An 18-year-old man shot his grandmother on Tuesday at an apartment in Texas. He crashed a truck in a ditch in Uvalde, west of San Antonio. He was heavily armed and wearing body armor when he walked into a school and started shooting.
Salvador Rolando Ramos, a Uvalde High School student who turned 18 years old on May 16, killed at least 19 children at Robb Elementary School, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Texas Sen. Roland Gutierrez said Ramos used two rifles he had purchased.
“That was the first thing he did on his 18th birthday,” Gutierrez said.
Relatives identified two of the victims at Robb Elementary School as fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles and 10-year-old Xavier Lopez, a fourth-grade student.
Mireles’s biography on the school’s site reported she had 17 years of experience in education and she was a mother who was married to a Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District officer.
Before the Tuesday night update, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told reporters that two officers were injured. He announced the shooter, 14 elementary school students, and a teacher had died. The death toll increased shortly after.
“There are families who are in mourning right now. The state of Texas is in mourning with them for the reality that these parents are not going to be able to pick up their children,” Abbott said.
Ryan Ramirez said he was searching for his daughter. Adolfo Cruz said he and his family members were searching for his 10-year-old great-granddaughter, Elijah Cruz Torres.
“I hope she is alive,” Cruz said. “They are waiting for an update.”
The death toll in the city, east of the US-Mexico border, could have been higher.
Marsha Espinosa, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said U.S. Border Patrol agents who were on and off duty faced Ramos, while he was barricaded inside the school.
“Risking their own lives, these Border Patrol Agents and other officers put themselves between the shooter and children on the scene to draw the shooter’s attention away from potential victims and save lives,” Espinosa wrote on Twitter. “At least one Border Patrol Agent was wounded by the shooter during the exchange of gunfire.”
UCISD Chief of Police Pete Arredondo said the shooting was at about 11:30 a.m. The Uvalde Police Department announced the suspect was in custody shortly after 1 p.m.
Arrendondo said Ramos worked alone. Meta removed an Instagram account that appeared to belong to Ramos. The @salv8dor_ account showed photos of two rifles and a magazine.
The district’s school year was scheduled to conclude on Thursday. Uvalde CISD Superintendent Hal Harrell said now the district will be focused on providing grief counseling.
“My heart is broken today,” Harrell said.
Officials didn’t report the number of injured. Authorities were still counting when patients arrived at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. Uvalde Memorial Hospital reported receiving two dead and 13 children injured.
University Health in San Antonio also reported receiving two patients, a 66-year-old woman, and a 10-year-old girl. UH later received two more girls ages 9 and 10.
The San Antonio Police Department, the Houston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the FBI, and other state and federal agencies were assisting local authorities.
On Tuesday night, President Joe Biden delivered remarks about the school shooting from the White House, after a 17-hour flight returning from Asia.
“When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?”
CALLS FOR GUN CONTROL
The shooting at Robb Elementary School hit close to home for U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, who represents the survivors of the Dec. 14, 2012, massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut.
“Our heart is breaking for these families. Every ounce of love and thoughts and prayers we can send, we are sending, but 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.”
At Sandy Hook, Adam Lanza, 20, killed 20 first-grade students and six teachers. Like Nikolas Cruz at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Lanza used an AR-15 rifle.
“I just don’t understand why people here think we’re powerless — we aren’t,” Murphy told reporters on Capitol Hill.
UCISD news conference
6 p.m. report
5 p.m. report
Related social media
My statement on the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. pic.twitter.com/p3xhzDh8hf— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) May 25, 2022
Pray for Uvalde. My heart is with South Texas today. Our community is rocked by tragedy as we continue to learn more details.— George P. Bush (@georgepbush) May 24, 2022
I ask you all of you to join me in praying for our fellow Texans impacted by the horrific shooting in Uvalde today.— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) May 24, 2022
Lord, our refuge and strength, we pray for the souls of those lost, those who were wounded, their families, and our brave first responders.
This is a devastating tragedy. How many more mass shootings do children have to experience before we say enough?— Jessica Cisneros (@JCisnerosTX) May 24, 2022
Sending my condolences to the children and families in Uvalde who are experiencing this unthinkable tragedy. https://t.co/ZKDuH6fM6e
I am heartbroken over the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.— Rep. Henry Cuellar (@RepCuellar) May 24, 2022
15 families, the South Texas community and the entire nation are in mourning.
Let us pray for peace. Let us come together for our neighbors that need support. And let us remember the bright lives we lost today.
- REPORTING FROM TEXAS: Investigators search for school shooting motive
ABC News and its affiliates in San Antonio and in Houston and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Torres contributed to this report from Miami. Checkol contributed to this report from Pembroke Park.