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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  May 25, 2022 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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>> dokoupil: tonight, we're at the scene of the second- deadliest school shooting in american history, as we learn more about the victims-- 19 elementary school students, and their beloved teachers. a texas community in mourning, as the governor says the gunman warned of his plan a half-hour before the attack. tonight, the fast-moving development in the investigation, and the remaining quons toght, including what was the shooter's motive? the desperate search for answers-- parents forced to wait hours, dropping their kids off in the morning, later giving d.n.a. samples to identify loved ones. remembering the victims. treasuring the memories of the 19 innocent children and two teachers killed in yet another mass shooting in america. gun violence epidemic: the staggering numbers of deaths and school shootings in the
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years since columbine. plus a debate on gun legislation in the age of partisan gridlock. and, anguish in america: we speak with angel garza, after the loss of his ten-year- old daughter, amerie. >> i just want my baby back. ♪ ♪ ♪ this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> dokoupil: good evening to our viewers in the west on what is really anything but a good evening. and thank you for joining us. i'm tony dokoupil, in for norah, who is recovering from covid. and tonight, we are here in uvalde, texas, a community shattered by one of the deadliest school shootings in american history. 21 victims, 19 of them innocent children. they ranged in age from ten, down to as young as eight. one victim described by family as "the sweetest little boy i've ever known, so full of life." others loved baseball, they loved swimming, loved dancing to tiktok videos-- in other words, these are your everyday american
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kids: extraordinarily loved, and now extraordinarily missed. their parents tonight adjusting to a new reality, to lives that we all know will never quite be the same. and now this roughly 15,000- person, predominantly-latino community is also added to the list of places you know by heart: columbine, newtown, parkland. places scarred by gun violence, their children murdered in their own classrooms. and of course, the question tonight: when will it stop? we have a lot of news to get to. we're going to begin with cbs' janet shamlian, who is here to start us off. janet, good evening. >> reporter: tony, good evening. new details emerging tonight on how this massacre unfolded, and they are chilling. the gunman firing on a classroom full of fourth graders and their teachers. they had just been celebrating the end of the school year, but suddenly they were trapped with nowhere to go. massacre in a fourth grade classroom, just two days before summer break. a gunan bursting into a fourth grade classroom at robb elementary school, opening fire with an ar-15-style rifle.
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an unimaginable toll: 19 children gunned down, along with two teachers. 17 others were hurt. they were kids. among those who did not come home: amerie jo garza, who proudly displayed her honor roll certificate, and annabelle rodriguez, a straight-"a" student who loved school. and, teachers irma garcia, and eva mireles, married to a uvalde police officer. >> these kids will never attend school again. to say the least, uvalde has been shaken to its core. >> reporter: in the aftermath, chaos and confusion, as moms and dads raced to a reunion center. far too many would go home without their children. parents were asked to give d.n.a. swabs to help identify the dead. >> to all the moms that lost their babies, i am so sorry. i cannot imagine what they're going through.
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>> reporter: cbs news has learned the gunman, salvador ramos, had earlier fought with his grandmother over a cell phone bill and shot her in e face. tonight, she's in critical condition. governor greg abbott says the the shooter sent private online messages about 30 minutes before reaching the school. the first post was, he said, " >> the first post was, he said, "i'm going to shoot my grandmother." the second post was, "i shot my grandmother." the third post was, "i'm going to shoot an elementary school." >> reporter: the 18-year-old left in his grandmother's truck, crashing into a ditch near the school. this video shows him entering a back door just before noon, going down hallways before barricading himself in a classroom. a border patrol agent from an elite swat unit shot and killed him a short time later. >> this shooter is an evil person. you know, just to go into the school and have no regard for human life, and just shoot innocent children inside that classroom, it's just-- it's just unimaginable to put into words
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right now. >> reporter: the gunman dropped out of school and had few friends, authorities say, legally purchasing two assault rifles and almost 400 rounds of ammunition earlier this month. uvalde resident maria flores told us she knows the family. >> i have been hearing that he was-- he was being bullied since he was a little boy, you know. but we don't know really exactly why this thing happened. >> reporter: churches and community centers have opened their doors, but tonight, many of those prayers, for the lives of children, seem to have gone unanswered. >> you never thought it was going to happen to your... to your town. i just... it's so heartbreaking. >> dokoupil: janet, a lot of powerful reporting now on the how of this. but are we learning more also about the why? >> reporter: so beyond the reported fight with his grandmother, they say he has no criminal history, no documented issues of mental illness. so they are still looking, the f.b.i. spending considerable time at his home today.
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>> dokoupil: and i think that will continue until they get to the bottom of it. janet, thank you very much. earlier today, we met a man named angel garza whose ten-year-old daughter, amerie, was killed just hours after receiving a certificate she was quite proud of for making the honor roll. ( crying ) i know, come here. angel garza's daughter, amerie, was just two weeks past her tenth birthday when he walked >> reporter: angel garza's daughter, amerie, was just two weeks past her tenth birthday when he walked this path on tuesday dropping her off at school for what turned out to be the very last time. >> she was the sweetest thing. she's so creative. she just got an award for being the most creative. >> dokoupil: i have a fourth grader, also. ( crying ) >> i don't know what to do, man. i just-- she didn't deserve that. >> dokoupil: no, no. >> she didn't. >> dokoupil: no, she didn't. >> i just want to protect my little girl. >> dokoupil: it was her fourth
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grade classroom where that 18-year-old gunman opened fire, killing amerie at the very moment, her classmates say, she was calling for help. >> she tried to grab her phone and call the cops, and... >> dokoupil: and as we spoke, we heard a sound from inside the house-- amerie's mother, sobbing. i hear someone crying inside. >> that's her mother. >> dokoupil: neither parent is sure what to tell her three- year-old brother, zayne. >> every morning he wakes up, he asks for his sister. >> dokoupil: and garza says it's just too painful for the family to stay where they are, in an area so full of memories. >> she always makes me laugh because, i mean, i love music, and i listen to music all the time, but every time we pulled up into that school and the were about to open their doors, she made sure to turn it down all the way, because she gets embarrassed. >> dokoupil: and while some parents find solace in the hope for change, angel garza is not one of them-- at least not now. >> nothing's going to change. i mean, this always happens in a small town. nobody expects anything bad to happen, and then it happens, and
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everybody wants to make changes, to prevent it from happening, and then it dies down a little bit, and then it happens again. and then we're just-- it's a cycle. i just want my baby home. i don't care about... nothing, at all. >> dokoupil: i'm so sorry. i'm so sorry. and to think that's one parent, one family, and there are 18 others tonight. angel told us he wants to talk to those at the school. he's hoping to learn more about his daughter's final moments. and we also want to talk about the other lives lost, those families shattered by this acin aveifigk.atttors are lookig into the 18-year-old gunman's background, while they are looking for a motive, of course, we can never forget the victims, and this community certainly won't. those 19 innocent children, their two dedicated teachers. here's cbs' lilia luciano. >> reporter: among the victims,
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xavier lopez, whose mother came to see him just hours before, during the school awards ceremony. his family describing him as "full of life" and posting on social media to "fly high, handsome angel." >> hey, guys. >> reporter: ellie garcia was a proud member of the tree city basketball team. her aunt described her as a sweet girl. >> she was very happy and very outgoing, loved to dance and sing and play sports. >> reporter: a sign of just how small uvalde is-- at least two of those killed, jayce luevanos and jailah silguero, were cousins. and irma garcia, one of two fourth grade teachers there tuesday, is being hailed as a hero. she was reportedly seen shielding kids from the shooter. still, with every tragedy, there are stories of are stories of survival. >> we were scared, and the teacher started telling us we can pray. >> reporter: second grader timothy silva was in the
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classroom next door, and said his teacher reacted quickly. >> he started yelling, and i thought-- didn't think it was a drill because they would have announced it. and a teacher just went out there and started banging on our door, to go hide. >> reporter: his mom waited 40 agonizing minutes to know he was his mom waited >> i was thinking that the shooter was shooting everywhere, that it was going to go through one of the walls and shoot him. and i was so scared. >> reporter: as the people of uvalde come to terms with what happened, this largely latino community is turning to each other for comfort. and to prayer, hoping to find an answer to what may never be known. >> i think there are no words for this kind of situation, and we're trying to speak with our action, with our presence, with our support, with our prayer. we're ready for-- to immediately assist them with grief counseling, with financial assistance, with housing if they need, or any other assistance.
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>> reporter: here at the sacred heart church, as many of our >> reporter: here at the sacred as many of our communities know these churches, it's a catholic church. the archbishop of san antonio will be joined by the bishop on the other side of the border, two communities together as one to mourn those victims. and tonight, the coroner tells us that he expects to release the bodies of those children, and all victims, back to their families between tonight and tomorrow, tony. >> dokoupil: all right, lilia, thank you very much. before we move on to washington and the situation there, we did want to try to put this country's epidemic of gun violence into some sort of perspective, so here are some numbers for you. in 2020, the most recent c.d.c. data shows that there were more than 19,000 gun-related homicides. do the math, that's an average of 53 a day. there have been 213 mass shootings so far this year alone-- it's only may. and the death toll in mass shootings, in schools-- in schools-- it's truly startling. since sandy hook, less than a decade ago, 2012, 77 students
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have been killed in classrooms. and since april of 1999, when 13 people died at columbine high school, 311,000 students have experienced gun violence while at school. that number from a database of school shootings. now, as promised, the picture from washington, to the white house, where president biden announced today that the first lady and he will travel here to texas to look to comfort the victims and their families. meanwhile, the shooting has re-ignited a larger debate, a debate over what some say are commonsense gun safety legislations, like universal background checks. for more, here's cbs' ed o'keefe. >> reporter: the political firestorm around gun control was on full display. texas governor greg abbott's press conference was interrupted by his democratic opponent, beto o'rourke, arguing republicans had done little to stop gun violence. >> ...right now, and you are doing nothing! >> reporter: local officials tried to get him kicked out. >> you're a sick son of a ( bleep ), coming to a deal like this to make a political issue. >> reporter: elsewhere,
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golden state warriors coach, steve kerr, who has spoken out after previous mass shootings, couldn't hold back. >> when are we going to do something! i'm tired-- i'm so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to-- to the devastated families that are out there. i'm so tired of the excuse. i'm sorry, i'm tired of the moments of silence. enough! >> reporter: so are parents who have been through the unimaginable before. >> you will hear these politicians sending their thoughts and prayers, and some of them will say, "our hearts are with the families." well, guess what? the families don't need your freaking hearts. they need their kids. >> reporter: at the white house, president biden said the texas school shooter never should have had access to an ar-15-style rifle. >> the idea that an 18-year-old can walk into a store and buy weapons of war, designed and marketed to kill, is, i think, just wrong.
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>> reporter: democrats plan to hold votes on new gun control bills, but leader chuck schumer wasn't optimistic. >> i know this is a slim prospect, very slim-- all too slim. >> reporter: republicans, as they've argued before, said new gun laws aren't the answer. >> any firearm is potentially dangerous in the hands of a deranged lunatic. at the end of the day, the issue here is not the firearm. >> reporter: the stalemate is part of a pattern that stretches back to the rise of mass shootings in the 1990s. presidents signaled the country's collected grief... >> the prayers of the american people are with you. >> this is a day of mourning for the virginia tech community. >> they had their entire lives ahead of them. >> reporter: ...but then, very little is done. as we mentioned, the president says he plans to visit uvalde in the coming days to meet with the victims' families. when he does, it will be at least the 19th time since the columbine high school shooting in 1999, that the president has visited a community transformed by a mass shooting. tony. >> dokoupil: just a remarkable figure there, ed, and it does
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feel like we're on some sort of a treadmill and it's time to get off, one way or another. ed, thank you very much. as this community here in texas begins the grieving process-- and it will be a long one-- in buffalo today, mourners of the ten victims of that hate-fueled mass shooting there are saying their final good-bye. security guard aaron salter was shot and killed as he tried to protect customers from a gunman at a supermarket just 11 days ago. cbs' jericka duncan made her way to the service. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> reporter: inside a church near buffalo, grief was everywhere, this time for 55-year-old aaron salter, jr. his casket draped in an american flag, the husband, father of three, and retired buffalo police officer, was on duty as a security guard at tops when he became one of ten black people gunned down by an 18-year-old motivated by hate. >> it is my profound honor and duty to posthumously award officer aaron salter with the medal of honor for his sheer bravery in taking on the face of
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evil in order to save lives. aaron saved lives. >> reporter: today's tributes were rousing. >> i believe that he would want me to say that, on one of the darkest days in the history of buffalo, he made a choice to stand tall. he gave all that he had for all that he believed in, protecting and saving lives. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> reporter: and a celebration of a selfless soul. >> when all hell broke loose at tops, aaron salter, the policeman, stepped into his assignment. >> reporter: former buffalo deputy commissioner kimberly beaty struggled through her own grief to honor her friend, a man with no hate in his heart. >> this is not easy for me, and i'm not okay. i want to say, farewell, my friend. my courageous and brave friend. i'll see you on the other side. >> reporter: and buffalo
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officers acknowledged today that they've created a scholarship fund in honor of aaron salter, jr. meanwhile, this community continues to bury the innocent. today was also the funeral for 77-year-old pearl young, with the final two funerals scheduled for this friday. tony. >> dokoupil: doing the work of grieving-- and it is work. jericka duncan, thank you very much, appreciate that report. coming up, tonight's other top stories here on the "cbs evening news." news."
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>> dokoupil: the f.d.a. has appointed an independent investigator to look into the series of delays that led to this critical shortage of formula. up next, a small step toward changing the way police do their work, two years after the death of george floyd. ...when it comes to our skin, what if it could feel differently? say hello to opzelura for the treatment of mild to moderate eczema. opzelura is a steroid-free cream proven to help clear skin and significantly reduce itch. do not start opzelura if you have any infection as it may lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you are being treated for an infection;... ...have tb or have been in close contact with someone with tb; have had hepatitis b or c. serious lung infections, skin cancer, blood clots, and low blood cell counts have been reported with opzelura. in patients taking jak inhibitors, serious infections, increased risk of death, lymphoma, other cancers, immune system problems, and major
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>> dokoupil: president biden signed a wide-ranging executive order today that establishes law enforcement practices for police, but only at the federal level. the order was issued on the second anniversary of george floyd's murder. the measures included setting parameters for the use of force. the biden administration is hoping state and local police agencies will voluntarily adopt the guidelines. we'll be right back with some final thoughts here from uvalde, texas. stay with us. texas. stay with us.
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. >> d >> dokoupil: texas governor greg abbott told reporters today that children are a blessing, "a gift," he said, "that was taken away from parents here in uvalde too soon." and while that's certainly true, "children are a blessing," guns are a right in this country because of 27 words the founding fathers tucked into the bill of rights in 1791. now, the question becomes, have the times and the weapons changed beyond the original scope? a discussion we may finally be ready to have in america. children are a blessing. guns are a right. our collective inability to stop the menace of mass shootings, though, in this country counts for nothing less than a curse. and that's tonight's "cbs evening news." for norah o'donnell, i'm tony dokoupil here in uvalde, texas. good night. be well. captioning sponsored by cbs
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captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> right now at 7:00 -- >> we're taking it to a whole other level with a sense of urgency. >> california leaders with a swift response to the mass shooting in texas. the plan to put new gun laws on the fast track. >> we've passed so many different gun laws in this state now, and we continue to have mass shootings. i think that that approach really hasn't worked. >> what do you tell him when he asked, daddy, am i going to get shot? >> as police step up patrols of bay area schools, parents are struggling with how to reassure their children. fog spreading over the city, spreadingenland. that means an end to the heat wave. we'll take a look


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