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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  May 24, 2022 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. i'm rosemary church. we are following breaking news this hour. 19 children and two adults killed in a shooting at an elementary school in southwest texas. authorities say the gunman, 18-year-old salvador ramos, acted alone and was killed by law enforcement officers. his motive right now is unclear. three sources tell cnn ramos shot his grandmother before going to the school. a state senator says the woman was airlifted to san antonio and is in critical condition. this all happened in the small town of uvalde in texas, about 90 minutes west of san antonio near the u.s. border with mexico. about 90% of the students at robb elementary school are
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latino. a texas lawmaker says ramos legally purchased the two rifles used in the shooting from a federally authorized dealer on his 18th birthday. just three days earlier a photo of two ar-15-style rifles was posted on an instagram account linked to the gunman. the massacre is the deadliest at a u.s. elementary school since 20 children and six adults were killed in the 2012 sandy hook shooting in newtown, connecticut. u.s. president joe biden says it is time for americans and lawmakers to stand up to the gun lobby and pass common sense regulations. >> why are we willing to live with this carnage? why do we keep letting this happen? where in god's name is our backbone? >> the president is just back from a trip to asia. he ordered flags at the white house and other public buildings
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lowered to half staff. well, parents waited late into the night at a civic center on tuesday hoping to be reunited with their children. cnn's ed lavandera in texas with more. >> reporter: late into the night many family members were at a civic center in uvalde, texas, learning the grim news that their children did not survive the shooting at robb elementary school in uvalde, texas, earlier on tuesday. families were told to go to the civic -- the parents and families of the at least 19 children that were murdered senselessly on tuesday. we were told that authorities are using dna swabs of family members and parents to help identify the victims. that is the reality of the
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gruesome scene that investigators are dealing with. right now what we know is this attack was carried out by an 18-year-old named salvador ramos who lives there in uvalde. at some point he attended the high school there in town. this shooting came in just the last few days of this school year. school district officials have said the entire school year is essentially over at this point. the high school was supposed to be having its graduation this weekend, but right now there are dozens of family members desperately waiting for any kind of news and holding onto the slight glimmer of hope that perhaps their loved ones or their children are recovering in a hospital somewhere and just haven't been identified. but the reality is at this point what many family members there are dealing with is waiting for authorities to give them the news they do not want to receive. we're learning a little bit more also about how this attack unfolded. we're told that the 18-year-old
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gunman drove up to the school, actually wrecked his car and then got out, was wearing body armor and ran into the school. he engaged in a shootout with several law enforcement officers that were there at the scene. we're told a border patrol agent suffered a gunshot wound but it is not life threatening. he will be okay. but the gunman was able to get inside the school where he carried out this deadly rampage, but right now we really don't have much information on what might be the motive behind this attack. ed lavandera, cnn, dallas. >> joining me now from los angeles, retired fbi supervisory special agent steve moore. steve, just unspeakable tragedy here and still so many unanswered questions about the gunman and why he did this. first shooting his own grandmother and then 19 children and two adults at this elementary school. but what about the actions first of the police at the scene just
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before the gunman was wearing body armor and entered the school? what is your assessment of how all this was handled? >> well, the first thing i've heard and so confused right now -- we're trying to find out who did what, when. but it appears on his way in we've been told two of the isd, the district police officers engaged him and were shot by him. and that's what allowed him to get into the school. there are also conflicting reports there was a long wait, possibly up to 45 minutes before anybody went in and rooted him out from a barricade situation. i can't verify right now that's true, but if so it raises some serious questions about the rapid action tactics that are standard nationwide and what
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kept them from using those. >> and this shooting was very similar, wasn't it, to the 2012 sandy hook shooting of young elementary school children. what would authorities be doing right now as they try to piece together what happened and find a motive in an effort, of course, to try to stop this from happening again? >> well, i think what we're going to have to do is -- is just a very holistic approach to the whole thing. you can't just say that we're only going to work on guns. we need to work -- we can't have 18-year-old lunatics with assault rifles. we've got to do something. but at the same time you can't just assume gun control is going to solve the problem because it isn't. we're just -- we're dealing with a large -- significantly large group of people who have
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homicidal ideations who want to hurt people who are violent. and we've seen it over and over and over. and if we remove guns, if we were to just wave a magic wand you'd still have these homicidal people out there looking for a different weapon. so we can't just go after the guns. we also have to -- we have to harden schools, make them harder targets. we have to train some kind of security system, police at the schools. and we need to do something about mental health, which is really a serious problem in this country. and we need to learn more about how we as law enforcement can start predicting this -- this behavior. >> the problem is, of course, that other countries around the world don't have this issue with the school shootings, mass shootings every single day almost there is some shooting
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that takes place. i mean, there were some 30 -- there had been some 30 school shootings this year and more than 200 mass shootings in this country. other countries don't have those sorts of statistics -- >> china has some violence against students problems. i think the issue is not -- the people we're dealing with, our nations are not exactly alike and don't react alike to different things. >> and i want to ask you this, too, because a friend of the gunman says that he was bullied at school about the way he dressed. how do facts like that play into an investigation finding a motive? and even if this were the case why would he choose an elementary school as his target? how does that make any sense not that any of this makes sense, of course? >> you're absolutely right. none of it does except in his mind.
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so we have to go into his mind to try to find out why these things were significant to him. and what i suspect we're going to find is in all the shootings we've worked and i've had one in one of my cases you find that the shooter has -- and this could be a touch point where we can start working, but the shooter has researched other mass shootings. and sometimes intricately. and they're always trying to better the last psycho. and this one is interesting to me because if you look at sandy hook which was the most violence or most deaths recorded you see the shooter there first shot his mother and then went to an elementary school. well -- and he did that in the morning. in this situation we have a shooter who shot his grandmother and then went to an elementary school in the morning with similar weapons. so we're going to want to find
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out if he modeled this after another attack and if maybe that's a touch point because these are similarities that i've seen in all these things, an obsession with violence, homicidal ideation and a researching of the thing they're going to do. >> right. and is it are we to the point we need to lock down these schools, make them harder to enter? i mean certainly i know from our neighborhood elementary schools are much more vulnerable than high schools. there are metal detecters in high schools. that's not the case in elementary schools. does something need to change now we're looking at these two massive mass shootings at these particular schools? >> rosemary, my thought on this is if -- if we stopped gun production and stopped everything there's already 20 million guns in society. so should we not start protecting things that are potential targets?
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and what happens when you harden a college or you harden a high school? you're not preventing an attack necessarily, but you're shifting it to the next -- the next least defended place that you can find. and so if the high schools and colleges are untouchable, then you're moving towards the elementary school, and so you have to protect them at the same level you protect the high school and the colleges, or they become the target of choice. >> yeah, that appears to be what needs to be done since congress doesn't seem to be stepping up to the plate. steve moore, thank you so much joining us live from los angeles, appreciate it. >> thank you. u.s. president joe biden addresses the nation in the wake of the horrific shooting at that texas elementary school, calling on americans to turn their pain into action.
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the united states is grappling with yet another horrific mass shooting, this one at an elementary school in southwest texas. at least 19 children and two adults were killed when a gunman opened fire at robb elementary school in uvalde, about 85 miles west of san antonio. texas governor greg abbott says the entire state is grieving. >> when parents drop their kids off at school, they have every expectation to know that they're going to be able to pick their child up when that school day ends. and there are families who are in mourning right now in the state of texas in mourning with them for the reality that these parents are not going to be able to pick up their children. >> police have identified the 18-year-old shooter who was reportedly killed by law enforcement. officials say he also shot his
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grandmother before going to the school. and she is reportedly in critical condition. one former classmate says he received a picture from the suspect a few days ago of a rifle and a backpack full of ammunition. according to a state senator the gunman legally purchased two ar-15 style rifles for his 18th birthday. in an address from the white house u.s. president joe biden grew emotional as he called for more action on gun legislation to prevent future tragedies. >> 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. i spent my career as a senator and vice president working to pass common sense gun laws. we can't and won't prevent every tragedy, but we know they work
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and have positive impact. when we passed the assault weapons ban, mass shootings went down. when the law expired, mass shootings tripled. the idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong. what in god's name do you need an assault weapon for except to kill someone? deer aren't running through the forest with kevlar vests on. it's just sick. and spent two decades aggressively making assault weapons which make them the largest profit. for god's sake we have to have the courage to stand up to the industry. here's what else i know. most americans support common sense laws, common sense gun laws. i just got off my trip from asia
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meeting with -- meeting with asian leaders and i learned this while on the aircraft. what struck me on that 17-hour flight -- what struck me is these kind of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world. why? they have mental health problems. they have domestic disputes in other countries. they have people who were lost, but these kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency they happen in america. why? why are we willing to live with this carnage? why do we keep letting this happen? where in god's name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it and stand up to the lobbyists?
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it's time to turn this pain into action for every parent, for every citizen of this country. we have to make it clear to every elected official in this country. it's time to act. it's time for those who have obstruct or delay or blocked the common sense gun laws we need you to know we will not forget. we can do so much more. we have to do more. our prayer tonight for those parents lying in bed and trying to figure out will i be able to sleep again? what do i say to my other children? what happens tomorrow? may god bless the loss of innocent life on this sad day.
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>> powerful words there from the president. and joining me now is the president of the stand with parkland group. his 14-year-old daughter gina was killed in a school shooting at marjory stoneman douglas high school in 2018. thank you so much for being with us, and i'm so sorry for your loss. it is incomprehensible. >> thank you for having me. and, yes, we feel the loss of our daughter every day. i just can't bear the thought of it. and now we watch another tragic school shooting take place in this country. what were your thoughts when you heard about tuesday's texas school shooting? >> well, it brought my wife and i right back to the day we learned our beautiful 14-year-old girl gina was murdered in her school. we remember the pain we felt. our hearts break for the
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families in texas that have gone through the painful process of reunification. then some of them found out the worst news that a parent could ever hear. we're very saddened by that. >> yeah. just so unbearable. and of course gun violence occurs on a daily basis in this country, and we see very little action being taken to stop it. what progress has been made since the 2018 parkland shooting that took your lovely daughter's life? and what more needs to be done, do you think? >> well, certainly more needs to be done, but we have seen some incremental changes. we saw the fix knicks act which helped fix background checks. we saw the stop school violence act get passed in 2018 as well that provided funding for single point of entry for securing the campuses as well as creation of
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threat assessment teams. so we have seen incremental change. various states 15 of which have added red flag laws, and of course for those who aren't familiar with red flag are extremist protection laws. what they do is if someone is a threat to themselves or others, they must surrender their firearms after a due process hearing, and surrender them until they're deemed not to be a threat to themselves or others. this is a very proactive measure. it keeps firearms in the hands of responsible owners yet removes them from those who are dangerous. it's this kind of proactive thing we need to see. we saw president trump support these after the parkland shooting. we've seen president biden support these early in his administration, and now we need congress to act. there's a bill s292 which was a red flag act put out by senator
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rubio, senator scott supported by senator reed and king, and that provided money to states to enact red flag laws that have been used 5,000 times here in florida. and despite the nay saying from the extreme right, the world hasn't ended. people are still able to purchase weapons. people are still able to hunt, do all the things they love to do yet over 5,000 times we've helped protect floridians with that law. >> right. well, it's good to see there's been some progress. we just heard from president biden and he said in his address tuesday that action needs to be taken and called on congress to stand up to the powerful gun lobby. do you have any faith that more will be done, that that will happen particularly with the mid-term elections just months away will we see courage or cowardice in congress do you think? >> well, we've worked with good
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people on both sides of the aisle and hope finally this will be the thing that pushes people to action. again, we've seen the leader and the last two presidents, one republican, one democrat, supporting simple things like red flag laws. yet we've failed to see congress act. i urge congressional action on that. the other bill out there is the eagles actch the eagles act is named after marjory stoneman douglas high school. it would investigate school shootings and how to prevent them. then they take that and go out into the public and train school districts, local districts how to do behavioral threat assessments to children exhibiting troubling behavior. and the purpose of that is to get people help before they resort to violence. these are two of the most proactive things we can do.
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these are two bills that have bipartisan support that need to be acted on so that we can identify people, get them the help they need and stop the violence before it happens. because even one child was murdered at school is one too many. >> you're absolutely right. let's hope we see some progress with those bills. tony, thank you so much for talking with us. >> thank you for having me, and let's pray for the people in texas, please. >> yeah, absolutely. thank you. well, these tragedies always spark a barrage of thoughts and prayer-type cliches many from republicans who have no intention of supporting any type of gun reform laws. so what does it take to get it passed? i'll speak to the head of a group working to reduce gun violence. you can framebridge just about anything. and we have.
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well, we are learning more about the days leading up to the horrific mass shooting at robb elementary school in texas. if you're just joining us, authorities say 19 children and two adults were killed on tuesday by an 18-year-old gunman. local hospitals are treating more than a dozen children and
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two adults for injuries. a texas state lawmaker tells cnn the shooter legally purchased the weapons from a federally authorized dealer. >> an his 18th birthday he bought those two assault rifles that you've been talking about, and they are assault rifles. so first thing he did when he turned 18 just some time ago. there was some social media interaction, some threats that, you know, kids should watch out. >> as you heard there authorities are investigating possible warnings on social media. an instagram account linked to shooter contained a photo of two ar-15 style rifles just three days before the massacre. following the attack a democratic u.s. senator got choked up over the shooting and begged his republican colleagues to work on gun reforms.
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>> our kids are living in fear every time they step foot in the classroom because they think they're going to be next. what are we doing? why do you spend all this time running for the united states senate? why do you go through all your hassle of getting this job, putting yourself in a position of authority as your answer as kids run for their lives, we do nothing? >> the school shooting in texas is likely to be among the deadliest in u.s. history. i want to take a look at some of the others. in 2007 a student opened fire in blacksburg, virginia, killing 17 people before killing himself. a 20-year-old shot and killed --
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and a 19-year-old killed 17 students and staff at marjory stoneman douglas high school. april 19999 columbine high school in colorado, two students killed 12 classmates and a teacher before committing suicide in the school library. well, from los angeles i want to bring in matthew lichman, the director of a non-profit working to decrease gun violence. thank you so much for joining us as we try to work through yet another mass shooting in this country and this time at an elementary school. most americans, of course, want to see action on common sense gun control laws and yet congress appears paralyzed. many members refusing to go against the powerful gun lobby, so what need to be done and what can be done to stop these mass shootings?
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>> hello, rosemary. i was on with you ten days ago and was hoping not to be on with you for a while. i can't believe we're back here so quickly talking about something so horrible. and what can be done? congress is not passing universal background checks. so that's something could have been done and the senate won't even vote on it. we have red flag laws in many states in this country. we don't use them effectively that could have prevented the shooting in buffalo, for example. we have them in florida. governor desachbt s is leading that state. we could use red flag laws and there is no objections for the most part from republicans on red flag laws. let's use them. let me also say this, rosemary. we have to bring gun owners to the table. we can't keep doing the same thing over and over again and then say why didn't this work? and the thing we need to do there are 400 million guns in this country. we need to get gun owners to the table to advocate for gun
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reform, and we need to that now. >> well, what sort of percentage of those gun owners would be onboard with that, though? >> thank you for asking. we call it 97% and the reason we started this whole thing is that's what we saw as the missing link. there are plenty of people doing great work on gun issues. the heritage foundation works on technology on guns, people who train to use guns properly, but there's no one setup to help gun reform -- help gun owners advocate for gun reform. 97% favor background checks. of americans 84% of gun owners, 80% of members of the nra favor background checks, but they're not being heard. they don't trust the government, don't trust the media and the loudest voices are that minority of voices that get the time on-air and social media. and we need to work with them for example we have two former
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nra lobbyists on our board but they never have a seat at the table to write background checks in a way it'll pass. it's not going to be perfect but we can't let perfect be the enemy of the good in this case. we have to make progress. >> yeah, because we seem to be stuck, don't we? as you mention most americans, they want to see those universal background checks put in place. they want to see a system that prevents those with mental illness getting access to guns, and the majority want to see assault weapons banned, so if most americans want this why are those elected to represent the american people delivering some or all those protective measures as a foreigner? living in this country i do not get it. and i get a lot of tweets from people all around the world saying what is the problem, why don't they just stop selling the guns? people outside of america don't understand the history of course that have brought us to this
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point we can't take the guns away, and no one is suggesting that but put some controls in place so we're not seeing our children murdered in schools. >> rosemary, i'm not a foreigner living in this country and i can tell you i don't understand it. it is absolutely absurd, but we have to change what we're doing if we want a different result. so we need to start bringing new people to the table so they can advocate for gun reform, and the way the senate is setup if you don't have enough votes you're not getting a vote. for example, the house passed background checks. the house could pass ethan's law tomorrow which is a gun storage law but we won't get a vote on those things from the senate. as for those gun owners many of them, almost all of them, they don't want to see people getting killed with guns. they're almost always in the same place, but we don't utilize them, don't bring them to the table, and we need to start doing that. the way we're doing things and i understand how people feel in different countries, and the
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united states is different. there's 400 million guns. in the united states there are 340 million people, so we're not getting rid of guns. so what can we do? train people to use guns more safely, use smarter gun laws such as red flag laws. lindsey graham proposed red flag laws. we have red flag laws in some states. why aren't we using them better in states that have them? that will save some lives. look, we have 42,500 deaths from guns. 26,000, by the way, are from suicides. we can lower those, save more lives by having things like background checks, by using red flag laws effectively. those are things we could do, and we could start doing that really quickly, but we need to bring everybody to the table, which is something we have not been doing. and i really -- i pray i do not have to come back here in ten days and have another one of these conversations. >> yeah, i feel the same. it's just unfathomable,
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honestly. many thanks. >> thank you. appreciate it. not long after the u.s. president left asia, north korea fired off a trio of missiles. what's known about these latest tests and how allies are responding. we'll take a look on the other side of the breaeak. stay with us. print. come on! print! print! print! do you suffer from cartridge conniptions? be conniption-free, thanks to the cartridge-free epson ecotank printer. a ridiculous amount ink! do i look like a mey tree? a ridthe epson ecotank.k! just fill & chill.
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to jurassic-themed at-home activities. join over 3 million members and start enjoying rewards like these, and so much more in the xfinity app! and don't miss jurassic world:dominion in theaters june 10th. it was a tough night at the polls for donald trump's hand picked candidate in the georgia governor's race. cnn projects incumbent brian kemp will win the republican nomination over former senator david perdue. kemp will face democrat stacey abrams who he narrowly beat in 2018. >> and tonight because of your support georgia republicans went to the ballot box and overwhelmingly endorsed four
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more years of our vision for this great state. >> former vice president mike pence campaigned for kemp in a direct challenge to trump's endorsement of perdue. trump's candidate for secretary of state, which oversees elections in georgia, has lost to incumbent brad raffensperger. meanwhile, the republican primary for the u.s. senate seat in alabama will head to a runoff between political aid katie brit and congressman mo brookss. and cnn projects sarah huckabee sanders will win the republican primary for governor in arkansas. well, right after the u.s. president finished his trip to japan and south korea, north korea carried out three new missile tests, and it's believed at least one of them was an intercontinental ballistic missile. that's according to the south korean military. the north has now launched 16
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missiles so far this year, and there are concerns a nuclear test could be on the horizon. cnn's blake essik is tracking all this live for us and joins us from tokyo. there had been concerns north korea might do this while president biden was in the region but instead kim jong-un waited until he returned to the u.s. what more are you learning about the timing, and what more do you know about these three new missile tests? >> rosemary, the threat of a weapons test by north korea missile or nuclear was a constant topic before and throughout joe biden's first trip to asia as president, while north korea didn't conduct a weapons test while president biden was in the region. they did fire missiles before air force one touched down in the united states after leaving tokyo just yesterday. earlier this morning south korean japanese officials confirmed north korea did launch three ballistic missiles in
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about a 45-minute period that landed in the east coast off the peninsula. officials are still determining what kind of missiles fired, but the missiles flew at varying distances and altitudes. and according to japan's minister of defense it flew in irregular trajectory which is significant. take a listen. >> translator: we cannot ignore north korea's recent noticeable technological developments for nuclear and missile related tests. their repeated ballistic missile launches and their actions are a threat to our country, the region and the international community's peace and security. and we absolutely cannot tolerate that. >> reporter: and so far this year north korea has conducted 16 weapons test, testing various types of missiles on an almost routine basis and they believe the seventh ever nuclear test
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starting since 2006 could be imminent, rosemary. >> many thanks bringing us to date on the situation there in tokyo. appreciate it. well, newly classified u.s. intelligence is shining a light on the russian blockade on ukraine. it shows the invasion has effectively halted all maritime trade of ukrainian ports cutting off exports and risking a global food crisis. this as we're getting a better sense of the absolute devastation left behind by russia's unrelenting attacks on port city of mariupol. an advisor to the mayor says it's believed at least 22,000 residents were killed divergent the last three months, though that number can't be independently verify. he says mariupol is now, quote, a city of ghosts. meantime in the eastern donbas region the head of the donetsk regional organization says russian forces have taken the
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contested city and ukrainian forces have withdrawn. about 10,000 civilians remain in the city. still to come our breaking news coverage continues of the deadly mass shooting at a texas elementary school. you're watching "cnn newsroom."
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you're looking at the american flag at half staff above the white house. president biden has ordered all u.s. flags on federal grounds to be flown at half staff to honor the victims of the tuesday's mass shooting in texas. authorities say 19 children and two adults were killed in the tragic school shooting by a teenage gunman. the massacre in the small town of uvalde is the latest in a long line of mass shootings in the u.s. and nvt tors believe the 18-year-old gunman acted alone. he was shot by law enforcement officers. officials say the gunman also shot his grandmother before
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going on the rampage. she is hospitalized in critical condition. on tuesday, u.s. vice president kamala harris addressed the mass shooting at an unrelated event. >> normally say in a moment like this we would say our hearts break. our hearts keep getting broken. you know, i think so many, there's so many elected leaders in this room. you know what i'm talking about. every time a tragedy like this happens, our hearts break. and our broken hearts are nothing compared to the broken hearts of the families. >> both president biden and the vice president are using the tragedy to renew calls for gun law reform here in the united states. according to the small arm survey the u.s. far exceeds other countries when it comes to civilian held firearms per
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capita. in the 2018 report, they estimated there are 120 guns for every 100 people. groups are already coming together to support those affected by the school shooting. the south texas blood and tissue center has announced an emergency blood drive on wednesday. appointments and walk in donations are welcome. the group tweets their hearts are with the uvalde community. i want to thank you for watching. our breaking news coverage of the elementary school shooting in texas continues after a short break. you might have heard of carvana and that we sell cars online.
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hello, welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. we are following breaking news this hour. another tragic mass shooting here in the united states. the deadliest at a grade school in almost a decade. a lone gunman in southwest texas has shot and killed at least 19 children and two adults. authorities say 18-year-old salvador ramos acted alone and was killed by law enforcement officers. his motive right now is unclear. three sources tell cnn ramos shot his grandmother before going to the school. a state senator says the woman was air lifted to the san antonio and is in critical condition. the texas department of public safety says the gunman ran into the school wearing body armor after crashing his vehicle nearby. a texas lawmakers says he legally purchased the two rifles


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