tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN May 26, 2022 12:00am-1:00am PDT
hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. you are watching "cnn newsroom," and i'm rosemary church. and we want to go straight to our top story. a texas community searching for answers that may never come. why did an 18-year-old gunman open fire inside an elementary school killing 19 children and two teachers? for now the small town of uvalde near the border with mexico is
in mourning. ♪ vigils are under way and families are making funeral arrangements. a makeshift memorial with flowers and balloons is growing outside robb elementary school. u.s. president joe biden will travel to texas soon to visit the families of the victims. >> we must ask when in god's name will we do what needs to be done to if not completely stop, fundamentally change the amount of carnage that goes on in this country? to state the obvious like a lot of other people here i'm sick and tired. i'm just sick and tired of what's going on and continues to go on. >> and former friend says the gunman, salvador ramos, had a history of fighting as seen here in a video obtained by cnn.
investigators say he was inside the school for 40 minutes to an hour barricaded inside two adjoining classrooms before he was shot and killed by a border patrol agent. more now on the investigation from cnn's ed lavandera. >> i'm going to shoot an elementary school. >> reporter: that was one of the chilling text messages the uvalde gunman sent to a 15-year-old girl in germany. at 11:21 central time in texas just 15 minutes before the shooting at robb elementary school. >> evil swept across uvalde yesterday. >> reporter: the 18-year-old gunman drove to the elementary school where he would kill 19 children and two faculty members just two days before they were heading out for summer break. before the school shooting the gunman wrote messages that fare shadowed the carnage he was about to inflict. >> i'm going to shoot my grandmother, i shot my
grandmother. >> reporter: the suspect is described by texas investigators as a dropout of the local high school. after crashing his grandmother's truck in a ditch, officials say he entered the school building and classrooms shooting children and teachers. >> officers with the school district approached the gunman and engaged with the gunman at that time. the gunman then entered a back door and went down too short hallways and then into a classroom on the left-hand side. >> reporter: investigators say from the moment the shooter engaged with the campus officer outside the elementary school until he was shot and killed by a border patrol agent inside a classroom, it was an ordeal that lasted 40 to 60 minutes. police, state troopers and even parents went around the school breaking windows trying to help children escape. hernandez has a nephew at the school. >> he saw a teacher get shot and another kid get hit in the face. >> he saw another classmate get shot in the face?
>> yes, sir. a classmate across the hall. >> reporter: the gunman barricaded himself inside the elementary school. posing with rifles the gunman lived at his grandparents home just blocks from the school. on tuesday after he shot his grandmother he took her truck and hit the road, crashing without a license. >> he exited with a backpack, took the rifle with him. he went towards the west side of the campus. >> reporter: he had two assault style rifles purchased legally for his birthday days apart from the last week. he also bought 375 rounds of ammunition. one rifle was left in the truck. the other rifle was found with him in the school along with seven 30-round magazines. investigators also found a backpack with several magazines full of ammunition near the entrance to the school. the gunman's motive is still unknown. what is still not clear is what happened in that initial moment
where the gunman approached the school and he was confronted by the school resource officer. we were told shots were not fired in that moment. a dps state trooper official told cnn tonight in that moment the gunman dropped his backpack and ran inside the school, but there hasn't been a real explanation yet why the officer didn't fire at the gunman before he went inside the school killing 19 students and two fackiment members. >> and slowly we are learning the names and faces of the 19 children and two teachers who were shot dead by that lone teenager with a gun. most of them just 10 years old. kids that age are still losing their baby teeth. they're just beginning to learn long division and fractions, and they still want hugs from their parents, hugs that will only be memories now for far too many.
21 people senselessly killed by gun violence all in the same fourth grade classroom. more now from cnn's boris sanchez. >> reporter: 21 lives brutally cut short. 21 families now shattered by an act of violence all too common in the united states. 19 children now gone just days before the start of summer break. none yet out of fourth grade. like 10-year-old uziyah garcia whose uncle calls him a great kid and full of life. he liked video games and anything with wheels. calling his grandson the sweetest little boy he's ever known. renfroe telling affiliate ksat he played football, could catch well and practiced all the routes they practiced. and just 10 years old, his father angel telling cnn he
finally learned his daughter's fate from a classmate covered in blood. >> she was hysterical saying they shot her best friend, they killed her best friend, she was not breathing and trying to call the cops. and i asked the little girl the name, and she -- and she told me -- she said amerie. how do you look at this girl and shoot her? >> reporter: javier lopez also 10 was excited to start middle school. his mom felicia martinez, told "the washington post" he was recognized in an honor roll ceremony only hours before the unthinkable. she said she'd never forget his smile. quote, he was funny, never serious. jose flores jr. also just 10, his father jose sr., telling cnn his son was an amazing kid and big brother to his younger siblings. always full of energy he loved baseball and video games. lexi as she was called had just
received an award for honor roll the morning of the shooting. lexi's parents describe her as kind and sweet with a big future ahead. they told cnn she loved basketball and wanted to go to law school. her mother posted this to facebook. quote, my beautiful, smart alexandria received the good citizen award. we told her we loved her and would pick her up after school. we had no idea this was good-bye. and fourth grade teacher eva mireles an educator for 17 years, her profile on the school district's website describes her love of running and hiking and spending time with her family. a family that includes a college graduate daughter. her daughter posting a gut wrenching tribute to her mother on twitter, describing her mom as her best friend and twin and calling her a hero, detailing how she tried to save the lives of her students by jumping in front of them. >> she was a vivacious soul. she spread laughter and joy
everywhere she went. she was a loving and caring mom, relative, teacher to her students. >> reporter: the second adult, another teacher. irma garcia was finishing her 23rd year of teaching. her school biography says she and her husband joe were married for 24 years and had four kids together. she loved to barbecue and listen to music. >> the teacher irma garcia was someone a year below me in school. i'd known her probably 30 years, 25 years. >> reporter: at least 17 others were wounded. university hospital in san antonio is still caring for four victims, three children and one 66-year-old woman. the shooter's grandmother listed in serious condition. officials say the gunman shot her in the face before he ran into school and began his shooting rampage. >> i see it in the news somewhere else but not here, but
it did happen here. you think big town, big communities. small town like uvalde -- >> reporter: and cnn has confirmed the identities of four more victims killed in tuesday's shooting. one of them annabelle god loupe rodriguez just 10 years old, a third grader and she was actually in school in class with her cousin who apparently was also killed in the shooting. eliana ely dpar sea just 9 years old another victim. her family says she loved playing basketball and cheer leading and dream of one day becoming a teacher. another victim, tess marie just 10 years old. her family says she loved ariana grande and was saving up money to fulfill her dream of one day taking her family to disney world. another victim she was just 10 years old and her family tells
cnn, quote, our baby earned her wings. boris sanchez, cnn, uvalde, texas. >> joining me now is john woodrow cox, enterprise reporter for "the washington post." he's also the author of "children under fire, an american crisis." thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you for having me. >> you talked to parents who had lost children to previous school shootings and to some survivors, and you discuss the pain they felt when they learned of yet another tragic shooting, school shooting in this country. this time, of course, at an elementary school in uvalde, texas. what were the overriding reactions from everyone you spoke to? >> you know, there was an enormous amount of anger. there was shock. there was a sense of sadness because they knew what these families were headed toward. but there was not surprise. there really wasn't because an
event like what happened this week was inevitable, and they knew it. these are people who had been fighting this cause since the tragedies in their own life. sandy hook in 2012 in some cases, and parkland in 2018. and they've all been fighting for change since those shootings and they knew something like this would happen again. and the truth is it would happen another time. in a few days, weeks, months or years we'll be having this conversation again about another shooting just like this one unless something really significant changes. >> and i do want to talk about that a little later, but i wanted to ask you how the families who lose loved ones in these school shootings as well as the children who survive and witness unspeakable gun violence
and their parents and siblings, how do they ever get past this? >> you know they don't. they really don't get past it. it is a thing that changes them forever. and in some cases that's because someone's gone, they've lost a sibling or best friend or a child or a parent because teachers are killed in these things, too. and in other cases it's because of what they witness, what they went through themselves, the deep sense of fear they're going to lose their own lives. there is profound trauma that many of these people experience especially the children. you know, i've written about the subject now for more than five years, and some of these kids will -- will never recover. that's not true in every case but some of them will never really recover. i know children who have been diagnosed with severe ptsd who couldn't ever go back to school, who had to be prescribed
anti-psychotics and anti-depressants, who harm themselves who dealt with profound depression. this events change lives and that's true for those who live it and true for the family members who lose them. >> and you mention little has been done to prevent these sorts of school shootings from happening, and it has to be said to all the gunmen involved in these school shootings tend to be young teenage men with easy access to guns and often experiencing mental health issues. what does need to be done to convince conservative politicians particularly who support the powerful gun lobby headed up by the nra, get onboard with some plan to stop this from ever happening again, perhaps raising the age of young men from 18 to 21 when it comes to purchasing rifles, banning
assault weapons, broadening background checks, making sure the mentally ill don't get access to guns. do you have any hope that some or all of this could happen and that conservative politicians would get onboard? >> i have very little hope in the near-term. i think that all the things you listed will happen eventually, but i think it'll take time. i don't think there's the political will among members of the republican party to do any of those things. you know, there's been a little bit of talk about red flag laws, which could prevent people who are dealing with mental health issues or signs of violence from accessing weapons or keeping their own weapons or being able to buy new ones. but, you know, this is not different than sandy hook. this is not different than other shootings that this country has endured. and those shootings didn't lead
people to change their minds. and the immediate reaction from many members of the republican party is the solution to this is more guns in school, teachers should be armed. and there's absolutely no evidence, none that arming teachers, that even including more armed security officers will prevent these events from occurring. we know dozens of times school shootings have occurred at schools where there were armed officers. that is not a fail safe. and we know that because it's happened over and over. >> and this latest shooting was exactly that situation. john woodrow cox, thank you so much for talking with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you for having me.
in the wake of the texas school massacre protesters spelled out the word "enough" in large letters divergent a vigil at the headquarters of the powerful gun lobby, the national rifle association. gun control advocates plan to protest at the nra's annual convention in houston, texas, this weekend, about 4 hours down the road from the scene of the deadly school shooting. well, the man who will challenge greg abbott for the texas governorship this november directly confronted his republican opponent over the uvalde school tragedy. democrat beto o'rourke interrupted a news conference by abbott and other officials demanding the governor take
action to stop the senseless gun violence. >> you are doing. you're offering up nothing. you said this is not predictable. this is totally predictable. >> sir, you're out of line. sir, you're out of line. >> get out of here. >> worth pointing out texas governor abbott is pushing back on a call for gun reform saying tougher gun laws are not a real solution. but the state has seen a number of high profile mass shootings in recent years including the fort hood shooting in 2009. 13 people were killed. the shooting at the sutherland springs baptist church in 2017.
26 people were killed. santa fe high school in 2018, 10 kill. and in 2019 the shooting at a wal-mart in el paso. 23 people dead. cnn's nick watt examines the laws that allowed a teen shooter to buy guns legally in texas. >> reporter: 19 small children slaughtered by a gunman not much older than they were. he was the legal owner of two ar-15-style rifles. >> they are assault rifles, so first thing he did when he turned 18. >> reporter: a week ago the day after his 18th birthday he bought a rifle according to the local state senator. next day, 375 rounds of ammunition. two days after that, a second rifle. four days later shot 19 kids and two adults dead. this killer couldn't legally buy a beer, too immature, but could
legally buy weapons of war. >> maybe we could at least agree to raise the age of purchasing weapons. >> reporter: unlikely. just last year lawmakers lowered to 18 some texans can get a handgun license. 18 and up you can buy one of these after just a basic background check, but from an unlicensed dealer or at a gun show, no check required. here in liberal leaning california the legal age to buy assault style rifles was up to 21 in 2019, struck down two weeks ago back to 18. why? america would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army wrote judge ryan nelson. today we reaffirm our constitution still protects the right that enable their sacrifice, the right of young adults to keep and bear arms. so 18-year-olds in california
can buy semiautomatic weapons today in part because teenage soldiers died carrying single-shot muskets in a war more than 200 years ago. >> stronger gun laws save lives. weaker gun laws cause gun crime and gun violence. the data is in. we need our lawmakers to act. >> reporter: this latest tragedy in texas is very far from an isolated instance of a legally armed teenage attacker. just 11 days ago an 18-year-old white supremacist gunned down 13 people in a predominantly black neighborhood of buffalo, new york, also armed with a semiautomatic weapon that he was also legally allowed to buy and own. what happened in uvalde, texas, of course brings back memories what happened in sandy hook, connecticut. nearly 20 years ago now 20 kids and six adults gunned down also
by a teenage gunman, also armed with an ar-15-style weapon bought legally. in the wake of that shooting the state of connecticut changed their laws mainly around the size of magazines that can be attached to those rifles. so will texas make any changes in the wake of what happened in uvalde, unlikely. last summer when governor abbott was making it basically easier for texans to carry weapons he said this. texas will always be the leader in defending the second amendment, and at a press conference in uvalde seemed not interested in any change. nick watt, cnn, los angeles. >> well, meantime the national rifle association's convention is going ahead as scheduled on friday in houston, just days after the school shooting. former u.s. president donald trump is expected to speak at a leadership forum at that same
event. ironically attendees will not be allowed to carry guns divergent his address due to requirements of the u.s. secret service, which still protects him. the nra is calling the convention one of the most politically significant and popular events in the country. governor greg abbott and senator ted cruz both from texas where the shooting took place are also expected to speak at the conference. all of them, of course, against any gun reform. well, still to come cnn gets exclusive access to messages sent by the texas gunman just minutes before the school rampage telling a teenage girl in germany exactly what he planned to do. ging. my skin was no longer mine. emerge tremfyant®. with tremfya®, momost people saw 90% clearer skin at 16 weeks. the e majority of people saw 90% clearer skin even at 5 years.
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smile on everyone's face. the gunman salvador ramos was initially engaged by officers when he arrived at the school, but ramos managed to barricade himself in a crowded classroom and began shooting. vigils for the victims were held in various places on wednesday. one local official told cnn's anderson cooper he believed the grieving community would be strengthened by the tragedy. >> our community may have differences, but in a time of need and a time of crisis people of uvalde unite. and that's what's good about this. if there's anything good about this, it's going to i think bring our community together. >> and we're also learning more about messages the gunman sent just minutes before his rampage. cnn got an exclusive look at a series of text messages to a girl the gunman met online telling her exactly what he was about to do. details from cnn's drew griffon.
>> reporter: this is the text conversation captured just moments before the 18-year-old shooter would attempt to kill his grandmother then in his words shoot-up an elementary school. you know what i'm going to do right now, he writes. tell me, is the response. i can't since my grandpa hasn't left. i'm waiting for this dude to leave. shortly after 11:00 a.m. texas time the suspect then complains about his grandmother and his phone bill. i'm waiting for this bitch, i'm going to do something to her right now, she's on the phone with at&t, it's annoying. then five minutes later i shot my grandmother in her head. i'm going to shoot-up an elementary school right now. that last message csent 6:31 p.. german time. 11 minutes later police received their first call at a shooting
at robb elementary school. the person on the receiving end of the text a 15-year-old girl in germany. she had never met him in person. they connected through a live streaming app, then face timed, texted, and he sent her videos of himself. she says the shooter told her he bought the ammo sunday, but she told cnn she had no idea what he was planning. she's not the only person he was communicating with. his instagram account showed two ar style weapons and tagged another woman saying i'm about to but didn't finish his sentence and then, i got a little secret. the teen who spoke with cnn from germany with her mother's consent the only conversation she had with the shooter was through texas. he said the shooter alarmed her when he said he liked to throw
dead cats at peoples houses. there was no explanation. drew griffin, cnn, atlanta. and cnn goes into kharkiv where ukrainian troops are trading artillery fire with russian soldiers. plus a call for action amid a growing food crisis. what the head of the world food program is asking russia to do. that's next.
ukraine is now slamming russia for making it easier for ukrainians in some occupied regions to obtain russian citizenship. on wednesday russian president vladimir putin signed a decree streamlining the process for issuing passports. he was also seen in video released by the kremlin making a rare visit to a military hospital. mr. putin wearing a medical gown spoke with soldiers wounded in ukraine. this as the fighting on the ground grinds on. ukraine reports an intense offensive by russian forces in eastern ukraine as they attempt to seize the key town of lyman in the donetsk region. in the luhansk region there's
been fierce battles with one military official saying shelling has increased exponentially. and in the kharkiv region officials say two people were killed and seven injured by russian shelling in the town on the front lines. cnn's nick paten walsh has more now on the fierce fighting around kharkiv. >> reporter: the forests around kharkiv know no peace. we're just 15 minutes northeast of the city center and the russians are on the other side of the hill. here it is a fight on foot waged with vast, cumbersome guns. you can see here where kharkiv is being shelled every night, the sheer volume of shells that entails here. this must have been beautiful here three months ago, now pillaged. artillery in the place of bird songs. just saying you can see how they
live like pigs and died like pigs. it's the kind of hatred we're seeing a lot of. back and forth high explosive rattles in the pines. like so much of the war, the battle for kharkiv isn't over. it's just slightly out of sight yet no less vicious or intense. these kind of forests it's extremely hard for them to know exactly what these noises are, whether it's them fighting at the russians 100 meters away or the russians firing back. dusk brings escalation again.
all points north of kharkiv we saw over three days traveling, the same picture of russian persistence. even here as we get closer to their border, the rumble is constant. the fight for kharkiv now also one about protecting russia. >> yesterday and the day before yesterday we were attacked by tanks, artillery and the helicopters. we hit one helicopter and they afraid of us. >> you smile when you say they're afraid. >> yes. >> reporter: but there's no room for grinning further northeast where ukraine is losing grounds it won just days earlier.
russia has moved into the next town up in the hours before we arrive. the ruins fresh, still smoldering. and here that means the constant bewildering shelling has new, ominous significance. we don't know who's shelling, she says, maybe here and there and that it's terrifying. not much has been spared here, moscow hungry to cross the water and eager to punish. the bridge is blown, but it's across the river there that russian forces amassed, shelling here constantly. and now sensing the possibility of taking part of the neighboring town. the prospect of a long, exhausting battle of attrition and loathing haunting ukraine's second city even out here where
calm should flow free. nick paten walsh, cnn, outside kharkiv, ukraine. >> the head of the world food program is calling on the russian leader to, quote, have a heart and reopen ukrainian ports allowing the export of much needed food to countries around the world. david beasley speaking to cnn at the world economic forum is calling for action as a global food crisis grows more dire amid the war in ukraine. he says 325 million people worldwide are now facing starvation. as cnn's claire sebastian following developments. she joins us now live from london. good morning to you, claire. so russia says it will only reopen those ukrainian ports if some sanctions are lifted, and that isn't going to happen.
so what could be the consequences of this? >> a multi-year food crisis, rosemary, that's how the ukrainian minister put it talking in davos this week. not only the current grain stocks not being exported but the next harvest currently being planted. the world food program has pointed out this is already leading to instability in some countries. food related riots as we've seen in the likes of peru, indonesia, sri lanka, that could intensify if this continues. on the one hand it doesn't seem russia is particularly inceptvised to help. yesterday they were blaming sanctions for this and yesterday saying sanctions -- that sanctions being lifted could be part of the solution here. that of course an admission sanctions are affecting them. another admission of that interestingly this week is that president putin announced on wednesday he was going to raise the minimum wage by 10% and the
state pension by 10% starting june 1st. that shows he's trying to cushion his population against inflation which is north of 17% in russia right now, partly as a result of this conflict in ukraine. so that is one part of the story that of course there's two sides to this. the central bank just cut interest rates today for the third time since the war broke out. >> claire sebastian, many thanks bringing that to us live from london. appreciate it. and we'll be right back.
we are very pragmatic people. when we saw something like that happen everyone said never again so then it was on us as politicians to respond to that. >> new zealand's prime minister sharing her nation's experience with gun control. she's on a trade mission in the united states but was asked about the tedly school shooting in texas. new zealand banned almost all semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles after a mass shooting at two mosques back in 2019. new zealand is among many countries that introduced stricter laws following their own episodes of gun related violence. after a mass shooting in tasmania in 1996 australia banned rapid fire rifles and shotguns and restricted
licensing rules. gun deaths fell by more than half within a decade. the gun homicide rate is 0.2 per 100,000 compared to the united states rate of 4.1 per 100,000 people. the 1996 massacre in scotland prompted lawmakers in the u.k. to ban the private ownership of all handguns in mainland britain. the country now has some of the toughest anti-gun legislation in the world, and a gun homicide rate close to zero. in france there is no right to bear arms, but hunting is a way of life. strict licensing and regulations ensure that guns are not abused. the number of privately owned guns dropped from 19 million in 2006 to 10 million in 2016. according to the small arms survey the u.s. far exceeds other countries when it comes to
civilian held firearms per capita. in their most recent report they estimated there are 120 guns for every 100 people. well, pope francis is among the leaders worldwide who thinking about the victims of the texas school massacre and their families. divergent a weekly audience in vatican city he said his heart is broken, and he called for stronger gun controls to prevent similar tragedies. >> translator: i pray for the children and the adults who were killed and for their families. it's time to say enough to the indiscriminate trafficking of weapons. let's all make a commitment so that tragedies like this cannot happen again. >> and if you would like to safely and securely offer support for those involved in the texas school shooting please go to cnn.com/impact and you will find several ways that you
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plus, right now, you may pay zero dollars for botox®. learn how abbvie could help you save on botox®. hello, welcome to our viewers joining us in the united states or right around the world, i'm isa soares in london. we begin with a small texas community grieving, mourning the loss of 21 young, of course, innocent lives, the investigation into tuesday's deadly school shooting is raisinqu