‘Traumatized’: Texas school rampage victims were inside one classroom; shooter locked the door. Live updates.

Written by on May 25, 2022

UVALDE, Texas – Grief counselors, ministers and remedy canines supplied counsel and solace Wednesday to a neighborhood in mourning after a gunman’s rampage killed 19 youngsters and two lecturers in a single fourth-grade classroom.

It was the state’s deadliest school shooting in modern history and the nation’s third mass capturing inside weeks.

An 18-year-old male, armed with a rifle, shot his grandmother earlier than driving to Robb Elementary College and overpowering a faculty officer, authorities mentioned. Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Division of Public Security advised CNN the kids and lecturers who died had been inside a single classroom – the place the shooter barricaded himself earlier than he was fatally shot.

Authorities recognized the gunman as Salvador Ramos, 18, but revealed no motive. Ramos had hinted of an assault on social media, based on state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who mentioned he had been briefed by state police. He mentioned that the gunman “recommended the children ought to be careful” and that he had purchased two assault weapons after turning 18.

“A horrible morning,” Uvalde resident Juan Torres, 31, mentioned Wednesday as he sat on his entrance porch just a few blocks from the college. “We’re shocked. Wired. Traumatized.”

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Horror, loss of life in a single classroom

The killer entered the classroom, locked the door and began capturing, Olivarez advised CNN. Officers arriving on the scene started breaking home windows across the faculty making an attempt to evacuate youngsters and lecturers. Olivarez mentioned a tactical group pressured its manner into the classroom and confronted gunfire however was “in a position to shoot and kill that suspect.’’

A number of college students within the classroom had been wounded, and officers have mentioned the loss of life toll might rise. Olivarez  didn’t know what number of college students had been within the room when the capturing began however mentioned it usually would maintain 25-30 youngsters.

“A typical classroom setting, the place you have mass teams of kids inside that classroom all collectively, with nowhere to go,” Olivarez mentioned. “It simply reveals you the whole evil of the shooter.”

Colleges on alert throughout the nation

Colleges across the nation elevated safety as a precaution. Colleges in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Virginia, Maryland and Florida had been amongst these providing counseling. 

In Connecticut, the place the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary College capturing killed 20 first graders and 6 educators, state police mentioned they had been sending additional troopers to varsities Wednesday, though no particular threats had been acquired.

“This assault on probably the most harmless of our residents is deeply disturbing and heartbreaking,” Connecticut state police Col. Stavros Mellekas mentioned in an announcement. “Right now, our focus shall be on defending all faculty populations right here in our state.”

Weapons had been purchased legally

The suspect legally bought two AR platform rifles at a neighborhood gun store, one on Might 17 and the opposite Might 20, mentioned state Sen. John Whitmire primarily based on a briefing from State Police.  One of many rifles was left within the truck the gunman crashed shortly earlier than the capturing, the opposite was  discovered within the faculty with the suspect, Whitmire mentioned. Every week in the past he had bought 375 rounds of 5.56 ammunition. The suspect was not sporting physique armor however solely a plate service with no ballistic armor inside, Whitmire mentioned.

The grim process of figuring out victims

Uvalde doesn’t have its personal health worker, so Justice of Peace Eulalio Diaz was referred to as upon to establish the victims. Households ready on the Civic Heart for information of their youngsters supplied DNA swabs to authorities to assist within the identification course of.

“We all know everyone,” he mentioned, reflecting on how his youngsters in eighth and 12th grades shall be marked by the tragedy. “We all know youngsters who had been there.”

Diaz lamented the dearth of psychological well being assets in Uvalde and that the shooter had not acquired assist.

“We’ve talked for years about psychological well being amenities close by… we don’t have something. This baby was in all probability affected by one thing that was by no means identified. The way in which you get identified right here is you find yourself in jail. This child by no means made it to jail.”

Martha Pskowski

A neighbor dies within the carnage

Wanting throughout the road at a brown home, Javier Rangel, 57, remembered the younger lady who used to play out entrance. Rangel lives just a few blocks from Robb, the place the lady was a scholar. He mentioned her father posted to Fb final evening that she was among the many lifeless.

“This has hit us unhealthy, figuring out they had been younger youngsters simply beginning their lives,” mentioned Rangel, a truck driver. “We by no means thought it could occur on this little city. I used to be used to see her driving her bike, enjoying along with her sisters. That poor little lady.”

Trevor Hughes

Sandy Hook dad and mom urge ‘daring motion’

Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden, co-founders and CEOs of Sandy Hook Promise, every had a son killed within the Sandy Hook Elementary College capturing spree that killed 26 a decade in the past. They issued an announcement saying they’re “sickened beneath the burden of our disappointment as we watch one other neighborhood of households struggling their worst nightmare.” They usually referred to as on everybody to induce elected officers to go laws that protects youngsters.

“This may be completed whereas upholding second modification rights,” the assertion mentioned. “Now’s the time to take daring motion – as a rustic, how for much longer can we stand by whereas harmless youngsters proceed to be killed?”

A discipline journey, hugs and chaos

Juan Torres and his household reside just a few blocks from each the college and the house the place authorities say they gunman lived. Torres’ spouse grew up in Uvalde, and their two younger youngsters attend faculty right here, though at totally different campuses than the place the capturing happened.

Torres mentioned he was returning to the town from his building job Tuesday when he heard a few faculty capturing on the radio however assumed it was elsewhere. Then he noticed the helicopters hovering over his neighborhood. His daughter had been to San Antonio on a discipline journey, and lecturers texted dad and mom to allow them to know they may decide up their youngsters at a relaxation cease on the outskirts of city.

“I ran out of right here so quick, drove down there at like 120 mph and grabbed her hugged her so laborious,” Torres mentioned. “It is all been a bunch of chaos.”

Trevor Hughes

The place did the capturing happen?

Authorities say the gunman walked into Robb Elementary College in Uvalde, Texas, about 85 miles west of San Antonio, round 11:30 a.m. Central time and opened hearth. Uvalde is residence to about 16,000 individuals and is situated about 75 miles from the Mexican border. About 82% of the town’s inhabitants is Latino, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Robb Elementary, a part of the Uvalde Consolidated Impartial College District, has an enrollment of slightly below 600 college students. The district initially put all campuses on lockdown after gunshots had been fired, and it canceled all district and campus actions, after-school applications and occasions.

Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

What do we all know in regards to the victims?

Nineteen youngsters and two lecturers had been killed within the capturing, Texas Division of Public Security Lt. Chris Olivarez mentioned. A U.S. Border Safety agent, one among a number of responding to the scene, shot and killed the gunman, a senior Division of Homeland Safety official advised USA TODAY on Tuesday evening.

College Well being, a hospital in San Antonio, reported on Tuesday night that it had 4 sufferers: a 66-year-old lady in vital situation; a 10-year-old lady in vital situation; a 10-year-old lady in good situation, and a 9-year-old lady in good situation. By dusk, many households had been nonetheless ready for updates, hoping to listen to that their youngsters had been in a hospital in Uvalde or San Antonio.

BLOODSHED SINCE SANDY HOOK:Uvalde school shooting among deadliest school attacks in past 10 years

Public officers react to the capturing

President Joe Biden in a Tuesday evening information convention decried “another massacre” that had left parents in unfathomable pain: “To lose a toddler is like having a chunk of your soul ripped away,” he mentioned. Biden additionally referred to as for a renewed push for gun management measures, lamenting the dearth of progress regardless of repeated shootings.

“Why are we prepared to reside with this carnage?” he mentioned. “Time to show this ache into motion.”

Abbott directed that the Texas flag be instantly lowered to half-staff throughout the state from Tuesday till Saturday in reminiscence of the individuals who misplaced their lives within the faculty capturing.

“The primary woman and I lengthen our prayers of consolation to the survivors and the households of the victims, and we’ll proceed to maintain them in our ideas and prayers,” Abbott mentioned.

‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’:Biden calls on lawmakers to take action after Uvalde school shooting

What will we find out about the gunman? 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott identified the assailant as Salvador Ramos, 18. He was killed by regulation enforcement following the capturing. The gunman allegedly legally bought two assault rifles at a neighborhood gun retailer on his 18th birthday, Democratic Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez advised USA TODAY.

Texas mourns one other mass capturing

Within the final 5 years, Texas has been the scene of mass shootings that killed greater than 85 individuals. Worshippers throughout a Sunday sermon, consumers at a Walmart, college students on a highschool campus and drivers on a freeway have been the targets. The state’s conservative, Republican-controlled authorities is unlikely to limit gun entry regardless of the carnage. Final yr, gun legal guidelines had been truly loosened after a gunman at a Walmart in El Paso killed 23 individuals in a racist 2019 assault that focused Hispanics.

“I can’t wrap my head round it,” mentioned Democratic state Sen. Roland Gutierrez,  whose district contains Uvalde. “It’s disturbing to me as a policymaker that we’ve been in a position to do little aside from create larger entry to those militarized weapons to only about anybody who would need them.”

Contributing: Megan Menchaca, Austin American-Statesman; N’dea Yancey-Bragg, Trevor Hughes, Chris Kenning, USA TODAY; The Related Press


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