fire at the school, the suspect also allegedly shot his grandmother, officials said.

The alleged gunman -- identified by authorities as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a student at Uvalde High School -- is dead.

Here's how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

May 26, 6:49 pm
Law enforcement examining if lockdown was audible to students, staff: Sources

The response by school officials and law enforcement is becoming a key focus in the ongoing investigation into the Uvalde school shooting, law enforcement sources told ABC News Thursday.

It is unclear whether any students and teachers heard an official call for a lockdown once the gunman entered the building, the sources said.

Additionally, investigators are looking into whether officers on site could have made other attempts to enter the school to end the gunman’s rampage faster, the sources said. Responding police were met with gunfire and called for tactical teams with proper equipment to enter the classroom and neutralize the gunman, according to the sources.

-ABC News' Matt Gutman, Josh Margolin, Aaron Katersky and Luke Barr

May 26, 6:19 pm
10-year-old survivor recalls moments after hearing shots fired

A student who was in the classroom next door to the one the gunman entered recounted to ABC News what she did next.

Gemma Lopez, 10, said she heard five to six gunshots and commotion outside her classroom at Robb Elementary School before a bullet whizzed by her arm and into the wall. She recalled seeing a puff of smoke, which is when she knew they were all in danger.

She said she turned off the lights and then ducked under the tables -- what she learned to do in the active shooter training she has undergone since kindergarten. There were no locks inside and they did not have a key in the classroom to lock the door from the inside, she said.

Authorities yelled at the gunman to put down his weapon, to which he reportedly shouted in response, "Leave me alone please," in Spanish, Gemma recalled.

Gemma said her best friend, Amerie Jo Garza, was one of the 19 children killed in the massacre.

-ABC News' Matt Gutman and Olivia Osteen

May 26, 6:15 pm
Accused gunman sent concerning messages to more than a dozen people before school massacre

The accused Robb Elementary School shooter appears to have sent disturbing messages -- including claims about intentions of violence at schools -- to numerous young people online in the days and weeks before the shooting, ABC News has found.

Over a dozen people told ABC News that the accused gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, sent them concerning messages across multiple social media platforms in the days leading up to the massacre.

Hours before the massacre, the gunman allegedly messaged a young girl on Instagram warning that he had a secret he wanted to tell her, according to messages reviewed by ABC News, which law enforcement sources say are part of the ongoing investigation into the shooter. He had tagged her in a photo of two guns days earlier.

In another alleged message the morning of the shooting, Ramos sent a photo of a gun laying on a bed, according to a user who shared direct messages from the suspect's alleged account with ABC News. She replied asking, “Why'd u send me a pic of a gun."

And moments before the attack, the accused gunman allegedly sent a string of messages to a young girl he met online, detailing that he had shot his grandmother and was heading to the school for his next target, according to messages reviewed by ABC News.

Another young user told ABC News the shooter was on Yubo the day before the massacre and implied something would occur the next day, the day of the shooting.

-ABC News' Will Steakin and Olivia Rubin

May 26, 4:19 pm
Shooter carried 7 30-round magazines, 15 more found in backpack

The Robb Elementary School gunman had a total of seven 30-round magazines with him in the classroom where the shooting took place, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News.

One 30-round magazine was in the AR-15-style rifle used in the shooting and six magazines were carried on a tactical vest worn by the shooter, with the potential to hold 210 rounds.

It is unclear how many rounds were expended.

Fifteen additional loaded magazines, potentially holding 450 rounds, were found in a backpack that police said the shooter had when he exited a pickup truck that he crashed near the school.
It is unclear where this backpack was found by police or whether he had it in the classroom.

-ABC News' Jack Date, Luke Barr, Josh Margolin and Pierre Thomas

May 26, 4:07 pm
Biden, first lady to visit Uvalde on Sunday

The White House announced that President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will visit Uvalde, Texas, on Sunday.

They will travel to Uvalde "to grieve with the community," the White House said in a statement.

-ABC News' Jon Garcia

May 26, 3:32 pm
Texas official gives updated timeline of shooting

Even though the school doors were supposed to be locked during the day, it appears the door the gunman entered through was unlocked, Victor Escalon, the Texas Department of Public Safety's regional director for south Texas, said at a press conference Thursday.

Escalon gave an updated timeline of the shooting:

After crashing his car, the gunman got out through the passenger side with a rifle and bag containing ammunition.

The suspect walked around then saw two witnesses at the funeral home across the street from where he crashed his car and opened fire on them. Neither person was struck.

While in the parking lot, the gunman fired shots at the school multiple times. The suspect then walked into the west side of the building, Escalon said.

The Uvalde Police Department and the Independent School District Police Department attempted to enter the school building four minutes later, but they heard gunfire and took rounds so they moved back, took cover and called for additional resources, Escalon said.

Escalon said the officers "don’t make entry initially because of the gunfire they’re receiving. But we have officers calling for additional resources."

While they made calls to bring in backup, officers evacuated students and teachers.

Approximately an hour later, U.S. Border Patrol tactical teams arrived, made entry and shot and killed the suspect, Escalon said.

Escalon said it then became a rescue operation.

May 26, 2:56 pm
Texas official says gunman not confronted by officer before entering through unlocked door

Texas officials said Thursday that police did not confront the gunman before he entered the school, despite earlier reporting that a school district police officer had confronted the gunman.

Police believe the gunman was able to get into the building through an unlocked door at the back of the school, said Victor Escalon, the Texas Department of Public Safety's regional director for south Texas.

The gunman was shot and killed by Border Patrol tactical team nearly an hour after the shooting began, Escalon said.

May 26, 2:37 pm
Uvalde police says 'officers responded within minutes,' amid criticism of response to shooting

Uvalde police officers responded to the shooting "within minutes," Uvalde police said in a statement Thursday.

"Our personnel have displayed the upmost commitment to our community during this difficult time as we all are suffering as members of the community, that is the family of Uvalde. It is important for our community to know that our Officers responded within minutes alongside Uvalde CISD Officers," Daniel Rodriguez, Uvalde chief of police, said in a statement.

"I understand questions are surfacing regarding the details of what occurred. I know answers will not come fast enough during this trying time, but rest assured that with the completion of the full investigation, I will be able to answer all the questions that we can."

Rodriguez added, "I know words will never ease the pain that we are all suffering, but I hope you will join me in taking some solace in knowing that the pain comes from the fact that we all have such deep love for all the victims who have been taken from us, those who are recovering, and those who only time and love will continue to heal."

May 26, 2:11 pm
Husband of teacher killed in shooting dies of heart attack

Joe Garcia, the husband of teacher Irma Garcia who was killed in the shooting, died of a heart attack on Thursday, according their nephew and a close family friend.

The two were set to celebrate their 25th anniversary this year. The couple had four children.

-ABC News' Alondra Valle

May 26, 1:55 pm
Mother of victim fatally shot says she 'lost a piece of my heart'

Eva Dulia Orta, the mother of 10-year-old Rojelio Torres, a fourth grader who died in the Tuesday shooting at Robb Elementary, told ABC News that she is trying to stay strong for the rest of her children, but "I lost a piece of my heart," she said.

The mother of four told ABC News she went to pick up two of her children at the school, but only came home with one.

This has not only devastated her entire family, but the community, she said, speaking with her twin sister.

"We are praying for everyone, all the children and all the families," she said.

-ABC News' Maria Elena Salinas

May 26, 1:49 pm
Witness recounts police response to Uvalde shooting: 'Why aren't they going in?'

Bob Estrada, who lives across the street from Robb Elementary School, recounted to ABC News the moments he went out on his porch after hearing gunshots, saying he witnessed the police response to the shooting unfold.

Estrada, whose grandson is a second grader at the school who survived the shooting, said he saw "quite a few" officers outside the school immediately, and then police cars started driving up -- but "some of them just stood there."

"Why aren't they going in?" Estrada told ABC News he wondered at the time.

Estrada said it was not long before parents began to arrive. "They were hysterical," he said.

"There were parents out there, and they were kinda motioning like they wanted to come in," Estrada said. "They were motioning like, 'What are you doing? Go in!'"

Estrada said he did see some officers go in immediately.

Asked if he saw reinforcements heading into the school, Estrada said no. But, he did not know what sort of presence may have already been inside.

-ABC News' Matt Gutman, Olivia Rubin, Jeffrey Cook and Laura Romero

May 26, 1:24 pm
Young girl who gunman allegedly texted before shooting speaks out

The young girl who allegedly received messages from the Texas gunman moments before his rampage told ABC News she has been asking herself "what if I could change the outcome" since seeing the news that her friend killed 19 students and two teachers on Tuesday.

"Ever since May 24th I have been guilt tripping myself, what if I could change the outcome, what if I could change his mind to not do this. I was too dumb to realize why he bought two Rifles on his birthday May 16th and ordered a package full with ammunitions not knowing what he was going to do with it," the 15-year-old girl, who asked to be referred to as "Cece," told ABC News.

The messages are part of an ongoing investigation into the shooter, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

Cece, who lives in Germany, said she met the accused gunman on the social media app Yubo where they would "join each others live" streams. The pair met on the app on May 9 before exchanging cellphone numbers, Cece said.

The messages reviewed by ABC News and other outlets appear to show that Cece did not respond to the gunman's threats until after news of the shooting broke and nearly all the texts are solely from the suspect. It is unclear if the messages were at all edited.

-ABC News' Will Steakin

May 26, 10:01 am
Texas school district cancels school after receiving 'credible threat of violence'

The Donna, Texas, Independent School District has canceled classes after it received a "credible threat of violence," school officials said in a letter posted on Facebook. Donna is about 4 1/2 hours from Uvalde.

The threat is currently under investigation and classes will resume on Tuesday, the district said.

"In light of the recent events and in an abundance of caution we will be canceling school district-wide and staff will be working from home," the letter said. "The safety and security of our students & staff is our first priority."

-ABC News' Luke Barr

May 26, 7:32 am
Bodies of nine victims released to funeral homes, with more expected today

Nine of the deceased victims' bodies were released to funeral homes in Uvalde on Wednesday evening, Uvalde County Justice of Peace Eulalio Diaz told CNN.

More -- possibly all -- of the remaining bodies are expected to be released at some point on Thursday, according to Diaz. It will mark the beginning of the funeral arrangement process for many grieving families in the wake of the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. There are two funeral homes in Uvalde, and both are offering free services to families of the victims.

"My job is to try and get them back home as quickly as possible," Diaz told CNN in an interview early Thursday.

In a county of less than 50,000 people, there is no medical examiner and the justice of the peace in the state of Texas assumes the responsibility of the county coroner, according to Diaz.

Diaz described his job of going in and assessing the bodies of the dead at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday in the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting. He said Irma Garcia, one of the teachers who were killed, was a former high school classmate of his.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Husband of teacher killed at Texas elementary school shooting dies

Brandon Bell/Getty Images, FILE

(UVALDE, Texas) -- The widower of a Texas elementary school teacher killed in a shooting has died of a heart attack days just days after his wife was killed.

Joe Garcia, the husband of Irma Garcia, suffered a fatal heart attack on Thursday, two days after his wife died in a mass shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the couple's nephew, John Martinez, and a close family friend confirmed.

The couple, who had known each other since the eighth grade, was set to celebrate their 25th anniversary this year, family said.

Irma Garcia was a fourth-grade teacher who had been with the school for 23 years, according to the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District's website.

"I love to BBQ with my husband, listen to music, and take country cruises to Concan," Garcia appeared to have written on the school district's website.

Irma Garcia had also been co-teaching with Eva Mireles, the other teacher killed in the attack, in the same classroom for five years.

The two faculty were among another 19 children, mostly third and fourth graders, who were fatally shot on Tuesday when suspected gunman Salvador Ramos opened fire on the classroom.

Ramos allegedly used an AR-15 style rifle to carry out the second-worst school shooting in U.S. history -- just days after he turned 18 and purchased two firearms. Another 17 people, including three law enforcement officers, were wounded.

Ramos was killed after exchanging gunfire with responding law enforcement officers inside the school.

ABC News' Alondra Valle contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Lawsuit alleges Chicago police officer 'recklessly' shot 13-year-old carjacking suspect

Oliver Helbig/Getty Images

(CHICAGO) -- A 13-year-old boy remains hospitalized after a Chicago police officer shot him "recklessly, callously and wantonly" during a foot pursuit last week, a new federal lawsuit alleges.

The teen was struck once on May 18 after fleeing from a stolen car, Chicago police said.

The lawsuit, which was filed on the teen's behalf in U.S. District Court on Thursday, claims the officer chased the boy on an "inherently dangerous" foot pursuit that was unjustified because the boy was unarmed. According to a number of witness accounts, the boy had his hands up when he was shot.

The teen was identified in the lawsuit as a Black seventh grader with the initials A.G.

"A.G. is currently lying in a hospital bed with a bullet still lodged in his body after being shot in the back by an officer with the Chicago Police Department," the lawsuit states. "A.G. and his family are waiting to learn whether he will ever be able to walk again."

The lawsuit names the Chicago police officer, whose identity has not been released, and the city of Chicago as defendants.

In a statement to ABC News, the city's law department said it has yet to be officially served the complaint.

“Upon receipt, the complaint will be reviewed," Kristen Cabanban, a spokesperson for the law department, said. "We will have no further comment as the matter is now in litigation."

The lawsuit claims that A.G. was shot through the back and suffered a spinal cord injury, multiple rib fractures and an esophageal injury, among other wounds.

"While A.G. survived the shooting, he has been permanently and catastrophically injured and remains hospitalized," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit alleges the officer used excessive force "in violation of the U.S. Constitution" and that the Chicago Police Department continues to disproportionately use excessive and deadly force against Black people. It also claims that the city has failed to implement a foot pursuit policy as required by a federal consent decree on police reform efforts.

The court-ordered overhaul of CPD policies followed the 2014 fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald and a Department of Justice investigation into the murder. An independent report released last month found that the police department failed to adopt a permanent foot pursuit policy by the consent decree's September deadline.

"Tragically, the deep-seeded systemic problems that led to the entry of the Consent Decree -- implicit bias and failures in training, supervision, and accountability -- still exist today," the lawsuit states. "A.G. is the latest victim of CPD's systemic failures."

The family is seeking damages for A.G.'s past and future medical expenses and is demanding a trial by jury.

The shooting is currently being investigated by the city's Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), an independent agency, which said that no weapon was recovered from the scene. The officer involved has been temporarily placed on routine administrative duties, the police department said.

Chicago police officers were attempting to stop a stolen vehicle when the teen got out of the car and fled, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said during a press briefing last week. Authorities allege the teen was involved in two recent carjackings.

Brown said at the time that he was limited in what he could discuss about the shooting.

"This investigation will reveal the facts," he said, adding that COPA has his department's full support.

In a statement, COPA said it was "committed to a full and thorough investigation into the officer's use of force to determine if their actions were in accordance with Department policy and training."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Both Buffalo and Uvalde suspected shooters allegedly abused animals

Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

Animal abuse probed in Uvalde and Buffalo suspected shooters' pasts

(UVALDE, Texas) -- The accused mass shooter who carried out the deadly attack at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, allegedly committed animal abuse and displayed videos of the cruelty to users on a social media platform, according to two users who spoke to ABC News.

In some instances, the alleged animal abuse was committed in public and then posted for online viewing, and the 18-year-old suspect, Salvador Ramos, allegedly boasted about how he and his friends did it "all the time," according to one user.

Ramos was killed in a shootout with law enforcement officers inside the Robb Elementary School after he allegedly killed 19 students and two faculty members. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that 17 other people were injured in the episode, including three law enforcement officers.

Abbott said the rampage started when the suspect shot and critically wounded his grandmother at her home before driving several blocks to the school, where he crashed a vehicle, engaged somehow with law enforcement officers outside the school before going in and allegedly committing the massacre.

The allegations of animal abuse are similar to what authorities have learned about Payton Gendron, the white 18-year-old suspect who allegedly committed the May 14 racially motivated mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket that left 10 Black people dead.

According to a document authorities said the Buffalo suspect allegedly posted online and obtained by ABC News, Gendron allegedly detailed taking part in animal abuse in which he killed a cat, according to the document. Within the writings reviewed by ABC News, Gendron alleged that his mother gave him a box to bury the cat he said he killed.

The two users familiar with online posts attributed to Ramos told ABC News the suspect aired his alleged acts of animal abuse on the social media platform Yubo. They said an account they believed belonged to the accused gunman would go on live video on the platform and play videos of him abusing animals, including cats.

One of the users identified herself to ABC News as Maya Xenokostas, while the other did not share their name.

A law enforcement source told ABC News that investigators are aware of the Yubo profile and are looking at it but can't definitively confirm the account belongs to the suspect. ABC News has not independently confirmed that the alleged account belonged to the accused shooter.

Yubo describes itself as “a social live streaming platform,” according to its website.

In a statement, a Yubo spokesperson said, "Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families of the victims of the tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Due to privacy regulations, we are not able to release specific user information outside of direct requests from law enforcement.”

One Yubo user graphically described to ABC News how Ramos would allegedly publicize the abuse, and would "put cats in plastic bags, suspend them inside, throw them at the ground and throw them at people's houses."

The user who did not share their name with ABC News said the alleged gunman "would display these videos while laughing and boasting about how him and his friends did it 'all the time.'"

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

What we know about the victims of the Texas school shooting in Uvalde so far

Courtesy of Lydia Martinez Delgado

(UVALDE, Texas) -- A fourth-grade teacher, several sets of cousins and a 10-year-old boy whose family called him "the life of the party" were among those killed in a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday, ABC News has learned.

At least 19 children and two teachers were killed after a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, west of San Antonio, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The alleged gunman -- identified by officials as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a student at Uvalde High School -- is dead, authorities said.

"When parents drop their kids off at school, they have every expectation to know that they're going to be able to pick their child up when that school day ends. And there are families who are in mourning right now," Gov. Greg Abbott told reporters.

Here's what we know about the victims so far.

Alithia Ramirez, 10

ABC News learned that Alithia Ramirez was one of the students killed.

“She was a very talented little girl,” Rosa Maria Ramirez, the grandmother of Alithia, told ABC News. “She loved to draw.”

Uziyah Garcia

Uziyah Garcia died in the shooting, his family confirmed to ABC News.

Makenna Lee Elrod, 10

Makenna Lee Elrod was one of the students killed Tuesday, her aunt, Allison McCullough, confirmed to ABC News.

Makenna loved to play softball, do gymnastics, loved to dance and sing, play with fidget toys and spend time with her family, McCullough said. She loved animals and "made friends everywhere she went," her aunt said.

"Her smile would light up a room," she said. Makenna loved to write notes to her family and leave them in hidden places to be found later, her aunt said. Makenna was a natural leader and loved school. She loved going to the ranch with her dad to feed animals and ride on the ranger.

McCullough described her niece as "a light to all who knew her."

"She loved her family and friends so much," she said.

Jailah Nicole Silguero, 11, and Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10

Jailah Nicole Silguero and Jayce Carmelo Luevanos -- cousins who attended Robb Elementary School -- were both killed in the shooting, a family member confirmed to ABC News.

"They were nothing but loving baby angels, always had a smile on their face just full of life," their cousin said in a statement to ABC News. "I can't believe this happened to our angels."

The cousin said the family's grandpa passed away two weeks ago.

"So much loss in so little time," the cousin said.

Rojelio Torres, 10

Rojelio Torres' mother confirmed to ABC News her son was confirmed dead in the shooting. She described Rojelio as a "very smart and loving child."

Annabell Rodriguez, 10, and Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares, 10

Cousins Annabell Rodriguez and Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares were killed in the mass shooting, their aunt, Polly Flores, confirmed to ABC News.

The two cousins were in the same fourth-grade class at Robb Elementary School, Flores said.

Jacklyn's father, Jacinto Cazares, told ABC News his daughter "had the biggest heart."

"My little girl was full of life and touched so many people," he said. "Jackie was the one that would go out of her way to help anyone. It gives me some comfort, that she would be the little cracker that would have done something to help her classmates in that very scary scenario."

Eliahana Cruz Torres

Eliahana Cruz Torres died in the Tuesday shooting, her grandfather Adolfo Cruz confirmed to ABC News. Her death was confirmed to the family late Tuesday night.

Amerie Jo Garza, 10

Amerie Jo Garza's father, Angel Garza, told ABC News that his daughter just turned 10 on May 10. Garza met with U.S. Marshals Tuesday night, who informed him that his daughter had been killed in the shooting at her elementary school.

"Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby," Garza wrote in a statement to ABC News. "She's been found. 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."

Xavier James Lopez, 10

Fourth grader Xavier James Lopez died in the school shooting, his family confirmed to ABC News.

According to his cousin, Xavier's mom was at his awards ceremony one to two hours prior to the shooting, not knowing it would be the last time she would see him.

His grandmother, Amelia Sandoval, told ABC News Tuesday night that Xavier was the "life of the party" and loved to dance and play baseball. He had just made the honor roll.

"You send your kids to school thinking they are coming home," Sandoval said, her voice choking up. "And then they're not."

"We loved him very much and he will be greatly missed," she said.

Eva Mireles

Eva Mireles, a fourth-grade teacher at the elementary school, was killed in the shooting, her aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado, confirmed to ABC News. She had been a teacher in the school district for approximately 17 years, Delgado said.

"I'm furious that these shooting continue. These children are innocent. Rifles should not be easily available to all," Delgado said. "This is my hometown, a small community of less than 20,000. I never imagined this would happen to especially to loved ones."

"All we can do is pray hard for our country, state, schools and especially the families of all," she said.

Amber Ybarra, the cousin of Mireles' husband, called the teacher a "hero" and an "amazing mom."

"She was just very adventurous and courageous and vivacious and could light up a room," Ybarra told ABC News. "She's going to be missed."

Irma Garcia

Irma Garcia was a fourth-grade teacher at Robb Elementary who died in the shooting, her family confirmed to ABC News.

According to the district's website, Garcia had been teaching for 23 years at the school. She also was a co-teacher with Eva Mireles in the same classroom for five years.

Compounding the family's grief, Garcia's husband, Joe, died on Thursday after suffering a massive heart attack, the family said.

Her family said she and her husband, Joe, were about to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. The two had known each other since eighth grade and have four children together.

"I love to BBQ with my husband, listen to music, and take country cruises to Concan," Garcia appeared to have written on the school district's website.

Nevaeh Bravo, 10

A family member confirmed that 10-year-old Navaeh Bravo was killed in the shooting.

Ellie Garcia

Ellie’s mother confirmed to ABC News that she is one of the victims killed in the shooting.

ABC News' Anthony McMahon, Alyssa Pone and Mireya Villarreal contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Mother of Texas gunman says son was 'not a monster,' could be 'aggressive'

Obtained by ABC News

(UVALDE, Texas) -- The mother of the 18-year-old gunman accused of killing 21 at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, this week told ABC News in an interview that her son was "not a monster," but that he could "be aggressive."

"I had an uneasy feeling sometimes, like 'what are you up to?'" Adriana Reyes told ABC News' Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman in an interview at her home. "He can be aggressive... If he really got mad."

Reyes' son, accused shooter Salvador Ramos, allegedly purchased two assault rifles in the days after he turned 18 and used them to carry out the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history -- all within a span of eight days, authorities said.

Twenty-one people, including 19 third- and fourth-grade children, were killed in the attack, law enforcement officials said. Two teachers were killed, as well. Another 17 people were wounded, including three law enforcement officers. Ramos' grandmother, who police say was the accused gunman's first victim, is hospitalized in stable condition.

"We all have a rage, that some people have it more than others," Reyes said.

Reyes expressed sympathy for the children who were killed and the parents who lost them multiple times during the interview, but said she was not aware that her son had been buying the weapons.

"Those kids… I have no words," Reyes said through tears. "I don't know what to say about those poor kids."

Some classmates told ABC News that Ramos was known for fighting and threatening fellow students. They said he exhibited increasingly disturbing behavior over the past two years, threatening at least one classmate and stalking others, and that he claimed to have cut scars into his face.

Ramos is accused of shooting his grandmother at their home in Uvalde before driving his grandparents' car to Robb Elementary School and opening fire.

"Anyone who shoots his grandmother in the face has to have evil in his heart," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said during a press conference Wednesday. "But it is far more evil for someone to gun down little kids."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Texas school shooting seventh deadliest mass shooting in recent US history

Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

(UVALDE, Texas) -- An elementary school in Texas was the site of one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent United States history this week.

Nineteen children and two teachers were killed Tuesday in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, law enforcement officials said.

Seventeen people also suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the shooting, which unfolded midday Tuesday when an alleged 18-year-old gunman opened fire at the school west of San Antonio, authorities said.

The Uvalde school shooting joins the grim ranks of nearly a dozen other mass shootings that have taken place at music festivals, nightclubs and other schools in the past nearly quarter-century in America's unparalleled gun violence epidemic.

The incident makes it the second-deadliest shooting at an elementary, middle or high school in U.S. history -- behind the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 -- and the seventh-deadliest shooting in the country since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999.

Tuesday's horror comes on the heels of yet another deadly mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, and amid a rapid rise in active shooter incidents across the country.

These are the mass shootings with the highest death tolls in recent American history, based on an ABC News analysis:

1: Oct. 1, 2017 -- Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada

60 deaths

Fifty-eight people were killed and hundreds injured after a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, targeting concertgoers below at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. Two victims additionally succumbed to injuries in the years following the massacre. The shooter, Stephen Paddock, killed himself in his hotel suite.

2: June 12, 2016 -- Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida

49 deaths

A gunman opened fire inside the crowded nightclub at around 2 a.m., killing 49 people and wounding dozens. Many of the victims were Latinx and part of the LGBTQ+ community. The shooter -- Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old former security guard -- was killed in a shootout by responding police.

3: April 16, 2007 -- Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia

32 deaths

Twenty-seven students and five professors were killed after Virginia Tech senior Seung-hui Cho, 23, opened fire on the campus in a dorm room and several classrooms. He then turned a gun on himself, dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

4: Dec. 14, 2012 -- Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut

26 deaths

Twenty first-graders and six staff members were killed in minutes when 20-year-old Adam Lanza forced his way into the school with a semi-automatic rifle. Lanza also fatally shot his mother at their Newtown home that day and took his own life after the worst school shooting in U.S. history.

5: Nov. 5, 2017 -- First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas

25 deaths

Twenty-five people between the ages of 5 and 72 were killed after a gunman opened fire during a Sunday service, marking the worst mass shooting at a house of worship in the U.S. ever. One of the shooting victims was pregnant. The shooter, Devin Kelley, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he was chased and shot by two men.

6: Aug. 3, 2019 -- Walmart in El Paso, Texas

23 deaths

The 23rd victim died nearly nine months after the shooting rampage. Patrick Crusius, 23, the alleged gunman, faces state capital murder charges and federal hate crime charges, after allegedly telling investigators that he set out to kill as many Mexicans as he could. He has pleaded not guilty to capital murder, while his federal trial might begin next year.

7: May 24, 2022 -- Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas

21 deaths

In the latest school mass shooting, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother at their home in Uvalde, critically wounding her, before driving to Robb Elementary School and opening fire in a classroom with an AR-15-style rifle. He was shot and killed by a responding law enforcement officer.

8. Feb. 14, 2018 -- Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida

17 deaths

Fourteen children and three staff members were killed after a gunman brought an AR-15 into the high school. The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, 23, a former student at the school, has pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder. His death penalty trial is ongoing.

9: Dec. 2, 2015 -- Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California

14 deaths

Fourteen people were killed and another 21 injured in a terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center, a facility aimed at providing services for the developmentally disabled. The shooters -- Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik -- both died in a shootout by law enforcement that day.

10: April 3, 2009 -- American Civic Association in Binghamton, New York

13 deaths

Immigrants and staff were among those killed and wounded after 41-year-old Jiverly Wong opened fire at the immigration center. Wong took dozens of students hostage before turning the gun on himself and dying by suicide.

11: April 20, 1999 -- Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado

13 deaths

Twelve students and a teacher died when two students, seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, opened fire at their high school before killing themselves. In the wake of the massacre, active shooter drills became more common at schools.

12. Nov. 5, 2009 -- Fort Hood in Fort Hood, Texas

13 deaths

Twelve soldiers and one civilian were killed and dozens injured when Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire on his fellow soldiers, who were preparing to deploy to Afghanistan, at the Texas Army facility. He is currently on the military's death row after being convicted in what is considered the largest mass shooting at a U.S. military base in history.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

These are the security measures the Uvalde School District had in place

Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

(UVALDE, Texas) -- The Texas school district where 19 children elementary school children and two adults were killed appeared to have security measures in place in the event of a school shooting, records show.

Included in the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District preventative security measures plan were lockdown protocols, a system in place to report threats and bullying, threat assessment teams, as well as the monitoring of social media, according to school district documents featured on the school district's website.

The school district also has its own police force with four officers and partners with local law enforcement, according to the document. Secondary campuses have staff who patrol door entrances, parking lots and perimeters of campuses.

The standard response plan to reunify parents with students after an incident was provided in a handout for parents with pickup instructions as well as a "Reunification Information" form for parents to complete that identifies the student and the person who is to pick them up, the documents show.

Other preventative measures include motion detectors and alarm systems, a classroom door policy that requires keeping doors locked at all times, and staff training for emergency protocols. In addition, case managers, social workers and licensed professional counselors are on hand to support students and families, according to the documents.

The suspect, 18-year-old Uvalde High School student Salvador Ramos, allegedly shot his grandmother at a separate scene before crashing a car outside of the Robb Elementary School and emerging from the vehicle with an AR-15-style rifle, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News. His grandmother was airlifted to the hospital and is in critical condition, authorities said.

As Ramos approached the school, he was engaged by a school district police officer, who was then allegedly shot by Ramos, sources said.

At one point, students heard banging on a window before their teacher saw the shooter with a "big gun," a fourth-grade student who was inside the school at the time said in an interview with ABC News, describing the "nonstop" gunshots that followed.

Ramos then entered the school, barricaded himself in a classroom and opened fire, killing 19 students and a teacher, law enforcement sources said.

There, Ramos was shot and killed after trading gunfire with an Uvalde ISD officer and Border Patrol Tactical Unit agents, sources said. Investigators are going through ballistics to determine who fired the shot that killed the suspect.

Authorities have not detailed how Ramos was able to enter the school and classroom despite the security measures in place. Ramos entered the school through a back door, officials said during a press conference Tuesday.

Every door around the building of the school should be locked, and visitors should only be able to access the building from a single point of entry through a secure vestibule that remains locked until they are authorized, security expert Paul Timm, vice president of Facility Engineering Associates, told ABC Chicago station WLS-TV.

Timm said that all classroom doors should remain locked as well, but added that schools often resist that measure because it gets in the way of operations, such as students needing to use the restroom.

Two responding police officers were also injured, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a press conference on Tuesday.

The students killed were mainly third and fourth graders, according to law enforcement sources.

The father of a 10-year-old Jackie Cazares, who was killed in the shooting, blamed the school district for not having locked doors and lacking training and protocol and police for not responding fast enough.

"There was at least 40 lawmen armed to the teeth, but didn't do a darn thing till it was far too late," Jacinto Cazares told ABC News in a statement.

A 2017 to 2020 school district audit by the Texas School Safety Center found that only 200 of the districts reviewed had viable active shooter plans. Of the remaining 822 districts, 626 districts in the state did not have a policy in place, and 196 districts had an insufficient policy, the audit found.

The report did not list specific school districts in Texas and what they ranked.

"Significant appropriations" are provided to ensure that the local school systems around the state have resources for the school safety allotment under Texas Senate Bill 11, Mike Morath, commissioner of education for the Texas Education Agency, said during Tuesday's press conference.

The Texas School Safety Center and the Texas Education Agency provide technical assistance and training to school district leaders to ensure that the threat assessment protocols and these procedures, including threat response plans of the operational multi hazard plans, are practiced on recurring basis, Morath said.

"There have been, essentially, fairly significant efforts to bolster those managerial practices and these detective or preventative practices in schools all over the state of Texas," Morath said. "And we will continue to do more."

The shooting in Uvalde, a small town about 90 minutes west of San Antonio, comes just days after a deadly mass shooting in Buffalo, New York and amid a rapid rise in active shooter incidents in the country.

Ramos legally purchased two AR-style rifles just days after his 18th birthday, law enforcement officials said.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Texas school shooting reopens wounds for Latinos years after El Paso massacre

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

(UVALDE, Texas) -- The cries of parents learning that their children had been killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, reverberated from a local civic center late into the night on Tuesday.

At least 19 children and two teachers are dead after the shooting. Several more were injured.

The shooting has opened fresh wounds across a nation still grieving from the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, just 10 days earlier. For Latinos in Texas, the grief cuts deeper.

In August, it will be the three-year anniversary of the mass shooting shooting in El Paso, where 23 people were gunned down -- the majority of them Latinos -- by an alleged white supremacist. It's regarded as the deadliest attack on Latinos in modern U.S. history.

Robb Elementary School, where this most recent school shooting occurred, has a student population that is 90% Hispanic.

Latinos in Texas are grieving as the trauma of gun violence in or against this community compounds, while the nation continues its fiery political debate about guns, gun violence and how to bring justice to those killed in only the most recent mass shooting.

"I'm emotionally going from sadness to anger," said Rodolfo Rosales, Jr., the Texas state director of the civil rights organization League of United Latin American Citizens.

"I can actually feel my emotions shifting as I speak to you because of the fact that I don't understand the lack of action," he said. "I don't understand. Why there are children dead today in an elementary school, I don't get it."

Hispanics are disproportionately affected by firearms violence in the United States, according to the research organization Violence Policy Center.

Nearly 70,000 Hispanics were killed by guns between 1999 and 2019, the organization found, including 44,614 gun homicide victims and 21,466 gun suicides.

Juan Ortiz, who lives in El Paso and runs a mutual aid service called Casa Carmelita near the border, told ABC News he's grappling with the pain of continuing to see people from his community being killed in these types of tragedies.

"The psychological toll that it's taking, you can feel it," Ortiz said. "And I think the rest of the nation should feel it as well."

Texas, where Hispanic people make up almost 40% of the population, has seen mass shootings become painfully common, with several high-profile tragedies in recent years. Among them: a drive-by shooting spree that killed seven in Odessa and Midland in 2019, and the massacre of 26 at a church in Sutherland Springs in 2017.

Ortiz said people have even shown up with guns to counter-protest activists like himself. Ortiz was a victim of gun violence in the 1990s, and he said the recent shootings and events have made him feel emotionally numb as he rehashes old pain.

"The problems and fixes just seem so massive that most people don't even know where to start," he said. "Everyone's in mourning. Things feel really heavy."

Ortiz said his work as an activist is getting harder with each new tragedy, as people become "over-extended and tired and traumatized." It has taken a toll on many, he said.

Fred Sandoval, the executive director of the National Latino Behavioral Health Association, says that repeated violence targeting Latinos is likely to impact the mental health and wellbeing of those grieving the continued loss of community members.

He said the shock from the incident may stun people into shutting down -- an act that he urges against.

He said stress and trauma can lead to many different symptoms -- including lack of sleep, loss of appetite, forgetfulness and confusion -- which could impact one's health in the long term if left unaddressed. Daily routines and lives are disrupted by such incidents -- a disruption that may grow larger with each new one, he said.

Salvador said that now is the time for people to band together. Latinos, he said, often have a communal spirit and he saw the power of community support following the El Paso shooting.

Sandoval said local efforts to respond to mental health needs and to provide mutual aid support during the aftermath of the incident should set an example for how Uvalde should move forward.

Culturally-competent mental health resources are important for communities with language barriers and stigma against mental illness, he said.

"Everybody else in the school, all your neighbors, live in this community. They're all very tightly knit together, right? Everybody knows each other or knows the family," Sandoval said.

He continued, "[They need to have] a local community response that's aided by allies and practitioners who look like them, talk like them, speak like them, and are able to help them learn coping mechanisms and learn how to be able to process what they're experiencing."

Avoiding isolation and receiving or reaching out for help -- professional or not -- are important tools for coping with grief, he said. Sandoval urges neighbors and community members to check on one another.

In the face of adversity, Salvador said, Latino communities have looked out for one another and he hopes Uvalde does the same as it attempts to heal and move forward from this latest devastation.

"[El Paso] did an incredible job dealing with that communal loss," Salvador said. "That loss has still scarred their life experience. It's still there. It didn't go away. But it just simply means that people at least didn't get left behind, given the emotional impact."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

New York City subway shooting suspect ordered held without bail

New York City Police Dept.

(NEW YORK) -- The alleged suspect in the unprovoked fatal shooting of 48-year-old Daniel Enriquez on a Q train in New York City was ordered held without bail on Wednesday.

Andrew Abdullah, 25, of Brooklyn, was arrested Wednesday after arranging a surrender through his pastor to officers at the 5th precinct, according to law enforcement sources.

During a court appearance Wednesday, prosecutors described Abdullah as a man with an extensive criminal history who, after allegedly shooting Enriquez in the chest, told the other passengers to put their cell phones away, according to ABC New York station WABC-TV.

Abdullah's attorney, Kristin Braun of Legal Aid Society, told the judge that only one of six witnesses in a lineup could identify the suspect, whom officials have said was wearing a mask on the train, WABC reported.

Abdullah did not speak during the arraignment, according to WABC. His next court date is scheduled for Friday.

Abdullah has about 20 prior arrests, including an outstanding gun charge from last year, according to sources. He also has prior arrests for assault, robbery, menacing and grand larceny, sources said.

Abdullah has three cases that are still pending, including an April arrest for fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property for allegedly being found with a stolen motorcycle, as well as a June 2021 arrest for violating a protective order and March 2021 arrest for assault.

"We moved over 2,900 illegal guns off our streets," Mayor Eric Adams said in a Tuesday press conference on the arrest. "As soon as we placed them on, more return with bad guys who feel comfortable enough even after we arrest them, that they can come back out and wreak havoc on our city. The industry pumps guns into the community faster than we can take them out. The rest of the shooter doesn't change what is going on every day in this industry."

Detectives have also recovered the gun used in the shooting.

It is believed the suspect handed the gun to a homeless man as he fled the Canal Street station. The homeless man then apparently sold the gun for $10 to a third person, who reported it to police, the sources said.

The New York Police Department released surveillance photos Monday of the suspect believed to have shot Enriquez taken shortly after he exited the subway.

The motive for the shooting is still unknown.

In January 2020, Abdullah was arrested as part of a gun-related case and in May 2017 he was charged with second-degree attempted murder as part of an 83-count federal indictment of the Harlem-based street gangs Fast Money and Nine Block. Abdullah was sentenced to three years in federal prison, but served just four months before being released in 2019.

Witnesses say the suspect, alleged to be Abdullah, was pacing back and forth in the last car of a Manhattan-bound train around 11:45 a.m. when he pulled out a gun and fired it at Enriquez unprovoked, according to NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey.

The shooting comes a little over a month after a Brooklyn subway rider opened fire on a train car, wounding 10 people. The suspect in that shooting, Frank James, was arrested one day later in lower Manhattan.

Transit crime is up 62.5% in the city year-to-date from 2021, according to NYPD statistics.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

San Francisco Pride parade bans police uniforms, LGBTQ officers refuse to march

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(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Police will be barred from wearing their uniforms at the June 26 Pride march in San Francisco, one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the world. Instead, officers are being advised to march in T-shirts that represent their local law enforcement agency.

The decision has caused a heated debate in the city. However, the discourse stretches across the country, as cities reconsider the presence of police at LGBTQ-led events.

Last year, New York City's Pride parade organizers banned officers from marching in the parade for the first time in decades.

Police presence was reduced at the event, as organizers say they are reckoning with the legacy of police brutality and abuse against LGBTQ people that the community says continues today.

The heated relationship between San Francisco police and others in the LGBTQ community came to a head in 2019 when a protest on the parade route ended with people being arrested, shoved and allegedly injured by police.

"Some members of our community, the presence of the police in the parade is difficult for them, given their history with the police department," San Francisco Pride Director Suzanne Ford has said on the impact of the march on the community. "So we want to honor and make sure that we protect and make people feel safe."

The difficult relationship between police and members of the LGBTQ community has a longstanding history. In 1969, a police raid on patrons at The Stonewall Inn in New York City led to an uprising that gave rise to the gay-rights movement. The bar is now a National Historic Landmark. However, that raid was just one of many examples of police violence against the LGBTQ community, according to historians.

There was a time when every state in America criminalized same-sex sexual behavior. That changed in 1962 and, in 2003, the landmark case Lawrence v. Texas led to the nationwide decriminalization of sexual activity between same-sex couples.

San Francisco officers have responded to the uniform ban by collectively refusing to march in the parade, which will take place on June 26, 2022.

In a statement, the San Francisco Police Department said it "supports the decision of our LGBTQ+ officers" but will still be in attendance for security reasons.

"The San Francisco Police Department is committed to not only serving the diverse communities of San Francisco, but to embracing the diversity of our members," the statement read. "We recognize the struggles that our LGBTQ+ members have overcome, both within the department as well as outside the department."

San Francisco Mayor London Breed denounced the event organizers' decision to bar police uniforms from the parade. She said she loves the parade, but will refuse to join the festivities if parade organizers don't reverse their decision, according to a statement sent to ABC News

"I’ve made this very hard decision in order to support those members of the LGBTQ community who serve in uniform, in our Police Department and Sheriff’s Department, who have been told they cannot march in uniform, and in support of the members of the Fire Department who are refusing to march out of solidarity with their public safety partners," Breed said.

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Parkland parent, Sandy Hook survivor speak out on Texas school shooting

ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Nineteen children and two teachers are among those killed Tuesday at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, a small rural town. The gunman, who has been identified as an 18-year-old who attended the local high school, is also dead, according to authorities.

As the country is left reeling in the wake of another mass shooting, Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin Oliver, who was killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, and Mary Ann Jacob, who survived the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut in 2012, speak on the surge of deadly gun violence.

“I think we all thought after the shooting at Sandy Hook School when 20 first-graders died and six teachers, that would drive change and if that was true, then Manuel wouldn’t be on TV with us tonight losing Joaquin, and these parents wouldn't be going through what they’re going through today,” Jacob told ABC News Live Prime.

It is nearly 10 years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting -- one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. On that day, Jacob saved 19 children by barricading them in a closet.

Since then, there have been nearly 980 active and non-active school shooting situations, according to data from the Center for Homeland Defense and Security Naval Postgraduate School.

“It is shocking to me really that after seeing all the different communities it has happened in, we still don't believe that it can happen in our own community and if we’re not willing to do something,” said Jacob. “Our legislatures are not going to do anything, unless we push them to do something. So vote for people who care about what you care about and make sure that they are going to drive change.”

Jacob said there is no way to shield American children from gun violence, but there is a way to make change through legislative and political action.

“There really is no way to protect your kids from it. I mean your kids are affected just like every kid in the country by watching on TV, knowing other kids who have died, hiding under their desks during active shooter drills,” said Jacob. “But there is a way to change it and that's by electing people and making sure that the people you elect are accountable for what we need to be doing and every single person in America ought to be doing that.”

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., delivered an impassioned argument on the Senate floor late Tuesday afternoon. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are among the political leaders who have spoken out and are demanding change.

Oliver lost his son Joaquin in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead and more injured. The gunman, Nikolas Cruz, was 19 years old at the time.

Oliver said it shouldn’t have taken another school shooting for a national debate on gun laws.

“The myth behind the ‘good guy with the gun’ is just broken after what happened today in Texas. Where there are a lot of ‘good guys with guns,’” said Oliver.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, guns are the leading cause of death among American children and teens. Nearly 1 out of 10 gun deaths are among those 19 and younger.

Oliver said he cannot offer any comforting words for parents who have lost a child to gun violence.

“There is no comfort possible here,” said Oliver. “You need to take advantage of those cameras today to expose your anger, your sadness, your frustration. Not only to our leaders, we’re talking about corporations here that allow this to happen... This is something that happens only in America. We are known all around the world for this.”

He added that other parents should realize that the same thing could happen to their own child.

“I don’t need to worry about losing my kid because I already lost him - but you do. It’s not about one person, or your kids, in particular, but everyone in America,” said Oliver. “We provide those guns. We provide those inactions. [Children] should go to school like I went to school, have fun, enjoy the day and go back home. Make them stay safe.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Texas school shooting updates: Gunman sent Facebook messages before shooting


(UVALDE, Texas) -- A small town in rural Texas is reeling after a gunman opened fire at an elementary school on Tuesday, killing 19 children.

Two teachers were also among those killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, authorities said.

Prior to opening fire at the school, the suspect also allegedly shot his grandmother, authorities said.

The suspect -- identified by officials as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a student at Uvalde High School -- is dead.

Here's how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

May 25, 11:45 pm
Four specialized Border Patrol agents took down school shooter

There were four Border Patrol agents, members of elite specialized units, who engaged and stopped the elementary school shooter, along with state and local officers, a Customs and Border Protection official told ABC News.

One agent, who was part of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit, or BORTAC, held a shield as the group pushed toward the gunman's incoming fire, the official said.

Two BORTAC agents discharged their weapons along with one member of the Border Patrol's Search, Trauma and Rescue unit -- all part of the group of four.

At least one BORTAC agent shot the gunman, although it's unclear who among them killed him, the official said.

May 25, 10:38 pm
Gunman texted friend he was headed to 'shoot up a elementary school' just before shooting, alleged messages show

Moments before carrying out the deadly attack at Robb Elementary, the suspected gunman allegedly sent a string of messages to a young girl he met online, detailing that he had shot his grandmother and was heading to the school for his next target, according to messages reviewed by ABC News.

The messages allegedly show the accused gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, texting with a 15-year-old in Germany who he met on the social media platform Yubo, describing an argument he was having with his grandmother over a phone bill before texting, "I shot my grandmother in the head" and "ima go shoot up a elementary school rn."

"She's on the phone with AT&T," Ramos allegedly wrote at 11:06 a.m., while referring to his grandmother with a derogatory term.

"Ima do something to her rn," he said in another alleged message. Minutes later, the gunman allegedly wrote, "I shot my grandmother in the head" before immediately adding "ima go shoot up a elementary school rn."

The friend did not reply to the accused gunman's messages until news broke regarding the shooting, according to the screenshot reviewed by ABC News.

Speaking to The New York Times, the girl said she only asked a friend in the United States about contacting law enforcement after she saw news of the shooting, telling The Times, “Maybe I could’ve changed the outcome... just could never guess that he’d actually do this.”

Law enforcement sources tell ABC News the messages are part of the ongoing investigation into the shooter.

May 25, 7:54 pm
March for Our Lives event planned for June 11 in DC

March for Our Lives, a student-led movement in support of gun control legislation that formed in response to a 2018 school shooting, is planning a march in the nation's capital in the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.

"In 2018 you marched with us to end gun violence. 4 years later, we're marching again," the organization said on Twitter Wednesday evening, announcing a march in D.C. on June 11.

The organization held a march following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018 that killed 17 people.

May 25, 6:39 pm
Gunman likely killed by Customs and Border Protection SWAT team member

Authorities believe the Uvalde school shooter was shot and killed by a member of the Customs and Border Protection's tactical unit, known as BORTAC, CBP Del Rio Sector Chief Jason Owens told ABC News.

Owens, who did not identify the agent, said his actions "were absolutely courageous," but added it wouldn't be fair to single anyone out.

"It would be unfair to say that any one person's actions were singularly responsible for ending that threat," Owens said. "It took everybody."

-ABC News' Josh Margolin and Mireya Villarreal

May 25, 6:25 pm
Gunman shot and killed within hour of entering school, authorities say

As law enforcement officials continue to scrutinize each movement made by alleged gunman Salvador Ramos inside Robb Elementary School, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said that law enforcement officers shot and killed the suspect roughly 40 minutes to an hour after his first encounter with the school district's resource officer at the building entrance.

"I don’t want to give you a particular timeline. But the bottom line is that law enforcement was there," McCraw told reporters during a briefing Wednesday. "They did engage immediately. They did contain him in the classroom, and they put a tactical stack together in a very orderly way and of course breached.”

McCraw later said that investigators plan to go frame-by-frame through surveillance footage to "track every minute" of the gunman's movement and will provide an update once that work is completed.

-ABC News' Lucien Bruggeman

May 25, 5:09 pm
Suspected shooter not wearing body armor

The suspected Robb Elementary School shooter was not wearing body armor during Tuesday's massacre, multiple law enforcement officials told ABC News.

The alleged gunman was wearing tactical gear, including a vest that could hold ammunition, but there was no armor or fabric that would protect him from gunfire, the sources said.

-ABC News' Matt Gutman, Josh Margolin and Aaron Katersky

May 25, 4:54 pm
Bidens to visit Texas in 'upcoming days' to meet with victims' families

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will be traveling to Texas in the "upcoming days," the president said Wednesday.

The two plan to meet with the victims' families "and let them know that we have a sense, just a sense of their pain. And hopefully bring some little comfort to the community in shock and grief and in trauma," the president said during an address Wednesday afternoon.

The president said he was "sick and tired" of the "carnage" that is happening in the U.S.

"The idea that an 18-year-old can walk into a store and buy weapons of war, designed and marketed to kill, is I think just wrong. Just violates common sense," he said. "Where's the backbone, where's the courage to stand up to a very powerful lobby?"

May 25, 4:35 pm
Accused shooter purchased guns at local store: Sources

The accused gunman in Tuesday's deadly school shooting purchased two AR-15-style rifles at Oasis Outback, a federally licensed store located in Uvalde, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

A general manager at Oasis Outback told ABC News that he is working with law enforcement but would not comment on whether the alleged shooter did or did not purchase his guns there.

Oasis Outback is located approximately 3 miles from Robb Elementary School.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the alleged shooter made his gun purchases on two separate days: May 17 and May 20. That means he bought the first AR-15-style rifle one day after he turned 18 and the second four days before the shooting.

Both weapons were purchased at that same store, Steve McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, confirmed during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

The guns were purchased legally.

-ABC News' Josh Margolin, Aaron Katersky, Laura Romero and Olivia Rubin

May 25, 4:24 pm
Accused shooter purchased guns at local store: Sources

The accused gunman in Tuesday's deadly school shooting purchased two AR-15-style rifles at Oasis Outback, a federally licensed store located in Uvalde, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

A general manager at Oasis Outback told ABC News that he is working with law enforcement but would not comment on whether the alleged shooter did or did not purchase his guns there.

Oasis Outback is located approximately 3 miles from Robb Elementary School.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the alleged shooter made his gun purchases on two separate days: May 17 and May 20. That means he bought the first AR-15-style rifle one day after he turned 18 and the second four days before the shooting.

Both weapons were purchased at that same store, Steve McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, confirmed during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

The guns were purchased legally.

-ABC News' Josh Margolin, Aaron Katersky, Laura Romero and Olivia Rubin

May 25, 4:09 pm
Rep. Hoyer to bring 'red flag' bill to House floor next month

The House will move on a bill to create a national red flag law, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland.

The bill would allow family members or law enforcement officers to "petition for an extreme risk protection order with respect to an individual who poses a risk to themselves or others."

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., whose 17-year-old son Jordan Davis was fatally shot in 2012.

Hoyer said on Twitter Wednesday that he plans to bring the bill to the floor when the House returns from recess next month.

-ABC News' Lalee Ibssa

May 25, 2:48 pm
Gunman warned about shooting in Facebook messages minutes beforehand, Meta says

The gunman warned about the shooting in private messages on Facebook minutes beforehand, a spokesperson for Meta said Wednesday. The warning on Facebook was made in "private one-to-one text messages that were discovered after the terrible tragedy occurred."

The gunman sent three messages on Facebook about 30 minutes before the shooting saying: "I'm going to shoot my grandmother," "I shot my grandmother" and "I'm going to shoot an elementary school," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a press conference.

Abbott said the suspect was reportedly a high school dropout. Officials have reportedly not identified a criminal history for the suspect, but Abbott said he may have had a juvenile record, but that is yet to be determined.

Abbott said the suspect did not have a known mental health history.

According to the ATF, the shooter made his gun purchases on two separate days: May 17 and May 20.

May 25, 2:09 pm
Beto O'Rourke interrupts press conference, yelling at Texas governor

Beto O'Rourke, a candidate running for governor of Texas, interrupted a press conference held by current Gov. Greg Abbott Wednesday, shouting at Abbott before being escorted from the building.

O'Rourke protested the current governor's stance on gun control.

"You are doing nothing!” he shouted.

May 25, 1:13 pm
6 people injured in shooting remain hospitalized

Six people injured in the Texas elementary school shooting remain hospitalized on Wednesday.

Three children and one adult are at the University Hospital in San Antonio, two of whom are in serious condition.

Two other adults are hospitalized at Brooke Army Medical Center, both in serious condition.

All patients treated at Uvalde Medical Center have been discharged. The hospital said it treated 15 individuals, 11 of whom were children. Three of those 11 children were transferred to other hospitals in San Antonio and eight were discharged home.

The four remaining patients were adults, one was transferred to another hospital and three were discharged home.

-ABC News' Jennifer Watts

May 25, 1:05 pm
Father of victim says he holds school, police responsible for the massacre

Jacinto Cazares, the father of Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares, a 10-year-old killed in the Texas elementary school shooting, told ABC News he blames the school and police for the massacre, not the murder weapons.

"I want to say we hold the school responsible for not having locked doors and no protocol, no training. Also the Police for not having a better and faster tactical response time. There was at least 40 lawmen armed to the teeth, but didn't do a darn thing till it was far too late," Cazares told ABC News in a statement.

He added, "The situation could've been over quick if they had better tactical training and we as a community witnessed it first hand. I'm a gun owner and I do not blame the weapons used in this tragedy. I'm angry how easy it is to get one and young you can be to purchase one."

-ABC News' Miles Cohen

May 25, 1:01 pm
Homeland Security secretary calls shooting 'callous act of violence'

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the department is "horrified by this callous act of violence," in a statement Wednesday.

Mayorkas said one Border Patrol agent was injured in the crossfire.

"We are grateful for the courageous members of our Border Patrol, many of whom are part of the Uvalde and surrounding communities, who immediately responded to the scene along with local and state law enforcement," Mayorkas said.

He added, "Without hesitation, they put themselves between the shooter and students to end the bloodshed and administer medical aid. Without question, their heroism yesterday saved lives."

The department will continue to coordinate with local, state and federal partners, Mayorkas said.

"As we pray for the families and loved ones and recognize the bravery of frontline law enforcement personnel, we must redouble our collective efforts to make our communities safer," Mayorkas said.

May 25, 12:19 pm
Texas state senator urges Congress to pass assault weapons control

Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez called on lawmakers to act on gun control, specifically calling on them to look into an assault weapons ban at the federal level, in an interview on ABC News Live Wednesday.

"We have to make sure that we're creating laws in the state of Texas, as well as at the federal level, so that we can stop access to these types of militarized weapons," Gutierrez said on ABC News Live.

"I know my district -- there's nobody in this district that goes hunting with an AR-15," Gutierrez said, referring to the assault weapon the alleged shooter had purchased two days before the shooting.

Gutierrez called on the U.S. Senate to break the filibuster and pass legislation in order to stop seeing "these types of militarized weapons."

"We have young, confused men, young men violating lives across this country and violating families across this country."

He added, "It is high time that we do something. My heart goes out to the people in my community here in the valley, but we've got to take that to another level and do something now. Because if we can't do something, then what are we? What are we sending people off to Washington for? What are we sending people up to Austin for? We've got to do more."

May 25, 11:50 am
Gun violence is a 'plague upon this nation,' Sen. Chuck Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer gave a passionate speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, calling gun violence “a plague upon this nation."

"The problem in the Senate is simple too many members on the other side of the aisle are disconnected from the suffering of the American people, too many members on that side care more about the NRA than they do about families who grieve victims of gun violence," Schumer said.

Schumer criticized Republicans for their opposition to gun control legislation.

"Republicans don't pretend that they support sensible gun safety legislation. They don't pretend to be moved by the fact that 90% of Americans, regardless of party, support something as common sense as background checks," Schumer said.

Schumer said he aches for the families of those killed in Texas and urged Republicans to act "for the sake of these children."

"To my Republican colleagues: Imagine if it happened to you. Imagine if this was your kid or your grandkid. How would you feel? Could you ever forgive yourself for not supporting a simple law that would make these mass shootings less likely? Please, please, please dammit. Put yourself in the shoes of these parents for once," Schumer said.

-ABC News' Trish Turner

May 25, 10:31 am
6 people injured in shooting remain hospitalized

Six people injured in the Texas elementary school shooting remain hospitalized on Wednesday.

Three children and one adult are at the University Hospital in San Antonio, two of whom are in serious condition. Two other adults are hospitalized at Brooke Army Medical Center, both in critical condition.

All patients treated at Uvalde Medical Center have been discharged. The hospital said it treated 15 individuals, 11 of whom were children. Three of those 11 children were transferred to other hospitals in San Antonio and eight were discharged home.

The four remaining patients were adults, one was transferred to another hospital and three were discharged home.

-ABC News' Jennifer Watts

May 25, 10:16 am
Texas governor to hold press conference at 1:30 p.m. ET

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will hold a press conference Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. ET to discuss the state's response to the Robb Elementary School shooting.

The governor will be joined by state officials including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Texas state House Speaker Dade Phelan, U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzalez.

May 25, 9:16 am
Gunman's grandfather says he was unaware the suspect purchased weapons

Rolando Reyes, 72, the gunman's grandfather, told ABC News he had no idea his grandson had purchased two AR-15-style rifles or that they were in his house.

Since Reyes is a felon, it is illegal for him to live in a house with firearms. Reyes said he would have turned his grandson in.

Reyes said there were no signs the morning of the shooting that anything unusual was going to happen. The suspect had a minor argument with his grandmother over the payment of a phone bill, but nothing significant.

The suspect lived in a front room and slept on a mattress on the floor, according to Reyes. The suspect had been staying with his grandparents after having a falling out with his mother.

Reyes said he took the suspect to work sometimes and that he was very quiet, but he did not seem violent. Reyes also said he tried to encourage his grandson to go to school but the suspect would typically just shrug in response.

Reyes said the suspect did not know how to drive and did not have a driver's license. Reyes also wondered how his grandson would have even gone to purchase the weapons or if he trained on the weapons, saying someone must have taken him there.

The suspect's grandmother, who he shot in the forehead, is undergoing surgery on Wednesday. Reyes said he believes she will survive.

May 25, 8:43 am
Shooter purchased two rifles within eight days of turning 18 this month

Salvador Ramos, the suspect in the Robb Elementary School shooting, after turning 18 on May 16, purchased two rifles and carried out the second-worst school shooting in U.S. history within the span of eight days, according to multiple law enforcement officials.

The suspect purchased two AR-15-style rifles on May 22, two days before the massacre and six days after his birthday, multiple law enforcement officials told ABC News. They were legal purchases.

Once the shooter made entry into a classroom he barricaded himself and opened fire, according to the sources.

Officers from the Uvalde Police Department and agents from Customs and Border Protection entered into the classroom and immediately took fire from the gunman before they shot and killed him.

Investigators are going through the ballistics to determine who fired the fatal shot.

May 25, 6:46 am
Ukrainian president offers condolences to families of the victims

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy offered his condolences to the families of the victims of the shooting on Twitter.

"Deeply saddened by the news of the murder of innocent children in Texas. Sincere condolences to the families of the victims, the people of the US and @POTUS over this tragedy," Zelenskyy said in a tweet.

Zelenskyy added: "The people of Ukraine share the pain of the relatives and friends of the victims and all Americans."

May 25, 5:24 am
Matthew McConaughey calls for action after shooting

Actor Matthew McConaughey decried the shooting in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

"We have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us," he wrote in a statement on Twitter.

"We cannot exhale once again, make excuses, and accept these tragic realities as the status quo," he said.

May 25, 4:55 am
Amanda Gorman pens poem about shooting

The 24-year-old National Youth Poet Laureate took to Twitter following the tragedy to share a poem.

She also posted a series of tweets on gun violence.

“It takes a monster to kill children,” she wrote. “But to watch monsters kill children again and again and do nothing isn’t just insanity -- it’s inhumanity.”

For full coverage, click here.

May 25, 4:55 am
Biden addresses 'horrific' mass shooting

President Joe Biden addressed the nation Tuesday night following the mass shooting in Texas -- not even two weeks after he mourned victims of the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York.

"I’d hoped, when I became president, I would not have to do this again," Biden said. "Another massacre. Uvalde, Texas. An elementary school. Beautiful, second-, third-, fourth-graders."

"As a nation, we have to ask when in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby," he said. "I am sick and tired of it -- we have to act."

For full coverage, click here.

May 25, 4:55 am
Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy pleads with lawmakers after shooting

Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy gave an impassioned argument on the Senate floor to his colleagues late Tuesday afternoon, hours after 21 were killed in the mass shooting.

"What are we doing?" Murphy asked the chamber. "There have been more mass shootings than days in the year."

"Our kids are living in fear every single time they set foot in the classroom because they think they're going to be next. What are we doing?" he asked.

For Murphy's remarks and full coverage, click here.

May 25, 4:55 am
What we know about the victims

A fourth-grade teacher and a 10-year-old boy were among those killed, ABC News has learned.

The teacher, Eva Mireles, had worked in the school district for approximately 17 years, her aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado, confirmed to ABC News.

Fourth-grader Xavier Lopez was among the 19 children killed.

For full coverage, click here.

May 25, 4:55 am
What we know about the shooting so far

At least 21 people are dead after a gunman opened fire in Uvalde on Tuesday, authorities said.

Most of the victims were children in their last week of school before the summer break. Many other students and adults were injured in the mass shooting.

Here's what we know about what unfolded so far.

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