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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  May 24, 2022 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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the images coming in the massive police presence the gunman identified as an 18-yr-old believed to have been killed by officers and reports he shot his own grandmother before entering the school parents rushing to be reunited with the terrified children president biden addressing the nation tonight after ordering flags to half staff. our team at the scene in texas what we're learning, a special edition of "nightly news" starts right now. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt >> good evening. he shot and killed horrifically, incomprehensively, the words of governor greg abbott tonight after one of the deadliest school shootings in u.s. history 18, 18 children and three adults gunned down today at an elementary school in uvalde, texas, west of san antonio. according to a state senator briefed by texas rangers, the gunman, 18 years old, and described as a resident of the
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community, entered the school with a handgun and possibly a rifle it appears he was killed by officers who responded to the shootings. president biden addressed the nation a short time ago more on his message in a moment this comes just ten days after the mass shooting at a supermarket in buffalo in which ten people were killed. one more horrific and stunning act of gun violence in a nation so weary from it we begin with morgan chesky in texas. >> reporter: lester, every update that's come in today on this story has only brought more heartbreak for this tight-knit community of only about 15,000 people. tonight, a massive law enforcement presence has descended on this small town, and it is converging on robb elementary school behind me. covered up in crime scene tape as investigators scour this area for evidence and try to find what caused thi 18-year-old gunman to go inside and open fire
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>> reporter: tonight, at least 21 live have been cut short. according to the state senator who says he was briefed by texas rangers. and yet another school in america has become the scene of a mass shooting >> there are families who are in mourning right now in the state of texas mourning with them for the reality that these parents aren't going to be able to pick up their children >> reporter: this time it happened in south texas at robb elementary school for second through fourth graders in uvalde, about 80 miles west of san antonio. at least 13 people were injured according to a hospital official two medevaced to san antonio. a woman in her 60s and a 10-year-old girl both are in critical condition. >> we'll notify the parents and the families as soon as we have some news for them >> reporter: two police officers were struck by rounds but are expected to survive. it all started at 11:32 this morning when the shooter abandoned his vehicle
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then entered the school with a handgun and possibly a rifle according to the governor. >> it has been reported that the subject shot his grandmother right before he went into the school >> reporter: tonight police say the gunman is dead. the governor naming him as 18-year-old salvador ramos from uvalde no word yet on his motive >> let me assure you, the intruder is deceased, and we are not actively looking for another individual or any other suspects in this case >> he was at the school dropping off flowers for his wife who was retiring friday when he heard gunshots >> her class and everybody got in the cafeteria. and just kind of turned off the lights, got on the stage, started papering the windows. she said the kids were real good. >> reporter: the last day of school here was supposed to be just days away. instead tonight, blood stains on the sidewalk outside and parents are gathering at this local civic center to be reunited with their children left terrified. >> my heart was broken
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today for our small community. we need your prayers to get us through this >> reporter: morgan, take us inside the scene on the ground right now. what's it like >> reporter: lester, on one hand it is a very active investigation here at the scene outside robb elementary, but a about a quarter mile from where i'm standing there's a civic center that's become a reunification site that has been the scene of so much incredible heartbreak today. parents rushing there frantically unsure if their child is still alive. we're told at this hour there are still people potentially still waiting to hear from authorities and not having any clarification on how the fate of their child is right now in the meantime, authorities say they will be remaining here for the foreseeable future grief counselors will be made available to every student here in uvalde who needs one starting tomorrow. >> and i understand school officials have briefed the media a few times. what are they saying >> reporter: i think,
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lester, what they're saying is the fact that this is a tragedy that hits harder than anything they've ever experienced in their lifetime the superintendent earlier today in a press conference was almost at a loss for words. it was very brief in that they only acknowledged the incredible loss they were enduring and, frankly, said they couldn't say anything more other than pledging to be there for their staff and students in what will be an incredibly long road of recovery ahead, lester. >> morgan, thank you a short time ago law enforcement officials revealed more about the suspect who was killed in the aftermath. we want to go to miguel almaguer now. miguel, what more can you tell us about th suspect in this case >> lester, good evening. investigators are just now poring through his life while motive is the big question tonight, it may be sometime until we have that answer police believe at this point the 18-year-old suspect who had a birthday just last week acted alone when he carried out one of the deadliest school shootings in u.s. history. tonight state senator
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roland gutierrez tells nbc news the suspect bought two assault rifles on his birthday from a local gun store. at this hour it's unclear if those weapons were used in the assault. meantime, it's believed ramos had social media accounts which will be of high interest to detectives a big part of their investigation will be combing through his digital footprint looking for potential clues to the motive. authorities believe the suspect who, again, was killed during that police response recently attended a local school tonight detectives are working with the fbi to learn more about the teenage gunman who they say was wearing body armor >> when the process of obtaining detailed background information on the subject, his motive, the types of weapons used, the legal authority to possess them, and conduct a comprehensive crime scene investigation and reconstruction and identify and interview all witnesses and provide victim services and other support as needed. the subject is
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reported to be a student -- to have been a student at uvalde high school and is a u.s. citizen. >> as reported, authorities believe the suspect was armed with a handgun and at least one rifle. they're still working to determine exactly which weapons were used authorities are going to work hand in hand with the atf to determine those details as part of their bigger investigation. it's also unclear if ramos had ever attended the local elementary school or how familiar he may have been with the campus layout. lester >> all right, miguel almaguer, thank you. >> this deadly rampage in texas comes as mass shootings are in fact on the rise nationwide gabe gutierrez is here gabe, this type of horror has become quite familiar to americans. >> that's right, lester this is deadliest school scooting in the u.s. since the parkland rampage in february of 2018 there are already growing calls to stop gun violence, which has been especially brutal this year
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another crime scene, another earth-shattering act of violence, another mass shooting in america, this one at an elementary school full of second through fourth graders >> what are we doing what are we doing? just days after a shooter walked into a grocery store to gun down african american patrons, we have another sandy hook on our hands. what are we doing? there were more mass shootings than days in the year. >> reporter: senator chris murphy represents newtown, connecticut, the somber site of its own elementary school massacre a decade ago. fred guttenberg's daughter was 1 of 17 students and staff killed in 2018 at marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida. >> are we going to watch more kids die or are we going to do something? >> reporter: already this year there have been more than 200 mass shootings according to data from the gun violence archive and a new fbi report shows the number of active shooter incidents in the u.s. last year
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jumped more than 50% compared to the year before the shooters increasingly choosing soft targets just days ago ten people were killed at a supermarket in buffalo, their funerals still under way. in california, a gunman targeted a church in the last three years, gunmen have opened fire at a kosher market in new jersey, a walmart in el paso, and a supermarket in boulder, colorado. the statistics are clear, but what to do about them is not. >> we are seeing way too many of these horrific mass murders, and we need to devote far more law enforcement resources to stopping violent criminals, from preventing these kind of absolute acts of evil. >> and, gabe, we spent covered more of these than we care to think about. what was it like to hear the numbers, to see thos images again that are all too familiar >> yeah, lester. we were on the air when the governor first revealed that
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death toll, and it was just a gut punch you know, you said it. how many of these shootings have we reported on in the last decade? i think back to columbine. i was just a teenager then but i do how unbelievable it felt at the time. how tragic now that this has become so common. >> the list continues to grow. garks thank you. moments ago president biden once again addressing the horror of a mass shooting during his presidency the president briefed about the shooting as he was traveling back from a trip to asia. kristen welker is in washington now with the latest >> lester, an emotional president biden assumed the role of consoler in chief yet again tonight, addressing the nation just moments ago >> the parents who will never see their child again, never having to jump in bed and cuddle with them parents who will never be the same. to lose a child is
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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 able to get out. it's suffocating and it's never quite the same so tonight i ask the nation to pray for them, give parents and siblings the strength in the darkness they feel right now as a nation, we have to ask, when in god's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? when in god's name we do we all kno in our gut needs to be done >> the president was briefed on the horrific events in texas while traveling back from asia on air force one and spoke to governor abbott. just last week president biden visited a grieving community in buffalo, new york, after ten people were killed in
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that racist shooting attack against a predominantly black community. while there, he renewed calls for an assault weapons ban. he also visited atlanta last year in the wake of a mass shooting targeting the asian american community there. and of course president biden was serving as vice president under former president obama when 20 elementary school children and 6 teachers were killed in the sandy hook massacre congress tried to pass expanded background checks but failed to get enough support from republicans and moderate democrats as the debate on how to prevent these atrocities plays out after every mass shooting at the white house tonight, the flags have been lowered to half staff as the president and the nation mourn yet another unthinkable tragedy. lester >> kristen welker, thank you. in 60 seconds, more coverage of a tragic day in texas. and also tonight, critical primary elections and a big test of donald trump's power to sway voters we'll look at a key race for senate in georgia and more new projections just in tonight.
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we're watching critical primary elections tonight in five states -- georgia, alabama, arkansas, texas, and minnesota. in what is the biggest test yet of the power of donald trump's endorsement. two of the closely watched contests in georgia. the republican primary for governor and the republican race for secretary of state and just in tonight, nbc news projects brian kemp has won the republican nomination for governor blayne alexander filed this report a short time ago >> reporter: it's primary day in the peach state, already breaking records before the polls even opened with early voting numbers higher than georgia has ever seen in a primary, more than 850,000 ballots cast but the focus, the races on the ballot and one big name that's not, former president donald trump who, in the biggest test yet of his post-presidential political power, has pushed his chips in on two big races, governor and secretary of state >> and let's bring
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this home. >> reporter: his biggest target, georgia governor brian kemp >> brian kemp, he sold you out. >> reporter: trump blames kemp for his 2020 election loss in georgia. now trump's handpicked challenger, former senator david perdue, is staking his campaign on the big lie. >> the election in 2020 was rigged and stolen >> how key is donald trump's endorsement to your campaign? >> i think in georgia it's everything. >> reporter: but it may not be enough. a recent poll shows perdue down more than 30 points and while his message resonates with some georgia republicans, do you believe the 2020 election was stolen? >> i know it was stolen. >> reporter: for others, trump's word is not enough to break ranks. >> did you support president trump? >> i did >> and does his criticism of the governor -- >> i don't like that i don't like it at all. >> reporter: on the democratic side, no contest with stacey abrams set to officially clinch her party's nomination tonight. >> the campaign that i'm running from the day i launched is about one georgia. it's about traveling the state talking to
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georgians. >> reporter: in neighboring alabama where voters are also casting ballots today, the former president has withdrawn his endorsement of congressman mo brooks for senate, a staunch trump supporter who appeared with him at the january 6th stop the steal rally. brooks spoke with our vaughn hillyard. >> why did you go up in the polls in the last few months? >> well, because we were able to with our limited funds start campaigning more aggressively. >> reporter: back in georgia, governor kemp getting an election eve boost from former vice president mike pence, backing the very candidate his one-time boss is working to unseat. >> when you say yes to governor brian kemp tomorrow, you will send a deafening message all across america that the republican party is the party of the future [ cheers ] >> reporter: and here in georgia trump is also setting his sights on secretary of state brad raffensperger backing his opponent jody hice because raffensperger would not change georgia's 2020 results. lester >> blayne, thanks. we're back with more "nightly news" after
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exactly three months after it invaded ukraine, russia tonight is intensifying its assault on the eastern portion of the country and is gaining ground and now authorities are warning the war could spark a global food crisis. richard engel is there. >> reporter: in the donbas in eastern ukraine, an army chaplain and his team film their journey into the town of lyman, russian artillery falling around them.
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russia has taken control of half the town the chaplain was looking for ukrainian civilians to evacuate. further down the road we met some. oleksandr was escaping lyman with his family. "we were hoping the russians wouldn't enter the town, but then we had to leave the town doesn't exist anymore," he says, "before they left to catch a train out of the region russia is interested in lyman a small town for one reason, range. if russian forces take lyman, it puts two ukrainian cities, slaviansk and kramatorsk, within striking distance of russian artillery. walking in artillery is russia's main tactic now it's destructive, simple, and proving effective. so is russia's other tactic, blockade russia's takeover of large parts of southern ukraine and warships in the black sea are cutting off ukraine from selling its main export, grain. and these satellite images ukraine says
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show russian ships stealing some of that food the european commission today accused russia of trying to provoke a global food crisis ukraine is sitting on 20 million tons of grain it can't move. lester. >> richard engel in ukraine, thank you. up next, a final thought after another deadly day at a school in america 18 students reported killed at robb elementary ♪ i' m i'grm eggr, egi', m i'68m. i do motivational speaking in aindd aitddioitn iotot hesubstitute teaching. i hoi nehostnelyst flyee h atthat's my calling-- gtoiv ge ivbae ckba tcko tyoo. i thi inthk inmok stmo ast s will start realizing th atth tathe ty hedoy n'dot n's as quickly as they used to or torhe ty hedoy n'dot n'ret s as vividly as they once did. i' vei' bveee bn eetan kitangn for about three years now. pe oppeleop sleay s tayo tmeo , "m an"m, anyo, u'yoveu' gveoty like an elephant." it's rlleay,ll ry,ea rlleay lle tremendously. pr evpragevenag.en he alhethaliethier brain. bette.
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♪ the funerals in buffalo aren't even over yet, and tonigh the families of elementary school
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children and teachers in texas are faced with the unthinkable, burying their own. we have been here before columbine, sandy hook, marjory stoneman douglas, now it's robb elementary every time, every time we pray things are going to change, that things are going to be different. we search for motives, for answers, and for the way to make sure these horrible scenes can never happen again. today's news is confirmation we have yet to find those answers. tonight, we can hold our loved ones closer, we can cherish the moments we have together, and take a moment to think about those in the robb elementary community who no longer can. that's "nightly news" for this tuesday the "today" show has live coverage from texas and i'll be there tomorrow night for "nightly news. stay with nbc news now
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for streaming coverage throughout the evening. thank you for watching i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night
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(music throughout)
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there is anger and sadness across the country, 18 kids and 3 adults, gunned down at an elementary pool. >> is like having a piece of his soul away. tonight, the agony and repercussions starting to be felt. >> and across the country. >> i'm so tired. offering condolences. good evening, this is nbc daily and news tonight, it is raj


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