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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  May 25, 2022 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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tomorrow. >> thank you, jack. lester holt anchoring our cartridge from uvalde, texas. new details on how police stopped the gunman and we learned about the victims. many just 10 years old. in a special one hour edition next from texas. t a special onr edition of nightly news from uv uvalde, texas. a small town in shock. 19 children and 2 teachers gunned down in the same classroom. the chilling new details the warnings the 18-year-old suspect posted on facebook jt minutes before the rampage police saying he shot his grandmother, crashed a truck, then entered the school barricading himself inside a classroom and opened fire with an ar-15 style rifle the terrifying moments. >> did you hear the shooting >> two times, yes.
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but then they sounded like bangs but then our teacher kept saying, no, they're justifier works. >> a tactical team arriving, breaching the door and killing him at the scene the growing questions, what was the motive also tonight, the victims many just 10 years old or older one girl shot while calling 911. two cousins among the dead the teacher killed while shielding her students what we're learning about the lives lost and the stunning moment. >> the shooting. >> nothing >> texas republican greg abbott's news conference on the shooting interrupted by beto o'rourke, the democrat challenging his re-election bid. o'rourke escorted out of the room president biden today doubling down on demands for tighter gun laws will congress take action? our team in uvalde with complete coverage of this texas tragedy >> announcer: this is "nbc
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nightly news" with lester holt reporting tonight from uvalde, texas. good evening from this city of sorrow. uvalde, texas, a small town that has become yet another landmark for mass murder in america the bloodshed, the suffering we have seen so many times before as we come on the air tonight, here's what we know. the gunman killed 19 children here and two teachers in yesterday's attack all of them, we've learned, were inside a single classroom here at robb elementary police say the 18-year-old attacker barricaded himself by locking the door and started shooting until law enforcement officers broke in and stopped him. today the governor said that just before the shooting the gunman had warned online that he had shot his grandmother and was going to attack a school he had bought two ar-15 semi-automatic rifles just legally days before. there is still no motive but there may have been warning signs. tonight our teams are covering every part of the story. we'll hear from the president
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and loved ones of the victims, including one family i spoke with late today. tonight amid the unbearable shock here, 19 elementary school students, two teachers all gunned down on the last week of school. >> i consider this person to have been pure evil. >> getting closer, gunfire. >> officials say the rampage began around 11 a.m. tuesday when the suspect posted on facebook he was going to shoot his 66-year-old grandmother whom he lived with inside this home she survived went to a neighbor to call police while authorities say he took off in her truck posting, i shot my grandmother. around 11:15 a.m., i'm going to shoot an elementary school by 11:32 he was at robb elementary where police say he crashed the truck. >> there was a brave school
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district resource officer that approached him, engaged him and at that time there was not -- gunfire was not exchanged. >> the suspect was then able to go inside a school with a backpack and an ar-15 rifle. >> he went down the hallway, turned right, turned left. there were two classrooms adjoining and that's where the carnage began. >> officials say he locked the door, then opened fire this man had just brought flowers to his wife, a teacher. >> the minute i got back in my pickup i heard a couple of shots and immediately the police were there. >> reporter: the suspect was shot and killed by a responding border patrol officer. police say the suspect is salvador ramos who recently turned 18, the legal age to buy a gun in texas, and had just bought his weapons officials say he had dropped out of uvalde high school, was unemployed and had no criminal
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history. today we spoke with a family of fourth grader ariela santos who was still clutching her teddy bear. >> did you hear the shooting >> two times, yes. they sounded like bangs but then our teacher just said, no, they're fireworks. we knew they weren't fireworks we were panicking. my friend michael, he was near the window he saw he kept mouthing someone got shot. >> that's a lot for 10-year-olds to deal with that's a lot for anyone to deal with how are you doing today? >> i'm doing better. >> you got to talk to someone today? >> yeah. >> her parents brought her in for counseling she knew many of the victims >> ariela know some of those kids >> very many of them she grew up with them. we're a small town. >> reporter: emotional scenes for parents desperate about news about their kids as tonight we're learning more about the heartbreaking toll here. 10-year-old ann marie jo garza
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seen beaming as she was named to the school's honor role just hours before she was gunned down in her classroom her grandmother said she was shot as she was calling 911. among the other victims identified tonight, annabel rodriguez. jose flores, javier lopez. uziak garcia lexie rubio. ellie garcia jaclyn cazares jayce luavanos and teachers irma garcia, eva morales. >> i've worked for this district for 30 years and never thought i would be sitting in front of you doing this today please, pray for our teachers, pray for our community and we will move forward. >> there are new details tonight about the gunman and his background from law enforcement officials and from some of those who knew him
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our tom yamas has late details. >> reporter: tonight we're learning more about 18-year-old gunman salvador ramos. he grew up in the same town he tore apart alongside the families whose children he murdered during tuesday's senseless massacre >> anyone who shoots his grandmother in the face has to have evil in his heart, but it is far more evil for someone to gun down little kids. >> reporter: people who knew the shooter described him as a loner in a small community of about 15,000 people. >> nobody knew him >> reporter: he dropped out of a local high school and had worked at a fast food restaurant. he posted photos of guns but law enforcement says he has no criminal history or any record of mental illness.
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>> until this he lived with his mother and boyfriend. >> capable of doing something like that. it's hard, man. >> reporter: alvarez said the gunman was bullied as a child, would often keep to himself and avoided conversations. he said two months ago the teen moved out after getting into a fight with his mother over the wi-fi. that's when he moved into this house with his grandparents. his grandfather spoke with re reporters today? when's the last time you spoke to him >> i speak to him daily but -- >> did you know he had guns in the house? no >> i didn't know. >> reporter: those guns were two ar-15 rifles, legally purchased shortly after he turned 18 he used one in tows tuesday's horrific shooting. the other was found on the ground outside of his grandmother's truck he crashed in a ditch his family members say they
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never thought he could do this. >> do you have any idea why he flipped? >> see, everybody has their own -- like i said, their own perspective of what's going on nobody knows what everybody holds. >> reporter: she says she has no idea why he targeted this elementary school. >> this shouldn't have happened like this. i'm sorry to all the families. my heart aches. i have babies. my son goes to the same school. my heart hurts for everyone right now. >> tom joining us now. you nild a lot there does anything get closer to why? >> yeah. we learned the how the gunman is dead the governor called him a demented person. his family never saw this coming this man's mind or heart was poisoned with ooefl. >> tom yannis, thank you for that they were all looking forward to summer break.
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morgan chesky has some of their stories tonight. >> reporter: tonight they're the faces breaking hearts nationwide and bringing the small town of uvalde to its knees. 19 children now identified and two beloved tooechers gunned down in an elementary school authorities confirming all of them were inside a single classroom, led by irma garcia, e eva the last 23 years and telling "the new york times" she was ab after individual hiker. a relative calling moralis saying she was using her body to protect the students. >> eliana torres, never far from a softball field
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10-year-old xavier lopez ellie garcia many showing up to school tuesday dressed to impress as part of a school wide foot loose and fabsy day. and then there's ann marie jo garza captured in her last known photo, hours before her shooting, proud to show off her certificate. she was shot while trying to call 911 the loss of 10-year-old jose flores jr. writing i still can't believe this happened. my heart is broken. i'm going to miss you so much. rest in paradise, when they've lost a child, what do you say?
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>> don't say anything, just embrace them. >> tonight with a massive investigation and questions that may never be answered, a family clings to the faces and names. >> morgan joins us now from the reunification center where so many parents gathered yesterday. what's the status now, morgan? >> lester, tonight authorities have confirmed that they've contacted every family of the victims involved this has become a grieving center counselors have been onhand for people to recover. it will remain here for the foreseeable future in the meantime, everything remains closed and graduation is closer >> reporter: i'm joint by the town's mayor
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thank you for being with us. all of us visitors here are seeing this community as your home how are you doing? >> this town is broken sorry, i get choked up on this because 19 kids shouldn't have died shouldn't have happened. our community is broken. my heart's crushed for these families that lost their kids. what do you say to them? i have no words. >> to know that your community will join a long list of places shattered in the same way? how do you recognize that? >> all we can do is to hope and overshadow that. we have a community that will come together. all we can do is take it one day at a time. there are no words of comfort. i wished i could. >> we have witnessed a lot of that togetherness and strength
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thank you for talking to us, mr. mayor. >> sure. >> in 60 seconds, new reaction from the president late today.
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back in uvalde president biden said he will travel here for tougher gun laws and also today tensions ran high. here's kristin welker. >> reporter: emotions boiling over in texas today during a press conference by texas governor greg abbott and law enforcement. democrat beto o'rourke, who's running against abbott, barging in to confront him. >> this is totally predictable. >> officials shouted back at o'rourke demanding that he leave. >> you're out of line. >> i can't believe you're a sick son of a bitch to make a pinnacle issue. >> security escorted o'rourke
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out. defending his actions. >> now is the time to stop the next shooting. right after santa fe, high school was the time to stop the next shooting. >> reporter: in june governor abbott cited laws. federal law already allows 18-year-olds to buy the long guns that allowed this to happen >> there are, quote, real gun laws in chicago. i hate to say this, but there are more people who are shot every weekend in chicago than there are in schools in texas. >> the political pull and making an empassioned speech for new gun restrictions, president biden doubling down today.
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>> i'm just sick and tired where's the backbone, the courage to stand up to a very strong lobby. >> when you have 18-year-olds who can't buy a beer but they can buy a weapon in the state of texas, that's a problem. that's an issue of gun ownership. >> maybe the answer is more resources for mental health and beefing up security at schools >> i can't assure the american people there's any law we can pass to stop the shooting. >> there has only been inaction. mr. biden repeatedly called for it to be reimposed in 2013 after the sandy hook massacre congress came close to passing widely exported actions.
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and then bump stops were banned. it was a move that had limited impact >> tonight the senate's top democrat said he'll give his colleagues more time but acknowledged the chances are slim lester >> still to come, a new shipment of baby formula arrives in the u.s. as congress demands answers.
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and a major development tonight in another story we have been closely following a second flight of baby formula from europe arriving in the u.s. today as executives from top manufacturers were grilled on the ongoing shortage jo ling kent has more. >> reporter: anger over the formula shortage crisis erupting once again and then possibly a couple have died. >> reporter: the house committee. their plant was closed in february and they issued a voluntary recall over contamination. >> we are deeply sorry >> what i don't understand is why abbott didn't immediately
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approach these issues? >> representative, we prioritize safety and compliance in our plants and we're committed to do something and coming out of this event. >> yeah, for the record i'm not satisfied with his answer urs. >> let's say you had a next door neighbor that had leaks in the roof they had bacteria growing all over the kitchen and the floor, you probably wouldn't want to be eating in that kitchen the fda also facing blow back for acting too slowly. after receiving. how can that possibly -- >> let me just point out
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it was -- we're on record saying it took too long. >> the second shipment landed in dulles national airport. carrying hyper allergenic. >> i'm here today to say to par parents, you aren't alone. >> reporter: abbott plans to restart production at that closed formula happening some reflikt shuns and thi
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. back now from uvalde, texas. tonight families torn apart at what has become all too familiar that there should be so many that anyone has to track them is a statement in and of itself the gun violence archive is an independent organization that tracks mass shootings here in the u.s. this was the 213th of the year education week determining the
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shooting at raab emmy try cruel us to do, that shooting is the worst one and so here we are on location at the scene of human wreckage and we are trying to find the words of compassion to somehow bring sense to the senseless. tonight after the 213th mass shooting of the year, after the 27th school shooting of the year, we simply have no wrds there is only pain and so we are going to take a moment with you now to acknowledge the pain for we must not grow numb.
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we'll take a short break for many stations across the country, our coverage will continue live from uvalde, texas. thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester hold. my house.
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♪ ♪ this is nbc nightly news with lester holt, reporting tonight from uvalde, texas. >> welcome back to our continuing nightly news coverage with the mass shooting here in uvalde, texas. they are holding a prayer vigil for the victims of yesterday's attack at robb elementary school.


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