tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN May 25, 2022 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
♪ >> vigils are underway in uvalde, texas for the 19 children and 2 teachers gunned down inside robb elementary school by an 18-year-old high school drop-out. memorials outside the school from the community not far from the border with mexico. a friend of the gunman says he had a history of fighting as we see here in video obtained by cnn. texas authorities report he had no criminal record, no history of mental illness. more now on the investigation from cnn's ed. >> i'm going to shoot an elementary school. that was one of the chilling text messages the uvalde gunman sent to a 15-year-old girl in germany at 11:21 central time in texas just 15 minutes before the shooting at robb elementary
school. >> evil swept across uvalde yesterday. >> the 18-year-old gunman drove to the elementary school where he would kill 19 children and the faculty members 2 days before they were heading out for school break. the gunman wrote messages that foreshadowed the carnage he was about to inflict. >> i'm going to shoot my grandmother. i shot my grandmother. >> the suspect is described as a drop-out of the local high school. after crashing his grandmother's truck in a ditch, officials say he entered the school district and classrooms shooting students and teachers. >> officers with the school district approached the gunman and engaged with the gunman at that time. the gunman then entered a back door and went down two short hallways and then into a classroom on the left-hand side. >> reporter: investigators say from the moment the shooter engaged with the campus officer outside the elementary school until he was shot and killed by a border patrol agent inside a classroom, it was an ordeal that
lasted 40 to 60 minutes. police, state troopers and even parents went around the school, breaking windows trying to help children escape. >> we saw the teacher get shot and another kid get hit in the face. >> you saw another class mate get hit in the face. >> a class mate from across the hall. >> reporter: the gunman barricaded himself inside the school. >> it was 40 minutes after i arrived that the shooter was neutralized. >> reporter: posing with rifles, the gunman lived at his grandparents' home blocks from the school. on tuesday after he shot his grandmother, he took her truck and hit the road, driving without a license. >> he crashed the vehicle at that point in time. he exited. he exited with a backpack. he took a rifle with him. he went toward the west side of the campus. >> reporter: he had two assault style riffles purchased legally for his birthday. >> he used one weapon, which was an ar-15.
>> reporter: he bought 375 rounds of ammunition. one rifle was left in the truck. the other rifle was found with him in the school, along with 7 30 round magazines. investigators also found a backpack with several magazines full of ammunition near the entrance to the school. the gunman's motive is still unknown. what is still not clear is what happened in that initial moment where the gunman approached the school and he was confronted by the school resource officer. we are told that shots were not fired in that moment. a texas state trooper official tells cnn tonight that in that moment the gunman dropped his backpack and then ran inside the school. but there hasn't been a real explanation yet as to why the officer didn't fire at the gunman before he went inside the school, killing 19 students and 2 faculty members. cnn, uvalde, texas. slowly we're learning more about the lives of 19 children
and 2 teachers. one of the teachers is irma garcia, a wife and mother of four children. garcia's nephew told "the washington post" she was shielding students from gunfire. she was just 10 years old. he learned that his little girl was never coming home from school. >> so i got confirmation from two of the students in her classroom that she was just trying to call authorities, and i guess he just shot her. how do you look at this girl and shoot her? oh, my baby. how can you shoot my baby? >> all of the dead were in the same 4th grade class. all 19 lives described as precious. the teachers said to be
dedicated and caring. more now from lucy cavanaugh. >> reporter: they are the faces of the future lost to a nation's violent present. jose flores jr., a 4th grader full of energy, his father said, ready to play until the night. lexi rubio, a little girl who wanted to go to law school just like her mother. >> my baby. >> lexi's family overcome as they recall her sweetness and to plea that her life has impact. >> all i could hope is that she's not just a number. >> one of 19 children that were all gunned down in a 4th grade classroom whose parents held on to hope they would hold their students once again. it's been seven hours, and i still haven't heard anything on my love. please help me find my daughter. this morning, the heart-breaking update. she's been found.
my little love is now flying high with the angels above, garza wrote. please don't take a second for granted. hug your family. tell them you love them. i love you. >> ten-year-old kpavier lopez had a smile his mother says she will never forget. he was among the honor students that attended an award ceremony the morning of the shooting. >> you can just tell by their an gellic smile that they were loved, that they loved coming to school and they were just precious individuals. >> reporter: the community also mourning two teachers, eva morales loved running, biking and being with her family. undoubtedly her family says she died protecting others. >> she was a vivacious soul. she spread laughter and joy everywhere she went. >> these two teachers, i would say, are the cornerstone of that campus to some great degree.
they're two beautiful souls. >> reporter: morales' daughter writing an open letter to her mother. i am so happy that people know your name and they know what a hero looks like. i want to thank you, mom, for being such an inspiration to me. i will forever be proud to be her daughter. my sweet mommy, i will see you again. >> reporter: thursday was supposed to be the last day of school, but the families in our story are now planning funerals instead of summer vacations. others are anxiously awaiting news about their injured loved ones. we are outside of the university hospital here in san antonio where four patients were air lifted on tuesday evening. three little girls and one 66-year-old woman who is the shooter's grandmother. authorities say he shot her in the face before fleeing, heading towards that school. we know that two of the girls, a nine and ten-year-old are listed in good condition or at least were on wednesday afternoon. the 66-year-old and another
10-year-old were admitted in critical condition, downgraded to serious, but still fighting for their lives. cnn san antonio, texas. with us this hour for more on the investigation is julie, a cnn national security analyst who served as assistant secretary of homeland security during the obama administration. welcome back, julia. >> thanks for having me. >> so it took up to an hour for law enforcement to stop the shooting. an hour. a spokesman for the texas department of public safety has details about the initial police respond. here he is. >> the initial group of officers that were on scene, at that point they were at a point of disadvantage because the shooter was able to barricade himself inside that classroom. there was not sufficient manpower at that time. and their primary focus was to preserve any further loss of lives, so they started breaking windows around the school and try to rescue and evacuate children and teachers.
>> so there wasn't sufficient minnesota power. you know, what happened to the policy of first responders on the scene engage the shooter? >> yeah. it's a complicated time line for two reasons. one is there is some interaction before he even gets into the classroom. and authorities are being kind of vague about what that interaction is. but they're saying he's engaged by a school security official, but still he makes his way in. then once he's in, he's able to barricade himself. we have learned now that all the kids and the teacher died in the same room. for some period of time without, you know, basically a rush or, you know, are they waiting for support? are they waiting for backup? there is just a lot of different explanations in this time frame. and i don't say this as someone, you know, sitting on the sidelines i'm going to judge this. i think it's very important that we get this narrative right and understand what happened only because we live in a society
where this could happen again and there is things that we can learn. so it's hard to -- one can question it without sitting in judgment. we just need the right answers at this stage for the families, of course. but also for future incidents. >> yeah. we also now know that the shooter had a ton of ammunition. he was wearing body armor. but what seems incredulous is that this 18-year-old owned this semiautomatic for less than a week was able to hold off 100 federal officers. that doesn't include local law enforcement. >> yeah. >> this is one 18-year-old? >> yeah. i mean, you know, and this is where, you know, are they trying to keep him in there because -- because they're evacuating the school? they're just trying to protect everyone else? at that moment they don't know if he's alone and we have to give him that concern, are there
others that may be in the school? because a lot -- you don't know if he has a coconspirator. look, this is serious weaponry. as you described, it is just -- at this stage there is no purpose for the kind of weaponry that an 18-year-old can get their hands on relatively quickly. you know, this is essentially his birthday gift to himself and all that ammunition and therefore becomes semiinvincible for some period of time. the body armor clearly protected him. we want to learn more what the body armor -- was it hit? how many times? how was he able to survive some bombardment from federal authorities. >> so the shooter did give a warning kind of about what he was going to do. this is according to the texas governor. he posted three messages on facebook. the first were these private messages, came 30 minutes before the spilling spree. here's the governor.
>> yeah. >> the first post was to the point of he said, i'm going to shoot my grandmother. the second post was, i shot my grandmother. the third post, maybe less than 15 minutes before arriving at the school was i'm going to shoot an elementary school. >> so facebook says the postings for private one to one messages which came to light after the attack. would they be covered like a red flag war which is governor refused to sign back in 2018? >> yeah. it depends on his family had come forward before that. i thought it was a little premature for the governor to make such sweeping statements because clearly the investigation is ongoing. the governor saying there is no hint of what was about to happen except for these three facebook posts. well, that depends on how you want to describe hints at this stage.
obviously he buys a weapon intended to kill. he's buying lots of ammunition. we at cnn have testimonials from family and friends, from the past, who describe an isolated bullied person who -- who becomes more isolated over time. so there do appear to be warning signs. >> warning signs, and those warning signings were missed. thank you for being with us. we appreciate your time. >> thank you very much. after the break, a simple question with no easy answer. why can't the u.s. congress pass tougher gun laws? why are so many republicans opposed to gun reform? plus, former democratic congressman beto to did you recollect takes his protests and anger directly to the state governor. more on that when we come back. s right under their nose. or... his nose.
rifles necessary? >> if people want to talk about banning specific guns, they should propose that. but it wouldn't prevent these shootings. >> banning a weapon like that would -- >> they could commit the crime with a different weapon. >> senator marco rubio today with a widely debunked argument that other weapons could cause the same carnage as an ar-15. the senator majority leader suggested mental illness is to play even though there has been no diagnosis of the shooter. every country deals with mental illness, but only in the u.s. do the mentally ill have access to so many guns. stephanie davis reports from capitol hill. the absolutely horrific shooting that we saw in uvalde, texas has done nothing to move some republicans here on capitol hill especially in the senate to where gun legislation has been stalled for a very long time now, unable to get the 60 votes needed to clear the senate and
go back to the house. and that is where things remain. there is absolutely no indication that republicans are budging right now on getting much of anything passed. and it remains very unclear if and when majority leader chuck schumer would even put it on the floor for a vote. we tried to talk to a number of republicans today about why they're opposing any sort of gun legislation and a number of them simply wouldn't answer any questions. there are some like mitt romney or pat dtoomey who are open to various background checks. but getting to that 60 number seems very, very unlikely. you can see the exasperation from a lot of people on the democratic side, especially chris murphy who has been pushing for this and told us yesterday he's willing to bend over backyards, do whatever it takes to find a common ground
legislation to move forward. but, again, that has not percolated here in the u.s. senate. we also talked to senator joe man chill about blowing up the filibuster. that would allow him to move forward with 50 votes on this. he says while he's willing to do what it takes to bring it forward to a 60 vote minimum, he's not willing to blow up the filibuster at this point, even for this legislation. jessica dean, cnn washington. jessica is a professor of law in government at loi yoyola university. good to see you, even under these circumstances. so thanks for being with us. jessica, in the hours following the mass murder of little kids in a classroom at school, the senator from connecticut where a similar tragedy took place took to the floor literally begging republicans to do something. here he is. >> i'm here on this floor to beg, to literally get down on my
hands and knees and beg my colleagues find a path forward here. work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely. i understand my republican colleagues will not agree to everything that i may support, but there is a common denominator that we could find. >> 19 dead kids in texas. 15 dead kids in parkland. and senator murphy can beg all he wants but it seems when it comes to gun reform, republican lawmakers, especially in the senate, just refuse. why? >> i think there are a lot of reasons why. we can think about the fact of how senators keep their jobs and that largely depends on raising an enormous amount of money and the gun lobby is still very powerful. we can also look to where senators support these, i think,
frankly ill logical lack of gun control. that is typically in smaller states where you see far fewer people represented, which is a long way of saying that the american public by large majorities support sensible gun control. but because we have the senate, which is this really antimajority institution where a few senators hold an enormous amount of power even though they might not represent a lot of people, they can stall this type of legislation. we have seen this for decades now. we carry kids out of schools in body bags and we do nothing about it. and if it didn't happen after sandy hook, after columbine, after the tragedy in texas i think it still won't happen again. it shows there is a systemic problem in the senate. there is an institutional issue here. >> republicans agrow something has to be done. only often this something involves more guns, lots more guns, especially in schools. here is republican ted cruz.
>> we know from past experience that the most effective tool for keeping kids safe is armed law enforcement on the campus. >> the truth is there is not a lot of data one way or the other, but there was a study from texas state university 2019 looking at 25 school shootings and found none were brought to an end by armed staff guards or police officers returning fire. these shootings most commonly ended when the shooters were retrained by unarmed staff. republicans have embraced this idea because it appeals to the base and so it doesn't have to be true. >> you know, it is really interesting that we apparently would trust these teachers to be armed, but we wouldn't trust them to determine the curriculum of our students. what's really interesting when we decide to trust teachers and when we don't. and, so, this idea that if we just have more guns, if we just have more guns in schools, that will keep us safer. what i would say is all evidence to the contrary. let's look at other western
democracies where they think what's happening to us is ludicrous. let's look at what happens when there is a tragedy in england and they just say no more. and there is sensible gun control. the idea here that just providing more guns to people who are not even law enforcement but are charged with educating our children is somehow going to keep us safer, again, all evidence to the contrary. we know that the second amendment limits the amount of gun control we can have. but we also know that the second amendment is not a suicide pack. we know that even supreme court justice scalia, very conservative justice, wrote in that famous opinion expanding gun rights, we can still have sensible measures. >> during a nationally televised address, president biden talked to the years that passed without any meaningful gun reform and his frustration and anger were clear. here he is. >> i am sick and tired of it.
we have to act. and don't tell me we can't have an impact on this carnage. the idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons, it's just wrong. >> you know, if it's any help to help move the needle in one reform, it seems something broke. people accept the fact that congress would do nothing. you touched on this. you don't think it will be any different this time, do you? >> i don't think it will be any different and i can't believe i'm saying this sentence, but really when it is okay to turn on a television and watch children be carried out of their school in body bags and nothing happens, then i don't understand why the next time anything would be different, particularly in a world in which we're more polarized, we're more dug in. we're going to see frankly a version of what we see, what we're going to see with respect to abortion, which is we're
going to live in very different states. we live in states like california. the moment this happened on the floor of the legislature, there were more gun control measures. and then we live in states like texas. gun control is not going to solve all of the problem. but we know if we can solve any part of the problem, that's what we should try and do. we will just see again a patch work of states, two very different americas and people with two very different experiences. >> yeah. it really is deepening the divide. jessica, as always, great to have you with us. thank you. >> thank you. well, the national rifle association plans to hold its convention as scheduled on friday in houston, texas just days after the school shooting. former u.s. president donald trump is expected to speak at a leadership forum on the event. attendees, though, will not be permitted to carry guns during his address because of requirements made by the u.s. secret service which actually still protects mr. trump.
the nra is calling the convention one of the most political significant and popular events in the texas. also expected to address the conference. a lot more on the school shooting after a short break. we go live to uvalde, texas as a stunned community tries to come to grips of an unspeakable tragedy. [zoom call] ...pivot... work bye. vacation hi! book with priceline. 'cause when you save more, you can “no way!” more. noayyyy. no waaayyy! no way! [phone ringing] hm. no way!
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welcome back. you're watching cnn. new details emerging about the moments before an 18-year-old murdered children and teachers. 19 children aged 9 to 10 and 2 adult teachers died in tuesday's massacre in the town of uvalde. 17 people were also wounded. the gunman was initially eastbound gauged by police as he
arrived at the school. but ramos was able to barricade himself in a crowded classroom and began shooting. v one local official told anderson cooper that he believes the tragedy will strengthen a grieving community. >> our community may have differences, but in a time of need, a time of crisis, people of uvalde unite, and then that's what's good about this. if there is anything about good about this, it will bring our community together. >> cnn's chris wynn joins us from texas. there has been a lot of information we're getting in the past 24 hours or so. some parents were begging police to go into the school and engage with the shooter. so what more is known about that as well as the time line of the police response? >> reporter: john, good morning. officials tell us the gunman was in the school for up to an hour
before law enforcement entered the room where he barricaded himself and then killed himself. we are learning tonight that there appears to have been about a 30-minute lull between the time when the gunman opened fire and when he was in a stand-off with law enforcement. officials saying that they needed to come up with a tactical strategy, and this appears to coincide with reports we have been hearing about those parents who wanted to rush into the school to save their children. >> we've seen these vigils now for the victims. flowers being left at the school there. there will be a lot of difficult days ahead for this community. so how are they now dealing with this tragedy? >> reporter: john, this is a very close knit community. they are just trying to process their collective grief right now. we have seen people come to the school throughout the day to show their respects to the
fallen, dropping off flowers and stuffed animals at the memorial that has been set up in front of the school. the common sentiment that we have been hearing from folks is just how unfair all of this has been, unfair because these kids had the rest of their lives ahead of them. unfair because these kids were -- many of them were just in the fourth grade and were two days away from finishing the school year. and then looking ahead to what was supposed to be a joyous summer break. it is going to take a long time for this community to heal from this tragedy. this town, roughly 90 miles west of san antonio, population about 16,000 people. so it is certainly not a stretch to say that everyone here in this town likely knew someone who is directly impacted by this tragedy. john? >> chris, we appreciate the update. thank you for that. we'll take a short break. when we come back, cnn heads
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welcome back. another mass shooting in the u.s. has been met with shock and disbelief around the world and even amid a war with russia, volodymyr zelenskyy took time to express his condolences to those affected by the texas school shooting. he spoke during a virtual appearance at the world economic forum in switzerland. >> this is terrible, to have victims of shooters in peaceful times. >> the latest now on russia's war on ukraine. the ukraine foreign ministry says it's condemning a move by moscow, which makes it easier for yukrainians to obtain russin citizens. streamlining the process for issues passports. he was also seen in video released by the kremlin making a rare visit to a military hospital. he spoke with the soldiers wounded in the fighting.
ukraine reports an intense offensively russian forces in eastern ukraine that attempt to seize the lineman in the region. there has been fierce battles with one military official saying shelling has increased exponentially. in the kharkiv region, people killed on the front lines. peg walsh has more now on the fighting around kharkiv. >> the forests around kharkiv know no peace. we're just 15 minutes northeast from the city center and the russians are on the other side of the hill. here it is a fight on foot waged with vast cumbersome guns. you can see here where kharkiv is being shelled every night, the sheer volume of shells that entails here. this must have been beautiful here three months ago, now
pillaged. artillery in the place. he's saying you can see how they live like pigs and died like pigs. it is the kind of hatred we're seeing a lot of. back and forth of high explosive rattles in the pines. like so much of the war, the battle for kharkiv isn't over. it's just lightly out of sight. yet no less vicious or intense. in these kind of forests, it's extremely hard for them to know exactly what these noises are, whether it's them firing at the russians 100 meters away or the russians firing back. dusk brings escalation again.
it all points north of kharkiv that we saw over three days traveling with russian persistence. even here, as we get closer to their border, the rumble is constant. the fights for kharkiv now also about protecting russia. yesterday and the day before yesterday we -- we were attacked by tanks, hard artillery and the helicopter. we hit one helicopter and they afraid of us. >> you smile when you say they're afraid. >> yes. >> but there is no room for grinning further northeast where
ukraine is losing ground it won just days earlier. russia has moved into the next town up in the hours before we arrive. the ruins fresh, still smouldering. and here that means the constant bewildering shelling as new ominous significance. we don't know who is shelling, she says. maybe here and there and that. it's terrifying. not much has been spared here. moscow hungry to cross the water and eager to punish. now the bridge is blown, but across the river there the russian forces amassed shelling here constantly. and now sensing the possibility of taking part of the neighboring town. the prospect of a long, exhausting battle of attrition
and loathing haunting ukraine's second city. even out here where calm should flow free. nick paton walsh, cnn outside kharkiv ukraine. republican lawmakers are calling for armed teachers and lawmakers across the u.s. but does this actually work? coming up, the fall-out from the texas shooting. also, was it a genuine protest or political theater ahead of the race for governor? more on b eeto o'rourke's one m stand. ♪ ♪ we believe there's an innovovator in all of us. ♪ ♪ that's why we build technology that makes it possible for every business... and every person... to come to the table and do more incredible things. ♪ ♪
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rosy: it's the parent-teacher partnership that really makes a difference. ingrid: they know that their children are coming to a safe place. they're coming to a place where they'll be loved. kiyoko: we have a strong community of people that all look out for each other. we're all kind of taking care of the children. rosy: janitors, the teachers, the office staff. kiyoko: the cafeteria worker, the crossing guard, the bus driver. carol: because our future is in those schools. that's where the heart of our community belongs. ingrid: because teachers like me know... carol: quality public schools... kiyoko: make a better california... jackie speier leaves big shoes to fill.
i rose through the ranks to captain in the army. expanded access to education as a nonprofit leader. had a successful career in business. and as burlingame mayor during the pandemic, raised the minimum wage, increased affordable housing, and preserved our bayfront open space. i am emily beach. i'll take my real-life experience to get things done for us. i approve this message, and all these shoes too. the democrat nominee who will challenge greg abbott for the texas governorship confronted his opponent over the uvalde tragedy. beto o'rourke interrupted a news
conference demanding the governor take action to stop senseless gun violence. >> sit down. >> you're doing nothing. you're offering us nothing. you said this was not predictable. this is totally predictable when you choose not to please stop this from happening again >> sir, you are out of line. >> this is not the place to do that. >> at that same news conference abbott argued tougher gun laws quote aren't really the solution. the investigation how the gunman entered the school is underway, there are growing calls frr some from some republicans about armed guards at school. are they effective. now that report.
>> the nationwide push for armed guards in every school began with columbus bine in 1999 and sandy hook 13 years later reignited the cause. >> the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> now up to an estimated 20,000 armed school resources officers sro's are on duty paid for close to $1 billion by state and local governments hoping to stop violent attacks but the justice deputy mark schindler says there's a problem. >> listen, i'm a parent of high school kids, if there was evidence to show that school police officers would make their school safer i would be all for it but at the end of the day there's literally no evidence to show that police in schools make schools safer. for.
>> shots fired. >> reporter: at stone and douglas high in florida security cameras had confirmed sro was standing outside the building 17 people were shot and killed. >> my client did nothing wrong. >> scot peterson said he didn't know where the gunman was. >> there is no way in hell that i would sit there and allow those kids to die with me being next in the other building sitting there, no way! >> at santa fe high in texas rso traded shots with gunman and helped to force him to surrender but 10 people were killed. in minnesota an unarmed guard shot and killed himself and 9 died there. the attorney general in texas wants more than just officers. >> we can potentially arm and
train teachers and administrators to respond quickly because the reality is we don't have the resources to have law enforcement in every school. >> but the national association of rso's is what is need ed more mental health care for students and realistic expectations how officers can and do reduce violence. >> if you have a person with a weapon bent on killing people you're probably going to lose people on the front end. i just hate to say that. our job becomes trying to contain that to stop further killing. >> even fervent defenders of armed officers in school say they must be soon as part of a larger coordinated effort because one person with a gun has to be have good, very lucky and often very brave to make a difference all on their own. tom foreman cnn, washington. >> during his weekly audience at the vatican pope joined world
leaders offering condolences to the victims and families and said his heart is broken and called for stronger gun controls. >> i play for the children, a and adults killed. it is time to say enough of indiscriminate weapons let us all make commitment so tragedies like this don't of happen again. in tasmania, 1996, australia banned shotguns and restricted licensing rules and gun death fell by half in a decade. -- in 1996 massacre in scotland prompted lawmakers to ban private ownership of handguns in mainland britain, the toughest
gun legislation in the world and homicide rate, close to zero. in france hunting is a way of life but number dropped from 19 million guns to 10 million in 2016. within a month of the new zealand shooting it was voted by parliament automatically to ban all semi automatic weapons and stricter rules for gun dealers. and other countries when it comes to civilian firearms in recent reports it's estimated there are 120 guns for every 100 people. 400 million guns in all. "cnn newsroom". i will be back with a lot more newspapers after a short break. see you at the top of the hour. . until i found new clear eyes® allergy. just one drop means all day relief,
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hello and welcome to viewers in the united states and around the world we begin with the school shooting as an investigation raises questions why it happened and how law enforcement responded. ♪ vigils are underway in uvalde, texas, for the 19 children and 2 teachers gunned down in robb elementary by an 18-year-old school drop out and others are leaving memorial in the community not from if the border of mexico. the gunman salvador ramos had a history of fighting as seen here. he had a criminal record no history of illness