Uvalde School Shooting

Uvalde Grapples With Loss, Uncertainty After 21 Killed in Texas' Deadliest School Shooting

Gov. Greg Abbott shared new information about how the shooting unfolded during a briefing Wednesday afternoon

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Members of the Uvalde community gathered Wednesday evening to remember 19 children and two teachers killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas Tuesday in what has become the deadliest school shooting in the state's history.

The vigil comes as new questions are being asked about the response time to the shooting, where some onlookers said they had to urge law enforcement to enter the school building soon after the attack began. Uvalde City Councilman Everardo Zamora said on NBC's "TODAY" show that it's a "misconception" that officers weren't going inside the school.

Inside Robb Elementary School, the 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself inside a classroom and fired indiscriminately at children and teachers using an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle before police officers stormed the class and killed him.

Investigators shed no light on the motive for the attack, which also left 17 people wounded. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said the gunman, a resident of the small, predominantly Latino town about 85 miles west of San Antonio, had no known criminal or mental health history.

The massacre was the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012 and is now the deadliest school shooting to have occurred in Texas, eclipsing the 1966 shooting on the campus of the University of Texas that left 18 people dead in the state capital.


Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman's rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed.

“Go in there! Go in there!” nearby women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, Juan Carranza, 24, told the Associated Press. He says he saw the scene from outside his house, across the street from Robb Elementary School in the close-knit town of Uvalde. Carranza said the officers did not go in.

Javier Cazares, whose fourth-grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, said he raced to the school when he heard about the shooting, arriving while police were still gathered outside the building.

Upset that police were not moving in, he raised the idea of charging into the school with several other bystanders.

“Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,” he said, in words he later confirmed to NBC News. “More could have been done.”

“They were unprepared,” he added.

“The bottom line is law enforcement was there," McCraw said. “They did engage immediately. They did contain him in the classroom.”

Uvalde City Councilman Everardo Zamora said on NBC's "TODAY" show that it's a "misconception" that officers weren't going inside the school. He said police "were already in there" and the law enforcement officers outside were trying to "control the people from going in there."


The 18-year-old who killed 19 children in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday was a high school senior who had a turbulent home life, seemed to have few friends and by some accounts was bullied by other students, according to law enforcement officials and acquaintances.

The gunman often fought with his mother, his mother’s boyfriend, 62-year-old Juan Alvarez, told NBC. The teen left the house in Uvalde two months ago after a bad argument when she disconnected their Wi-Fi, Alvarez said. He went to stay with his grandmother.

“He was kind of a weird one,” Alvarez said. “I never got along with him. I never socialized with him. He doesn’t talk to nobody. When you try to talk to him he’d just sit there and walk away.”

The day of the attack on the school, Salvador Rolando Ramos shot his grandmother in the face, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, then left for Robb Elementary School, where he also killed two teachers.


Hundreds of people packed into the Uvalde Fairplex Arena on Wednesday evening for a prayer vigil to remember the 19 children and two teachers murdered Tuesday.

Local and state leaders joined law enforcement, local pastors and residents in prayer.

One family in attendance lost not one, but two members in the shooting. Neveah Bravo was among the 19 children gunned down inside Robb Elementary School. Her mother told NBC 5 that her daughter's favorite color was pink.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) were among the attendees at the prayer vigil, hours after updating the state on a timeline of Tuesday's tragedy.


In a briefing Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott said the gunman sent three private Facebook messages to another user about 30 minutes before the massacre began with the first saying that he was going to shoot his grandmother, then that he had shot the woman, and finally that he was going to shoot up an elementary school, according to Abbott.

It was not clear whether he specified which elementary school in the messages and officials have not said to who the private messages were sent.

A Meta spokesman said the private one-to-one text messages were “discovered after the terrible tragedy.” Spokesman Andy Stone said Facebook is cooperating closely with law enforcement in their investigation.

In other social media posts, in the days and hours leading up to the massacre, the gunman appeared to drop hints that something was going to happen and tagged acquaintances in posts that included photos of guns.

“I barely know you and u tag me in a picture with some guns,” replied an Instagram user, who has since removed her profile. “It’s just scary.”

Instagram confirmed to The Associated Press that it is working with law enforcement to review an account but declined to answer questions about the postings. Investigators are also looking at an account on TikTok, possibly belonging to the shooter, with a profile that reads: “Kids be scared IRL,” an acronym meaning “in real life.” The profile is not dated.


Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday provided what may be the most detailed account to date of what officials believe happened when the gunman walked into the school and slaughtered 19 children and two teachers.

Abbott, flanked by a cadre of senators and state officials, started off his briefing Wednesday saying, "evil swept across Uvalde yesterday."

The governor said before the gunman entered the elementary school he shot his grandmother in the face, took her truck and crashed it in a ditch adjacent to the campus. The 66-year-old woman survived the shooting and called 911 after he left.

Anyone who shoots his grandmother in the face has to have evil in his heart. But it is far more evil for someone to gun down little kids. It is intolerable and it is unacceptable for us to have in this state anybody who would kill little kids in our schools.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

After he crashed into the ditch, NBC News learned the man reportedly ran toward the school carrying a rifle and was confronted by a Uvalde school district officer. They exchanged fire and the officer was wounded, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Travis Considine said. The gunman then went inside and exchanged more gunfire with two arriving Uvalde police officers, who were still outside, Considine said. Those officers were also wounded.

Dillon Silva, whose nephew was in a nearby classroom, said students were watching the Disney movie “Moana” when they heard several loud pops and a bullet shattered a window. Moments later, their teacher saw the attacker stride past the door.

“Oh, my God, he has a gun!” the teacher shouted twice, according to Silva. “The teacher didn’t even have time to lock the door,” he said.

NBC News reported at some point, the man entered a double classroom, locked the door and began shooting.

Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety told NBC's "TODAY" show the shooter "was able to make entry into a classroom, barricaded himself inside that classroom, and again, just began shooting, numerous children and teachers who were in that classroom, having no regard for human life."

[He] just began shooting anyone that was in his way.

Lt. Christopher Olivarez, Texas DPS

Local law enforcement was joined by a tactical team from the U.S. Border Patrol but they were not able to get past the locked door until a school official gave them a master key, according to NBC News. It was then CBP officers entered the classroom and exchanged shots with the gunman, killing him.

Police and others responding to the attack also went around breaking windows at the school to enable students and teachers to escape.

After the shooting, officers found a rifle in the gunman's truck and another rifle in the school, according to the briefing given to lawmakers. The gunman was wearing a tactical vest, but it had no hardened body-armor plates inside, lawmakers were told. The gunman also dropped a backpack containing several magazines full of ammunition near the school entrance.


The gunman legally bought two AR-15-style rifles and nearly 400 rounds of ammunition in the four days after his birthday on May 16, authorities said.

A senior official from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms told NBC News' Morgan Chesky that Ramos used one of the guns in the shooting.

On the day he bought his second weapon last week, an Instagram account that investigators said apparently belonged to him carried a photo of two AR-style rifles. That post tagged another Instagram user, one with more than 10,000 followers, asking her to share the picture.

One of the guns was purchased at a federally licensed dealer in the Uvalde area on May 17, according to state Sen. John Whitmire, who was briefed by investigators. The shooter bought 375 rounds of ammunition the next day, then purchased the second rifle last Friday.

“I just don’t know how people can sell that type of a gun to a kid 18 years old,” Eliahna’s aunt, Siria Arizmendi, said angrily through tears. “What is he going to use it for but for that purpose?”


Amid calls around the U.S. for tighter restrictions on firearms, Gov. Greg Abbott instead repeatedly talked Wednesday about mental health struggles among Texas young people and brought up laws in New York, Chicago and California to argue that tougher gun laws don't prevent violence.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott discusses the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who is running against Abbott for governor this year, interrupted the governor's news conference, calling the Republican’s response to the tragedy “predictable.”


As details of the latest mass killing to rock the U.S. emerged late Tuesday night, grief engulfed Uvalde, population 16,000.

The dead included an outgoing 10-year-old, Eliahna Garcia, who loved to sing, dance and play basketball; a fellow fourth grader, Xavier Javier Lopez, who had been eagerly awaiting a summer of swimming; and a teacher, Eva Mireles, with 17 years experience whose husband is an officer with the school district’s police department.

The bloodshed was the latest in a seemingly unending string of mass killings at churches, schools, stores and other sites in the U.S. Just 10 days earlier, 10 Black people were shot to death in a racist rampage at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket.


In a somber address to the nation hours after the attack in Texas, President Joe Biden pleaded for Americans to “stand up to the gun lobby” and enact tougher restrictions, saying: “When in God’s name are we going to do what has to be done?”

But the prospects for any reform of the nation’s gun regulations appeared dim. Repeated attempts over the years to expand background checks and enact other curbs have run into Republican opposition in Congress.

Texas, which has some of the most gun-friendly laws in the nation, has been the site of some of the deadliest shootings in the U.S. over the past five years. The shooting came days before the National Rifle Association annual convention was set to begin in Houston, with the governor and both of Texas’ U.S. senators scheduled to speak.


Investigators do not yet know why the gunman targeted the school, said Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

“We don’t see a motive or catalyst right now,” he said.


According to the Uvalde Consolidated School District, a memorial fund has been set up at First State Bank of Uvalde for the families of victims killed in the attack on Robb Elementary.

Donations can be made at any FSB branch or via Zelle.

Make all checks payable to the "Robb School Memorial Fund"
Please mail checks to: 200 E Nopal Street, Uvalde, TX 78801
For Zelle Donations: robbschoolmemorialfund@gmail.com

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