Texas school shooting – latest: Salvador Ramos ‘barricaded class’ before killing 19 children and 2 teachers

·51-min read
Texas school shooting – latest: Salvador Ramos ‘barricaded class’ before killing 19 children and 2 teachers

A teenage gunman “barricaded” himself inside a classroom before murdering at least 19 children and two teachers in a shooting at a Texas primary school on 24 May, according to an official with the US Department of Homeland Security.

All of the victims were in the same fourth-grade classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, roughly 80 miles west of San Antonio.

The gunman, who has been named as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was reportedly shot dead by an officer who arrived on the scene. Two of the victims were Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia, both teachers at the school.

Investigators are still working to determine the sequence of events during the massacre, in which local law enforcement officers reportedly tried to engage the gunman. A first responder told CNN that it was around 30 minutes before officers “neutralised” the shooter.

Ten children who were killed in the attack have been named, including eight-year-old Uziyah Garcia and Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, Amerie Jo Garza, Makenna Lee Elrod, Xavier Javier Lopez, Jose Flores, Navaeh Brown, Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, Alithia Ramirez and Ellie Lugo, all aged 10.

After the attack, President Joe Biden urged Congress to end the “carnage” of gun violence in America, saying: “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?”

Key points

  • ‘Where in God’s name is our backbone?’: Biden demands reform

  • How Republicans reacted to news of the mass shooting

  • Teacher Eva Mireles and children among first victims named

  • Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr delivers impassioned address on gun violence

  • Gunman was ‘bullied as a child’ and became ‘different person’, says friend

Update: At least 12 of 19 children killed in Tuesday’s massacre have been named

18:15 , Alex Woodward

At least 12 of the 19 children killed in Tuesday’s attack have now been identified.

Ten-year-old Eliahana “Elijah” Cruz Torres was remembered by her softball community as a kind child and generous athlete, as posts began pouring out after news broke that the dedicated athlete was among the 19 children killed.

Jailah Silguero, also aged 10, was the youngest of four children and “the baby” of the family, her father Jacob Silguero told The New York Times.

“I can’t believe this happened to my daughter,” he said. “It’s always been a fear of mine to lose a kid.”

Salvador Ramos’s grandfather describes troubled teen and hidden guns

18:00 , Alex Woodward

The grandfather of the gunman accused of killing 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde says he didn’t know Salvador Ramos had high-powered assault rifles at home.

“I didn’t know he had weapons,” Rolando Reyes told ABC News. “If I’d have known, I would have reported it.”

Salvador Ramos’s grandfather describes troubled teen and hidden guns

Uvalde police, schools and others create memorial funds and donation centres for families and victims

17:42 , Alex Woodward

The city of Uvalde is accepting donations for medical expenses for the families of Robb Elementary School victims in Tuesday’s massacre, according to Uvalde police.

The First State Bank of Uvalde and the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District have also opened an account for the families.

Two funeral homes in Uvalde will also cover funeral costs.

“We have fought together as a community and we will pull together as one now in our time of need,” said Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home. “Hillcrest will be assisting families with NO COST for funerals for all involved in today’s horrific events. Prayer for our small amazing town.”

The funeral home said its phones “have been ringing off the hook from the outcry of the entire state.”

Rushing-Estes-Knowles Mortuary, which has supported the city for more than 60 years, said that “as the situation develops and we have the opportunity to assist our community, not one family will be charged for our services.”

Mitch McConnell condemns ‘deranged’ gunman in Senate floor speech

17:19 , Alex Woodward

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell described the gunman who killed 19 children on Tuesday as a “deranged young man” and “maniac” but did not mention his legally purchased AR-style rifles or legislative action to prevent gun violence and the proliferation of guns in his floor speech on Wednesday.

“It’s literally sickening, sickening to consider the innocent young lives that were stolen by this pointless, senseless brutality,” he said.

Two elementary-age cousins among the victims

17:11 , Alex Woodward

Two of the 19 children who were fatally shot on Tuesday were cousins, according to local television news outlet KHOU.

Family members of third grader Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10, confirmed the death of their daughter, hours after they’d issued an appeal to report her missing.

Texas shooting: Two elementary-age cousins among the victims killed

ICYMI: Democratic senator pleads for action on gun violence after Texas massacre: ‘What are we doing?’

16:50 , Alex Woodward

Senator Chris Murphy’s remarks on the Senate floor on Tuesday afternoon – pleading for any legislative action to combat gun violence and the proliferation of firearms used in mass killings – have resonated across the US as Americans piece together the devastation in Uvalde, just 10 days after a mass shooting in Buffalo.

Democratic senator pleads with Senate for action on gun violence after Texas massacre

Congress has no immediate plans for gun control legislation. Schumer instead tells people to ‘cast their vote in November'

16:45 , Alex Woodward

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer signaled on Wednesday that the upper chamber of Congress would not even bother bringing legislation addressing gun control and the availability of firearms before November.

He told reporters on Wednesday morning that he saw no hope for reaching a compromise on the issue with Republicans even after Tuesday’s massacre.

“Americans can cast their vote in November,” he told reporters.

Democrats “will continue to pursue this issue on our own” with the assumption that Republicans don’t want to help address the horror, he added.

The Independent’s John Bowden has more from Washington:

Schumer says ‘Americans can cast their vote in November’ after Uvalde massacre

Ramos’ high school class visited elementary school day before massacre

16:40 , Alex Woodward

The gunman’s graduating high school class visited nearby Robb Elementary School the day before the massacre, an annual tradition as part of Uvalde High School’s senior week, according to one student who attended.

On Monday 23 May, graduating seniors visited the school and high fived the students, who attend second, third, and fourth grades. The gunman did not attend the visit.

Texas gunman’s class visited Robb Elementary School day before shooting

Gallego lashes out at NRA and Cruz in wake of Texas school shooting: ‘F*** you Ted Cruz’

16:35 , Alex Woodward

Iraq War veteran and Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego had nothing but swear words for Senator Ted Cruz and his fellow Arizonan Kyrsten Sinema after after Tuesday’s massacre.

Congressman Gallego lashes out after Texas school shooting: ‘F*** you Ted Cruz’

Update: Ten children have been identified

16:25 , Alex Woodward

Ten of the 19 children killed during Tuesday’s masacre have been identified.

In a heart-wrenching Facebook post, the mother of Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, 10, memorialised her “beautiful” and “smart” daughter. A close family friend of the Rubio’s confirmed to The Independent that Alexandria, called “Lexi” by friends and family members, was one of the children killed.

Texas officials to host afternoon press conference

16:20 , Alex Woodward

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, US Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, Lt Governor Dan Patrick and state and local officials will hold a press conference at 12.30pm CST to provide an update on the state’s response to the massacre in Uvalde.

The briefing will take place at SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center in Uvalde.

Two patients remain in ‘serious condition’ and two others in ‘good condition’, according to San Antonio hospital

16:11 , Alex Woodward

University Health hospital in San Antonio reports that a 66-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl in the hospital’s care remain in “serious condition.”

Another 10-year-old girl and a nine-year-old girl remain in good condition, according to the hospital.

All the pediatric patients have their families with them, the hospital reported.

Uvalde gunman legally purchased two AR-style rifles days before shooting

16:07 , Alex Woodward

The gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers in a fourth-grade classroom in Texas purchased two AR-style rifles on May 17 and May 20 from a “local federal firearms licensee,” according to a law enforcement briefing provided to state Senator John Whitmire.

One rifle was discovered in the truck the gunman crashed at the scene, while the other rifle was with him inside the school, according to the briefing.

On 18 May, he reportedly bought 375 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition.

He also was wearing a plate carrier with no blassitic armour.

Friends say gunman was bullied, cut his own face and fired a BB gun at people before deadly attack

15:50 , Holly Bancroft

Friends and relatives have said that the 18-year-old Texas gunman was bullied, cut his own face, fired a BB gun at random people and egged cars in the years leading up to the deadly attack.

Salvador Ramos killed at least 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, southern Texas, on Tuesday, officials said.

Friends and family say he had a difficult home life, that he was bullied over a childhood speech impediment and that he lashed out violently towards both friends and strangers – both recently and over the years.

Read the full story by Gustaf Kilander:

Friends say gunman was bullied, and fired a BB gun at people before deadly attack

Parents have to give DNA swabs in agonising wait to identify victims in Texas shooting

15:41 , Holly Bancroft

Parents of children at a Texas elementary school where 21 were shot dead have described waiting to give DNA samples to investigators after the attack.

19 children and two adults were killed in the shooting on Tuesday in Uvalde, a town with a population of about 16,000 not far from the US-Mexico border.

Families gathered at a nearby civic centre late into Tuesday night to await news of their children who attended the Robb Elementary School, some two miles away, CNN reported.

Some families waited for 12 hours at the centre for updates on the shooting.

Read the full story by Gina Spocchia here:

Parents have to give DNA swabs to identify victims in Texas shooting

Survivor of Stoneman Douglas High School shooting: ‘It doesn’t have to be this way'

15:36 , Holly Bancroft

A survivor of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, in which 17 people were murdered by a 19-year-old gunman in Florida, has said that gun violence is “a choice”.

Writing on Twitter, David Hogg said: “It doesn’t have to be this way. The way we will make this time different is by Americans on both sides of the aisle collaborating on what we can agree on to get something done even if small. Kids are dying we have to do something.

“This is a choice. Make this time different.”

National Rifle Association annual meeting to go ahead this weekend

15:32 , Holly Bancroft

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are still set to speak at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting this weekend in Houston, Texas.

The meeting will take place at the George R Brown Convention Centre and is expected to draw 55,000 people, according to Houston First, the government corporation that oversees the convention centre.

Former president Donald Trump will be one of the speakers on Friday. Governor Greg Abbott, Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Dan Crenshaw are also set to speak, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Photos of the 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos

15:13 , Holly Bancroft

More photos have been published of the 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos. Friends told the American media that Ramos had changed dramatically as he grew older, becoming more isolated and adopting black clothing and military combat boots.

Ramos reportedly purchased two rifles days after his 18th birthday and posted photos of his guns on social media. He missed long periods of high school, classmates said, and he was not on track to graduate.

He had recently moved in with his grandmother, after reportedly having arguments with his mother.

 (social media/AFP via Getty Image)
(social media/AFP via Getty Image)
 (social media/AFP via Getty Image)
(social media/AFP via Getty Image)

Recap: Salvador Ramos - Everything we know about Texas school mass shooter

15:04 , Holly Bancroft

The gunman who killed at least 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday has been named as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.

Governor Greg Abbott said Ramos “horrifically and incomprehensibly” carried out the mass shooting alone before being shot dead by law enforcement officers.

Ramos was a student at Uvalde High School who lived in the small city 80 miles west of San Antonio, according to Mr Abbott.

Ramos had hinted on social media that an attack could be coming, state Sen Roland Gutierrez, who was briefed by police, told reporters. “He suggested the kids should watch out,” the lawmaker said.

He shot his grandmother before driving to Robb Elementary just before midday on Tuesday, Mr Abbott said at a news briefing on Tuesday afternoon. She is in a critical condition, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt Erick Estrada told CNN.

 (Texas Department of Public Safety)
(Texas Department of Public Safety)

Read the full story here:

Salvador Ramos: Everything we know about 18-year-old Texas school mass shooter

Hershel Walkers supporters boo Joe Biden’s comments on gun reform

14:47 , Holly Bancroft

Supporters of Republican senate nominee in Georgia, Hershel Walker, booed when they heard Joe Biden say that something had to be done about gun laws in the face of the Texas school shooting.

Jonathan Weisman, a reporter for the New York Times, recorded the reaction, saying: “I’m at the Hershel Walker victory party and President Biden’s address is being broadcast. As he asked, “When in God’s name are we going to do something about the gun laws in this country,” moans and boos rise from the crowd.”

Family of 10-year-old killed in shooting had lost several loved ones to Covid

14:42 , Holly Bancroft

The father of ten-year-old Amerie Jo Garza, who was killed in the shooting, has described her as “full of life”.

Speaking to the New York Times, Mr Alfred Garza III said that his family had lost several loved ones to Covid. “We were finally getting a break, nobody was passing away. Then this happened.”

He described his young daughter as “very social”, saying: “She talked to everybody”.

When he heard that his daughter’s school was on lockdown, “I just went straight over there and found the chaos,” Mr Alfred Garza said.

Investigators looking at gunman’s social media for motive

14:36 , Holly Bancroft

Investigators are looking at Salvador Ramos’s social media to see if there were any “red flags” ahead of his mass shooting, Lt Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety has said.

Ramos had hinted on social media that an attack could be coming, according to state senator Roland Gutierrez, who said he had been briefed by state police. He said that the gunman “suggested the kids should watch out” and that he had brought two “assault weapons” after turning 18.

‘A completely evil person’: Texas lieutenant gives further details on shooting

14:11 , Holly Bancroft

A spokesperson for the Texas Department for Public Safety, Lt Chris Olivarez, has said that the gunman “barricaded himself” inside a classroom in the school and began to shoot children and teachers.

He told NBC that “local law enforcement, school officers, as well as state troopers, who were first on scene and were able to hear the actual gunshots inside the classroom.”

“They tried to make entry into the building. They were met with gunfire by the suspect, by the shooter,” he added. “Some of those officers were shot. At that point they began breaking windows around the school, trying to evacuate children, teachers, anybody they could, to try to get them out of that building, out of that school.

“What we do know, at that point, the shooter was able to make entry into a classroom, barricaded himself inside that classroom. And again, just begin shooting numerous children and teachers that were in that classroom. Having no regard for human life, just a completely evil person.”

Tactical law enforcement then arrived who were able to make forcible entry to the classroom, after being met with gunfire.

A first responder told CNN that it was around thirty minutes before the shooter was “neutralised.”

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Shooter barricaded himself in one room, officials say

13:51 , Holly Bancroft

The Texas gunman barricaded himself in one classroom at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, a spokesperson for the Texas Department for Public Safety has said.

Lt Chris Olivarez told CNN that the shooter’s decision to barricade himself in “just goes to show you the complete evil from this shooter”.

He said that as the shooting was taking place, officers were going around the school, breaking windows and trying to evacuate people. They were then able to force entry into the classroom where the gunman was, he said.

Mr Olivarez said the shooter had “no criminal history” and “no gang affiliation”. He added that Ramos, the gunman, was wearing a “tactical vest carrier with no ballistic panels; so typically those type of carriers are used by tactical teams, SWAT teams, where they can place magazines, extra ammunition inside those carriers and be able to move in a tactical formation.”

Senator Ted Cruz: ‘Restricting gun rights does not prevent crime’

13:43 , Holly Bancroft

Texan senator Ted Cruz has defended gun rights following the mass shooting in his own state, in which a gunman shot dead 19 children and two teachers.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Cruz said: “Inevitably when there is a murder of this kind you see politicians try to politicise it, you see Democrats and a lot of other folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens.

“That doesn’t work, it’s not effective. It doesn’t prevent crime. We know what does prevent crime which is going after fellons and fugitives and those with serious mental illness, arresting them, prosecuting them, when they try to illegally by firearms. We’ll learn the circumstances of this mass murderer.”

Gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, legally acquired two rifles only a few days after his eighteenth birthday.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

All the victims have now been identified and families informed, officials say

13:33 , Holly Bancroft

CNN has reported that they have been informed by local officials that all victims of the Robb Elementary school shooting have now been identified.

Their families have been informed and all the bodies have been removed from the scene, the news outlet reported.

Breaking: All those killed in Robb Elementary school shooting were in one classroom, reports

13:21 , Holly Bancroft

All those killed in the Robb Elementary school shooting were in one classoom, a state public safety official has said.

At least nineteen children and two teachers died in the attack in Texas on Tuesday. Texas Department of Public Safety official Christopher Olivarez told CNN that all the victims were in the same fourth-grade classroom.

Texas school shooting: 10-year-old tried dialing 911 to save others as she was shot and killed

13:17 , Holly Bancroft

Breaking news

Ten-year-old Amerie Jo Garza has been identified as one of the victims from Tuesday’s mass shooting at a Texas primary school and is being remembered by her grandmother as a “hero”, as the young girl attempted to dial out to 911 moments before her tragic death.

In a texted interview with The Daily Beast, Berlinda Irene Arreola told the news outlet how she was told that her granddaughter bravely picked up her phone as a teenage gunman burst into her classroom and announced “you’re going to die” before he opened fire on the students and shot Amerie Jo dead as she attempted to save her fellow classmates.

“So the gunman went in and he told the children, ‘you’re going to die.’ And [Amerie] had her phone and she called 911. And instead of grabbing it and breaking it or taking it from her, he shot her. She was sitting right next to her best friend. Her best friend was covered in blood,” Ms Arreola told the news outlet.

Read the full story here:

10-year-old Texas shooting victim tried dialing 911 to save others

Spanish prime minister shares Steve Kerr’s speech, saying ‘we must stop this daily horror in the US’

13:15 , Holly Bancroft

Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez has shared his shock at the mass shooting in Texas, saying: “Our solidarity and affection with the families and friends of the victims. Shocked at this new massacre in a Texas school”.

On Twitter, Mr Sanchez shared the “hearbreaking” speech by Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors, in which he calls on US politicians to act on gun violence.

Opinion: In the US, a foetus is sacred – but children in classrooms come second to guns. Why?

13:01 , Holly Bancroft

The Independent’s Voices Commissioning Editor, Harriet Williamson, has voiced her reaction to the shooting in Texas. She writes:

“Just 10 days after a deadly mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, where a self-described fascist and white supremacist killed 10 Black people in a supermarket, the US must content itself with another horrifying episode of gun violence.

At least 19 children between the ages of five and 11 and two adults have been murdered at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, after an 18-year-old entered the school with a handgun and opened fire.

It’s one of those events where words fail. Every descriptor seems to fall short in describing the wrenching, sickening, icy horror of children being gunned down in a place where they absolutely should feel and be safe. But there are questions we should be asking now – of lawmakers and of the state of Texas.”

Opinion: In the US, the rights of a foetus come before children in classrooms

Recap: Who are the named victims of the Uvalde primary school shooting?

12:44 , Holly Bancroft

 (Manny Renfro/AP/Facebook/Family handout)
(Manny Renfro/AP/Facebook/Family handout)

Two teachers and five children have so far been named as victims of the attack on Robb Elementary School in Texas.

Tributes have been paid for Eva Mireles, 44, and Irma Garcia, both teachers at the school. Confirming Ms Mireles’s death on Facebook, her cousin and grandmother said they were devastated at the loss and furious over the gun violence that has gripped the country.

“My beautiful cousin! Such a devastating day for us all! My heart is shattered into a million pieces,” Arizmendi Mireles, her cousin, said.

Grieving the death of her niece, Ms Mireles’s aunt Lydia Martinez Delgado demanded stricter gun laws and said rifles should not be so easily available.

“I’m furious that these shootings continue. These children are innocent. Rifles should not be easily available to all. This is my hometown, a small community of less than 20,000. I never imagined this would happen to especially loved ones,” Ms Martinez Delgado said in a statement.

The second adult victim of the shooting, Ms Garcia, was confirmed dead by her nephew John.

“My tia did not make it, she sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom, i beg of you to keep my family including all of her family in y’all’s prayers , Irma Garcia is her name and she died a hero,” tweeted her nephew.

“She was loved by many and will truly be missed.”

Read more about the others killed in this mass shooting here:

Two teachers and four young children among first Texas victims named

Deadliest US school shootings from Columbine to Texas after more than 900 gunfire incidents in 10 years

12:30 , Holly Bancroft

On Tuesday, Texas was hit by the deadliest school shooting for a decade when a teenager opened fire at a primary school, killing at least 21 people including 19 children.

Until the massacre at Colorado’s Columbine High School in 1999, death tolls tended to be in the single digits.

Since then, the number of school shootings where 10 or more have been killed has mounted.

Here is a look at some of the worst to shake the nation over the past decades:

Deadliest US school shootings ever after more than 900 gunfire incidents in 10 years

Dunblane massacre survivor Andy Murray brands Texas school shooting ‘f***ing madness’

12:16 , Holly Bancroft

Tennis star Andy Murray branded the massacre of 19 children and two adults at a primary school in Texas last night as “f****** madness” as British sports stars and celebrities called for stricter gun control laws in the US.

Murray, who survived the Dunblane school shooting in 1996, tweeted shortly after Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old high school student, opened fire at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday.

It is the deadliest shooting at a US grade school since the Sandy Hook attack in Connecticut in 2012 when 26 people were killed.

“F****** madness,” Murray wrote in a since-deleted tweet.

Read the full story here:

Dunblane massacre survivor Andy Murray brands Texas school shooting ‘f***ing madness’

Who is head of US gun-rights organisation the National Rifle Association?

12:02 , Holly Bancroft

The US has been rocked by its deadliest school shooting in a decade after a gunman opened fire at a primary school in Texas, killing at least 19 children and two teachers.

The rampage at Robb Elementary School has sparked calls for gun reform in the country, which - according to its president - has faced more than 900 incidents involving gunfire on school campuses in the past 10 years.

Joe Biden said on Tuesday it was time to “turn this pain into action” and change gun laws in the US.

He can expect to face resistance from the National Rifle Association (NRA), a gun-rights group which is one of the most powerful organisations in the nation.

So who is head of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre? Read Zoe Tidman’s report here:

Who is head of US gun-rights organisation the NRA?

‘Our hearts are broken,’ says Israeli President

11:45 , Holly Bancroft

Isaac Herzog, president of Israel, has shared his horror at the events in Texas. “Our hearts are broken,” he said in a statement on Twitter. “The death of a child is a tragedy beyond measure, let alone the killing of nineteen innocent children and two adults. Israel joins the people of the United States in grief.”

Teacher Irma Garcia confirmed dead by nephew

11:30 , Holly Bancroft

A second teacher at the elementary school, Irma Garcia, has been named as among the dead.

Her nephew John posted a message on social media, saying: “My tia did not make it, she sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom, i beg of you to keep my family including all of her family in y’all’s prayers, Irma Garcia is her name and she died a hero.”

Ms Garcia had reportedly taught at the school for 23 years and had four children of her own.

See his post here:

French president describes Texas shooting as a ‘cowardly attack'

11:22 , Holly Bancroft

More international reaction as Emmanuel Macron, French president, issues a statement about the shooting.

Mr Macron called the attack “cowardly” and said he shared “the rage of those who are fighting to end the violence.”

Read his comments on Twitter here:

Ten-year-old Amerie Jo Garza named as shooting victim

11:10 , Holly Bancroft

Amerie Jo Garza, 10, has been named as another child victim of Texas shooting.

Angel Garza, the father of Amerie, confirmed her death in a Facebook post.

“Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby,” he wrote. “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.”

 (Facebook)
(Facebook)

Two teachers and four young children among first Texas victims named

Texas expanded access to guns as recently as late last year

10:55 , Holly Bancroft

The mass shooting at a Texas school on Tuesday that killed at least 21 people including 19 children comes less than a year after the state brought in laws that allowed more people to possess handguns.

The law, which came into effect last September, allows gun owners to openly carry a handgun without going through the requirements of needing a licence, background check or any training.

With the law, Texas joined nearly two dozen states that allow some form of unregulated handgun possession.

Texas already allowed rifles to be carried in public without a licence prior to the law.

Read the full story by Sravasti Dasgupta here:

Texas expanded access to guns less than a year before deadly school shooting

Family of those killed in Sandy Hook elementary school shooting call for action on guns

10:42 , Holly Bancroft

Erica Leslie Lafferty, whose mother was killed in the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in 2012, has called for action on gun violence.

“Thoughts and prayers didn’t bring my mother back after she was gunned down in a hallway at Sandy Hook,” Ms Lafferty wrote on Twitter. “They also won’t bring back the 15 murdered at Robb elementary school back to life. IT IS BEYONE TIME TO TAKE ACTION.”

The death toll from the Texas shooting has now risen to 21, with two teachers and 19 children reported dead.

Read her call to action here:

Furious senator Chris Murphy asks politicians ‘What are we doing? Why are you here?'

10:32 , Holly Bancroft

Connecticut democractic senator Chris Murphy, who represents the state where the Sandy Hook elementary school massace happened in 2012, has delivered a passionate speech on the floor of the US senate, calling out his fellow congresspeople for failing to take action on gun violence.

“Why do you spend all this time running for the United States senate? Why do you go through all the hastle of getting this job, of putting yourself in a position of authority? If your answer is that as the slaughter increases as our kids run for their lives we do nothing. What are we doing?,” he asked his colleagues.

“Why are you here? If not to solve a problem as existential as this. This isn’t inevitable. These kids weren’t unlucky. This only happens in this country, and nowhere else.”

“It is a choice. It is our choice to let it continue. What are we doing?”

Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mr Murphy said: “Spare me the bullsh** about mental health. We don’t have any more mental illness than any other country in the world. You cannot explain this through a prism of mental illness because we’re not an outlier on mental illness.”

He continued: “We’re an outlier when it comes to access to firearms and the capacity of criminals and very sick people to get their arms on firearms. That’s what makes America different.”

Watch the speech here:

Gunman was ‘bullied as a child’ and became ‘different person’, says friend

10:15 , Holly Bancroft

Texas gunman Salvador Ramos became a “different person” and “kept getting worse and worse” in the last few years, according to a school friend.

Stephen Garcia, 18, told the Washington Post, that he had been best friends with Ramos at school but fell out of touch with him. “I lost my friend a long time ago”, he said.

“He was the nicest kid, the most shyest kid. He just needed to break out of his shell, He was person like all of us - he was like a good friend of mine that has never made me any happier,” Mr Garcia said.

He described how Ramos had been “bullied hard” at school, “over social media, over gaming, over everything”.

Mr Garcia’s family moved away for his mother’s job and Ramos “just started being a different person,” he said.

Ramos dropped out of school and started wearing all black and large military boots, Mr Garcia said. Speaking about the shooting, Mr Garcia said: “I never expected him to hurt people. I think he needed mental help. And more closure with his family. And love.”

Gunman Salvador Ramos (Texas Department of Public Safety)
Gunman Salvador Ramos (Texas Department of Public Safety)

Gunman bought two rifles days after his 18th birthday

10:01 , Holly Bancroft

The guman who killed at least 21 people in a massace in Texas legally bought two rifles in the days following his eighteenth birthday, the authorities have said.

The shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, reportedly purchased one of the rifles from a federally licensed gun store on May 17, the day after his birthday.

On May 18 Ramos bought 375 rounds of ammunition and then on May 20 he purchased the second rifle.

Salvador Ramos: Everything we know about Texas school mass shooter

‘He was a very happy little boy'

09:47 , Holly Bancroft

In case you missed it..

10-year-old Jose Flores has been named by the Washington Post as another victim of the Texas elementary school shooting.

His uncle, Christopher Salazar, told the paper: “He was a very happy young boy. He loved both his parents... and loved to laugh and have fun.”

He said that hours before the shooting on Tuesday Jose had received an award for making the honor roll.

 (Family handout)
(Family handout)

How Republicans reacted to news of the mass shooting

09:32 , Holly Bancroft

Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene reacted to the news that 21 people had been shot dead in Texas by saying “we don’t need more gun control”.

Taking to Twitter after the horrific attack, Ms Taylor Greene said that America “needs to take a serious look at the state of mental health today”. She added: “American is failing our youngest generations from decades of rejecting good moral values and teachings. We don’t need more gun control. We need to return to God.”

Texas senator Ted Cruz, who is due to speak at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting this weekend, said he and his wife were “fervently lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde.”

Former vice president Mike Pence said he was “deeply saddened and heartbroken” to hear the news, and Republican senate leader Mitch McConnell said he was “horrified and heartbroken”.

Pope Francis says he is ‘heartbroken’ by Texas shooting

09:21 , Holly Bancroft

Pope Francis on Wednesday said he was “heartbroken” by the shooting at a school in Texas that killed at least 19 children and two teachers, calling for greater controls on weapons.

The crowd in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly general audience applauded his appeal, made a day after worst school shooting in the United States in nearly a decade.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Sarah Sanders jumps on Texas shooting to justify ban on abortions, not guns

09:15 , Holly Bancroft

Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who won the Republican primary for Arkansas governor, used her victory speech on Tuesday to call for a ban on abortions while mourning the Texas school shooting deaths.

Ms Sanders said that the shooting in Texas’ Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, in which at least 19 children and 2 adults were killed, was a “stark and humbling reminder of just how precious life is”.

“Every single life has value and the most vulnerable among us are the ones we should be fighting for and protecting the most,” she added.

“I can assure you that in my administration, that’s exactly what we will do. We will make sure that when a kid is in the womb, they’re as safe as they are in the classroom, the workplace, the nursing home, because every stage of life has value.”

Read the full story here:

Sarah Sanders jumps on Texas shooting to justify ban on abortions, not guns

German chancellor Olaf Scholz reacts to shooting

09:03 , Holly Bancroft

More international reaction to the mass shooting in Texas as German chancellor Olaf Scholz offers his condolences to the victims of the attack.

He said in a statement on Twitter that his thoughts were with “the injured and the bereaved of the victims” and he called the shooting an “inconceivable massacre”.

Read his full comment here:

Mexican government providing consular advice in wake of shooting

09:00 , Holly Bancroft

The Mexican government is in touch with the police to establish whether any of their citizens have been killed in the shooting.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Mexican government said: “The Mexican consulate in Eagle Pass is in contact with the police in order to identify any Mexican victims. In addition, the consulat in Eagle Pass and the Consulate General of Mexico in San Antonio are in communication with the hospitals to which the injured were taken to learn if there are any Mexican citizens among them.”

They added: “The Government of Mexico strongly condemns this act of violence that has cost children’s lives and devastated families in a predominantly Hispanic town.”

‘He was very bubbly, loved to dance with his brothers, his mom'

08:46 , Holly Bancroft

Lisa Garza, 54, of Arlington, Texas, mourned the death of her cousin, Xavier Javier Lopez, who had been eagerly awaiting a summer of swimming.

“He was just a loving 10-year-old little boy, just enjoying life, not knowing that this tragedy was going to happen today,” she said.

“He was very bubbly, loved to dance with his brothers, his mom. This has just taken a toll on all of us.”

She also lamented what she described as lax gun laws. “We should have more restrictions, especially if these kids are not in their right state of mind and all they want to do is just hurt people, especially innocent children going to the schools,” Ms Garza said.

 (Family handout)
(Family handout)

Reporting by the Associated Press.

NBA coach Steve Kerr condemns Congress over Texas shooting in emotional pre-game speech

08:41 , Holly Bancroft

Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors and one of the most prominent figures in the NBA, used his pre-game press conference on Tuesday to give a powerful message impelling US congress to end gun violence after a school shooting in Texas which saw 21 people killed including 19 children.

The Warriors were playing the Dallas Mavericks in a crucial playoff game, but Kerr, a long-time advocate for gun control whose father died in a 1984 terrorist attack in Beirut, said it was time do more than simply getting on with basketball and to take action.

“I’m not going to talk about basketball,” an emotional Kerr began, before slamming his hands on the table and shouting: “When are we gonna do something?!”

Read the full story here:

NBA coach Steve Kerr condemns Congress over Texas shooting in emotional speech

Two rifles pictured on Instagram linked to shooter, CNN reports

08:30 , Holly Bancroft

A photo of two AR15-style rifles appeared on an Instagram account tied to the Texas shooter, CNN has reported.

The picture appeared on the stories of the Instagram account “salv8dor_” just three days before the gunman killed at least nineteen children and two teachers at an elementary school.

The guman has been named as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. CNN also reported that Ramos had a TikTok page with the profile bio “Kids be scared irl”.

‘The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known'

08:20 , Holly Bancroft

Manny Renfro said he got word on Tuesday that his grandson, 8-year-old Uziyah Garcia, was among those killed.

“The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” Mr Renfro said. “I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.”

Mr Renfro said Uziyah last visited him in San Angelo during spring break.

“We started throwing the football together and I was teaching him pass patterns. Such a fast little boy and he could catch a ball so good,” Mr Renfro said.

“There were certain plays that I would call that he would remember and he would do it exactly like we practiced.”

 (AP)
(AP)

Reporting by the Associated Press.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky offers condolences to victims of Texas shooting

08:16 , Holly Bancroft

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has offered his condolences to the family of the children killed in the Texas shooting, calling the attack “awful”.

“I would like to express my condolences to all of the relatives and family members of the children who were killed in the awful shooting in a Texas elementary school,” Mr Zelensky said as he addressed an event on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos via video link.

“As far as I know, 21 people were killed, including 19 children. This is terrible, to have victims of shooters in peaceful time,” he added

Teacher Eva Mireles and three children among first victims named

08:11 , Holly Bancroft

Eva Mireles, a 44-year-old teacher, has been identified by her family as one of the two adults killed in the Texas school shooting.

Three of the 19 children killed in the attack on Robb Elementary School have also been named so far: eight-year-old Uziyah Garcia and Xavier Javier Lopez, 10. The Washington Post have also named Jose Flores, 10, as a victim of the attack.

“He was a very happy little boy,” said his uncle Christopher Salazar, who confirmed his death.

Ms Mireles’s husband is an officer with the school district’s police force which is now investigating the massacre that began late in the morning on Tuesday and ended with the gunman being shot dead.

Confirming the teacher’s death in Facebook posts, her cousin and grandmother said they were devastated at the loss and furious over the gun violence that has gripped the country.

“My beautiful cousin! Such a devastating day for us all! My heart is shattered into a million pieces,” Arizmendi Mireles, her cousin, said.

Read the full story here:

Teacher and two young children among first Texas victims named

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr delivers impassioned address on gun violence

08:07 , Holly Bancroft

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr refused to talk about basketball before his team’s playoff game on Tuesday night, instead delivering an impassioned address about the failure to tackle gun violence in the United States.

“When are we going to do something? I’m tired, I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there,” he told a press conference.

Visibly outraged and shaking, Mr Kerr said: “Enough. There’s 50 senators right now who refused to vote on HR8, which is a background check rule.”

He pleaded with congresspeople, including Mitch McConnell, saying: “Are you going to put your own desire for power over our children?”

“We can’t get numb to this,” he added.

Watch his statement here:

Pastor says that teacher protected students in shooting

07:58 , Holly Bancroft

A pastor has said that a teacher at Robb Elementary School tried to protect her young students before being shot.

Father Jaime Paniagua told reporters that he had met with several people who had been injured during the attack while making a visit to a hospital in Uvalde, Texas. He described meeting a Border Patrol agent who had been grazed by a buller, a girl who was shot in the arm and another girl whose face was bloodied from shrapnel, The Washington Post reported.

Speaking about one of the girls that he spoken to, Father Paniagua said: “When the shooting was happening, she held another girl’s hand, and they were screaming. Their teacher protected them, and they saw the teacher get shot.”

Neighbour said gunman had difficult home life

07:51 , Holly Bancroft

Ruben Flores, who lived next to shooter Salvador Ramos and his mother, has said that the 18-year-old had a “pretty rough life with his mom”.

Speaking to The Washington Post, Mr Flores said that he and his wife would invite Ramos to barbeques at his house and for sleepovers with their son.

Mr Flores said that Ramos was a quiet child but that as he grew older he started having problems at home. He recounted seeing police at Ramos’s house and witnessing arguments between Ramos and his mother. He said that his son’s friendship with Ramos fizzled about four years ago.

A few months ago, Ramos moved to live with his grand-mother across town, according to Mr Flores.

Texas attorney general calls for teachers to be armed after massacre in Uvalde

07:40 , Holly Bancroft

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has repeated his call to arm teachers after a shooter killed more than a dozen children and one teacher at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Mr Paxton made the remarks after police killed Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old man, who opened fire and killed 21 people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

The Texas attorney general spoke on Newsmax in the middle of campaigning in a runoff primary against Land Commissioner George P Bush where polls close Tuesday evening.

Read the full story by Eric Garcia here:

Texas attorney general calls for teachers to be armed after massacre in Uvalde

Taylor Swift ‘filled with rage and grief’ over Robb Elementary attack

07:19 , Namita Singh

Taylor Swift has shared her heartbreak over the school shooting in Texas that claimed the lives of 19 elementary students and two adults.

“Filled with rage and grief, and so broken by the murders in Uvalde. By Buffalo, Laguna Woods and so many others,” wrote Swift as she shared a video of grief-stricken Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, whose team was set to play a game 400 miles from where the fatal shooting took place.

“By the ways in which we, as a nation, have become conditioned to unfathomable and unbearable heartbreak. Steve’s words ring so true and cut so deep.”

Speaking ahead of the game, Kerr refused to answer any questions about basketball but instead delivered an emotional plea for gun control.

Read the details in this report by Peony Hirwani:

Taylor Swift ‘filled with rage and grief’ over Texas school shooting

‘One nation under guns’: Amanda Gorman shares searing poem hours after Texas school shooting

07:18 , Namita Singh

Amanda Gorman has shared a poem on Twitter about the attack in Uvalde, Texas where a gunman killed at least 19 students and two adults at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday, 24 May.

“Schools scared to death. The truth is, one education under desks, Stooped low from bullets; That plunge when we ask Where our children Shall live & how [and] if,” wrote the 23-year-old poet.

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

“The truth is, one nation under guns.

“What might we be if only we tried. What might we become if only we’d listen.”

My colleague Peony Hirwani reports:

Amanda Gorman shares searing poem about Texas shooting: ‘One nation under guns’

‘Texas school shooting is beyond comprehension,’ says James Corden

07:11 , Namita Singh

James Corden, comedian and the host of the Late Late Show said the thought of his child being in a school shooting is “beyond comprehension” as he slammed the gun laws in America as “one of the most backward places in the world”.

Speaking during a monologue after the recording of his show on Tuesday, Corden addressed the Texas school shooting.

“As a father, I can’t imagine the horror of that phone call,” he said.

“When I dropped my kids off at school this morning and kissed them goodbye, it doesn’t cross your mind that that could ever be the last goodbye.

“And the thought of that phone call, that your child is the victim in a mass shooting is beyond comprehension as a human being.”

A woman and child leave the Civic Center after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas (Reuters)
A woman and child leave the Civic Center after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas (Reuters)

He continued: “I’m so deeply sad for the families of these children, the trauma of the survivors and for the future these kids will never see.

“It doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t reflect the country that I think America is, the America I have always admired.

“You have a problem, you solve it.

“Yet on this issue, America is one of the most backward places in the world.

This year, there have been no school shootings in England, there have been no school shootings in Japan. This year, there have been no school shootings in Australia. This year, there have been 27 school shootings in America and 212 mass shootings and we are just five months into the year.

James Corden

He added: “I’ll probably be stood here in a week or two, talking about another place.

“Words of thoughts and prayers will come from our leaders but I fear change never will.

“I hold out hope that this country will eventually change this senseless gun culture and my heart simply goes out to every person in Texas tonight.”

We must do better’ says McConaughey

07:05 , Namita Singh

Condemning the school shooting in his hometown of Uvalde, actor Matthew McConaughey demanded that the country “must do better”.

The spate of mass shootings across America is “an epidemic we can control”, he said in a statement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey said.

“Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.

This is an epidemic we can control, and whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better. We must do better.

Matthew McConaughey

“Action must be taken so that no parent has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and the others before them have endured.

“And to those who dropped off their loved ones today not knowing it was goodbye, no words can comprehend or heal your loss, but if prayers can provide comfort, we will keep them coming.”

Another victim identified as Xavier Javier Lopez, 10

07:04 , Namita Singh

Xavier Javier Lopez, 10, was awaiting a summer of swimming, said his 54-year-old cousin, Lisa Garza as she grieved his killing in the deadly school shooting.

“He was just a loving 10-year-old little boy, just enjoying life, not knowing that this tragedy was going to happen today,” she said. “He was very bubbly, loved to dance with his brothers, his mom. This has just taken a toll on all of us.”

A person walks into the SSGT Willie De Leon Civic Center where families of victims were gathering after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas (Reuters)
A person walks into the SSGT Willie De Leon Civic Center where families of victims were gathering after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas (Reuters)

Lamenting the lax gun laws in the country, she said: “We should have more restrictions, especially if these kids are not in their right state of mind and all they want to do is just hurt people, especially innocent children going to the schools.”

Eight-year-old Uziyah Garcia killed in deadly school shooting

06:46 , Namita Singh

Eight-year-old Uziyah Garcia, has been identified as one of the 19 students killed in Tuesday’s attack at Robb Elementary School.

“The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” said his grandfather Manny Renfro, mourning the death of his grandson. “I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.”

This March 2022 photo provided by Manny Renfro shows his grandson, Uziyah Garcia, while on spring break in San Angelo, Texas (AP)
This March 2022 photo provided by Manny Renfro shows his grandson, Uziyah Garcia, while on spring break in San Angelo, Texas (AP)
This March 2022 photo provided by Manny Renfro shows his grandson, Uziyah Garcia, while on spring break in San Angelo, Texas (AP)
This March 2022 photo provided by Manny Renfro shows his grandson, Uziyah Garcia, while on spring break in San Angelo, Texas (AP)

Mr Renfro said Uziyah last visited him in San Angelo during spring break.

“We started throwing the football together and I was teaching him pass patterns. Such a fast little boy and he could catch a ball so good,” he recalled. “There were certain plays that I would call that he would remember and he would do it exactly like we practiced.”

Apple TV cancels LA premiere of Physical season two

06:43 , Namita Singh

Apple TV reportedly cancelled the premiere of the second season of its comedy-drama Physical “out of respect” for victims of the deadly mass shooting at a primary school in Texas.

The premiere was due to take place on Tuesday night in Los Angeles but was turned into a private event following the incident.

“Out of respect for today’s tragedy in Texas, tonight’s screening of Physical season two will be a private event with no press,” a statement from Physical’s cast and creative team, shared by US media outlets, said.

“We thank you for wanting to be there with us, and know that you join with us in our heartfelt support for all of the families affected by today’s event.

“We’re grateful for your understanding.”

'FBI’ season finale pulled after deadly shooting

06:21 , Namita Singh

CBS pulled the season finale of “FBI” after a deadly elementary school shooting in Texas.

The network said Tuesday that it will not air the show’s season four finale titled “Prodigal Son.”

The finale’s storyline involved a suspected student’s participation in a deadly robbery. It’s unclear whether the episode will air in the future.

The synopsis reads: “As the team investigates a deadly robbery that garnered a cache of automatic weapons for the killers, they discover one of the perps is a classmate of Jubal’s son, who is reluctant to cooperate.”

Sports world condemns school shooting

06:20 , Namita Singh

The sports world reacted swiftly Tuesday to the news of an 18-year-old gunman opening fire at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and killing at least 19 children.

“My thoughts and prayers goes out to the families of love ones loss & injured at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX! Like when is enough enough man!!! These are kids and we keep putting them in harms way at school. Like seriously ‘AT SCHOOL’ where it’s suppose to be the safest!” tweeted American basketball player, LeBron James.

“The news of what’s happening, not just here in Texas but throughout our country, is sad,” said Mavericks coach Jason Kidd.

“The unthinkable and unimaginable. As I look at my daughter my heart is hurting for all the lives lost and their loved ones. A parents worst nightmare. Enough is enough. No more gun violence, no more terrorism. This is sickening,” said Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart.

“Breaks my heart hearing this news, no parent should ever have to lose there child. Praying for the families of those kids and the teacher ... this is devastating,” wrote Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.

Biden calls for new restrictions on firearms

06:17 , Namita Singh

Lamenting a uniquely American tragedy, President Joe Biden told the nation on Tuesday night it was time to “turn this pain into action” and change gun laws following a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that killed at least 21 people.

He spoke Tuesday night from the White House barely an hour after returning from a five-day trip to Asia that was bracketed by mass shootings in the US.

“Why are we willing to live with this carnage?” he said, hoarsely and visibly emotional. “Where in God’s name is our backbone, to have the courage to deal with this and stand up to the [gun] lobbies?”

With first lady Jill Biden standing by his side in the Roosevelt Room, the president said: “To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away.”

“There’s a hollowness in your chest. You feel like you’re being sucked into it and never going to be able to get out.”

He called on the nation to hold the victims and families in prayer — but also to work harder to prevent the next tragedy.

Read more in this report by my colleague Josh Marcus:

‘Where in God’s name is our backbone?’: Biden demands reform after Texas shooting

Teacher killed in school shooting identified as Eva Mireles

05:54 , Namita Singh

Eva Mireles, a teacher of 17 years who taught fourth graders at Robb Elementary, has been identified as one of two adults killed in the school shooting, with confirmation coming from her aunt Lydia M Delgado.

She was “very loved”, an avid hiker and “fun of the party”, Ms Delgado told the New York Times.

“She was adventurous. I would definitely say those wonderful things about her. She is definitely going to be very missed,” said 44-year-old relative Amber Ybarra, of San Antonio.

Ms Ybarra was preparing to give blood for the wounded and was pondering how no one was able to spot possible problems in the shooter in time to stop him.

“To me, it’s more about raising mental health awareness,” said Ms Ybarra, a wellness coach who attended the elementary school where the shooting happened. “Someone could possibly have seen a dramatic change before something like this happened.”

Deadliest school shooting in Texas

05:45 , Namita Singh

The tragedy in Uvalde’s elementary school was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history and it added to a grim tally in the state, which has been the site of some of the deadliest shootings in the US over the past five years.

In 2018, a gunman fatally shot 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area.

A year before that, a gunman at a Texas church killed more than two dozen people during a Sunday service in the small town of Sutherland Springs.

In 2019, another gunman at a Walmart in El Paso killed 23 people in a racist attack.

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