tv Jose Diaz- Balart Reports MSNBC May 25, 2022 7:00am-8:00am PDT
americans killed by a gun every day. we can do better. we have to do better. we will do better. we have to put pressure on those who can vote to make a difference. jose diaz-ba latter picks up from texas right now. >> good morning, it is 10:00 eastern, 7:00 pacific, it is 9:00 here in uvaldy, texas. 19 pressure children and two teachers were murdered in a senseless act of evil here. i have to tell you, i have been thinking, i don't know what to say at this moment. i don't know how we are going to
describe what happened here. what the effects to this community is. how do we speak about evil personified? again, i will try. over the next two hours, we will try to explain to you what happened here. how devastated this community really is. it is 70 miles to the mexican border, with agricultural fields, ranches, do thing the landscape. it is known as an extremely tight knit community. 80% of the people who live here are latino, many dating back
generations, at robb elementary, the 18-year-old suspect, shot his grandmother before driving here. he used an ar style rifle. police were unable to bring down the shooter, wearing a tacical style vest. there were video cameras in the school. video cameras, investigators are trying to access this morning. texas tribune quote inside the civic center, law enforcement, crisis counselors awaited parents swarming about.
officials took dna samples, used to confirm whether or not their child had died in the shooting. family members of the parents said. once taken, the parents were sent back out to the setting sun. one reporter described the scene, where families had gathered, waiting for word on their children. saying in a tweet, quote, the agonized screams of family members audible from the parking lot. the parents of the fourth grade teacher, mother, wife, who died trying to protect her students remembered her earlier today. >> she was absolutely vivacious. she was definitely an adventurer, and you know, it breaks my heart. i saw her for christmas last december, and he was just her cooking was amazing, her
laughter was conitageous, she will be missed. i just completely feel for everyone who lost a loved one yesterday. >> died trying to protect her students. eva took pride in teaching students, an educator for 17 years here. learning more details about the other victims of this massacre. that includes fourth gradr what you see here, is the last known photo of this extraordinary, bright, young child, taken on the morning of
the shooting. she is proudly showing off an honor roll certificate. her grandmother said she was shot trying to call 911. here is irma garcia, in her 23rd year of teaching it at robb elementary. she reportedly shielded students, four children, includings her son completing marine boot camp. the school website said she loved to barbecue with her husband and listen to music all day. the other victims are not identified as of now. our hearts are with all 21 victims. joining us now, the former assistant director of counter intelligence of the fbi, security analyst, with us, kerry sanders, who has been here.
kerry, i want to start with you. you know, starting this hour, i have been thinking this all night, what do we do? i remember being with you at parklane, what do we do? >> the challenge is that we don't have the answer. there are many people who are asking the exact same question. what do you do? the question, why. in this particular case, the why will never make sense. we know that from other moments around our country. i think that the thing we see is what happened here and the similarity to what happened in parkland with a community that is now stunned. we want to talk about this town,
uvaldee, stunned. gun owners feel the same way. this is not a case of gun ownership. this is a question about someone who i don't think we will ever understand. to explain what happened. robb elementary school right here. you want a neighborhood school you can walk from. no fences, no walls, you can go into school. that made this, it is hard to believe we are using terms like this, it makes the school a soft target. as we saw in parkland and broward county there, are walls, fences, there are guards, i mean, we make home school resource officers, we see those things take place. i -- >> i keep thinking, you know, there is a sign.
these are fourth graders, 7, 10 years old. tomorrow was the day of school. those 19 parents, that dropped their children off right here. and they didn't come home. they are never coming home. >> i got a chance to speak to loupe, his son was in the school. fortunately, in a different area in the school. and so, he was able to reunite with this son. he and his wife, in those anxious moments, trying to find out what is going on. most importantly, i asked him about those other families, who lost. the victims' families, he said, i think i know every one of them. he explains the community.
how small this community s the most recent census would show, 40% of the people who live here are children. that tells you. that is highly unusual to have that many as children. >> 80% latino, 90% of the students and faculty are latino. these are people, many times, living here for generations. it isn't a place where people come and go elsewhere. this is a place where people have roots, and plant new root, and have dreams and asperations, and hopes, to happening a lot of them, 70 miles away, at one time, probably crossed the border, set up roots here, to get away from what is no doubt a violent and difficult reality there, and then this. >> you know, jose. just from conversations, it is
not particularly easy to accept that gunman is from this town. one of their own. when i was speaking to the texas public officials here about the investigation. how is this possible? where do they find the clues? first of all, they will, if she survives, be able to talk to the 66-year-old grandmother. she may be able to reveal something. they would like to find a written document or video to explain this. so far, they haven't found anything like that from what we understand. we are expecting to hear from governor abbott. he will be surrounded by others
who may have information. at the end of the day, we don't have the answers, if we do, i am not sure it will satisfy any of us. >> seeing each other this morning, again, here we are again. parkland, now, uvaldee. i will just say this, the america that you and i grew up in feels different. >> it feels different for everybody. >> thank you. kerry sanders. >> i want to talk about the investigation, and the fact that for example, i think we are understanding local law enforcement was unable to bring down the shooter. he was bringing down a tactical vest. i assume it had inserts in it. he was wearing some kind of vest. and the texas department of public safety gave information on what happened. take a listen. >> at that point, we had local
law enforcement, and troopers forced on scene, able to hear the gunshots inside the classroom. they were met with gun fire by the shooter. some officers were shot. they began breaking windows around the school, trying to evacuate anybody that they could to get them out of that school. >> what did you hear? what questions do you have law enforcement? >> this is the first realization, within the last 24 hours, that police officers were shot and injured and we are thankful that they survived their injuries. i think it is important. because, as we continue to hear from certain corners, we need to arm teachers, we need more cops in schools, understand something. these officers responded, they
themselves were shot and still, unable to take out the shooter for what might be recorded for 45 minutes, leaving the shooter all this time to do that. the other thing, there is conflicting information as you alluded to, as to whether or not the shooter was wearing some are form of tactical vest, whether or not it was loaded withiclular or a ceramic plate. if he is wearing a carrier, that would have given him extreme protection against the highest velocity weapons. we are hearing that a tactical team had to come in, using their weaponry to eliminate the threat. people saying, maybe a teacher would solve this thing. a s.w.a.t. team had to come in and do it. responding officers were unable
to do it. those are my initial takeaways. much discussion as to why. we will be trying to apply logic to lunacy. the why won't resonate. the serious mental illness, when are we going to do something about young men possesses weapons of war. when are we going to look at the buffalo shooter, same age by the way, and have an hoonest discussion about opening and possessioning a weapon of war. it seems like an easy discussion, it won't be. >> until the new laws passed in the state. if you want to buy a handgun, you have to be over 21. a long weapon, like a rifle,18.
those are issues that need to be discussed. if this shooter was confronted outside of the school and couldn't take him down. he was able to get in, the timeline of how long that lasted, and then, that it had to be a tactical team, from border patrol, that has a large office in the area. the timeline of how long this delve was inside that school, and how long it took for the tactical teams to get here and confront him? >> a couple of takeaway, there, we need answers for that this is reminiscent of sandy hook, the shooter killed in that case, his
mother, and moved on to the elementary school. this looks like a plan. it doesn't look like a wild flight from an altercation, and how about i go into the elementary school. i don't think so. i think it was maybe in his head. we will find evidence, this is conjecture on my part. this looks like a plan. i know he crashed in car from his grandmother's place. i am going into an elementary school to we are talking about a small community. under 20,000 people. police resources aren't limited. often those towns don't have s.w.a.t. teams, they have to gear up from multiple police
departments, because this team was border patrol. we had federal officers respond to an elementary school. that has to be studied as well. no buzzing no locked doors, that has to be studied as well. with me now, the parent of an 8-year-old child at this school. thank you for being with us this morning. i had a chance to chat with you recallier this morning. so, take me back to yesterday. this is the school where your son goes. >> correct. >> talk to me about what you lived through. >> yesterday, i was at work. i get a call from the wife that school was in lockdown. and some shots in the area. >> you live right here. >> yes, i live at the outskirts,
my son attends here. when i got here, a lot of chaos, and law enforcement. >> what did you think? >> i think the worst. the worst. we were praying that, you know, everybody would be safe. we had a tragedy. >> uvalde, i close-knit community. everybody supports each other. 80% latino, the kids, and the school here. how do you explain this? heart broken, the community is
heart broken. i didn't get any sleep last night. phone call from a friend, they can't sleep. everybody is shocked. i guess. >> tell me about what your son -- >> he is doing well. he is at home. he was at another classroom. >> second grade. >> another classroom. aways from where the incident happened. i believe there are a lot of kids that don't know what took place. >> the horrendous level of death. in those 19 people that those children. you know, they were -- your
son's age. my daughter's at one time were in fourth grade. i am thinking, what do you tell those parents? what do you tell those folks that didn't have their children come home yesterday? >> there are no words. pray for them. god will grant them peace in their hearts. it is hard. >> it is really hard. we will go to a break. how this tragedy is affecting so many. what congress may be or not may
school, the scene of a mass shooting that took the lives of 19 little children. 19. with us now, texas congresswoman, congressional hispanic, and mental caucuses. august 3, 2019, el paso, 23 people were shot. and then, just think of the 19 little children. i don't know, congresswoman, what -- how do we process this? >> here is how i process this. jose, first and foremost, thank you for being with uvalde, those
families going through profound pain that will be compounded over time, unfortunately, until it comes to healing. until then, all of the resources, and all the resources available to help those families, the babies who witnessed the most horrific thing, those survivor, the law enforcement officers who had to go in to the site of that massacre, there will have to be all hands on deck to offer mental health support to that community. el paso stands with you. our love and deepest condolences. how do we process? i am someone who believes that we have to look at why things are happening, and solve the problem.
if we had a stretch of roadway, where people kept dying over and over again. it would be on lawmakers to understand what is going on, to fix the problem. when we look at the fact that guns are the leading cause, the number one cause of death of american children. kerry sanders said this is not an issue of gun ownership, it is an issue of gun ownership. when you have 18-year-olds who can't buy a beer, but they can buy a weapon in the state of texas, after the state legislature lowered the age to purchase a weapon, that is a problem. that is an issue of gun ownership. we are learning more about the killer.
there was a painful peace in one of the newspapers, explores his youth, what he was going through from friends, what they witnessed. we live in a state that deeply under funds mental health care. our state's solution to mental health care is jailing the mentally ill. that is why so many mentally ill languish in jails and prisons, recent, greg abbott took hundreds of millions of dollars, i think it was 200 million dollars from the health and humane services agency, using it for his political stunt. when we talk about the tragedies, yes, we have to wrap our arms around the communities and do everything to support them. not just in the hours and days of the aftermath, but in the
weeks, months and years later. we have to solve the problem, jose. one last thing i want to say, this now, we have -- >> i want to ask you about it. >> go ahead, i'm sorry. >> let me ask you if i could. i want to, you know, i know, because i know your heart, and i know that you are part of that community. that el paso strong. i hear what you are saying. it seemed like, when there is mental illness, and yet, why is it that we in this country have, do we have more people that are mentally ill more violent than anywhere else in the world?
what you are saying about encarserating people, there is no solution in that. what do we do? how do we help? help people before they do something? >> what we shouldn't do, we shouldn't make it easy for them to get a gun. that is what america does, that other countries do not. we need to acknowledge, after the pandemic, as folks were locked away and isolated, we should be searching more mental health resources to our schools, and populations, not fewer. i tell you, it is about solving the problem. there is a problem for voters to solve as well. we need to decide as american voters, whether or not the status quo is acceptable. if this is not acceptable to you.
if you are tired of this. exhausted. if you want to be able to send your kids to school safely. if you want to be able to go to a grocery store safely, that means we all need to act. that means activism. if you have a representative who refuses to reform laws that are making us less safe, then hold that representative accountable. join an organization that will do that. and work to elect people who have your values. as a country, our values should be that we make communities safer, like we rhythm tobacco, alcohol, just like we regulate roadways, guns should be no different. it is time that we act. stop with this ringing of our hands, acting like we don't know what the problem s we know what the problem is, we know who they are, we know which political party is standing in the way.
we need to change this situation. we have the power in november. we should, must and will continue this conversation. the issue of the fact that someone who has some issue, that information needs to be shared with everyone that is in a position of for example, selling a weapon. there are all of these issues. i thank you for being with us. ilpaso strong. uvalde strong. thank you for being with us. still ahead. much more from uvalde. new information by the minute now, about how the shooter prepared for his attack. what lead up to it. we are watching
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. >> we are continuing our breaking news. what we know so far, the gunman entered the school lsz than 24 hours ago, and opened fire. the victims, 21 people. 19 of them children. two teachers, trying to protect them lost their lives, more than a dozen others were injured. this happened days before the end of the school year, tomorrow was the end of the school year here at robb elementary.
i want to bring in morgan. that off duty agent, that helped to take down the shooter. >> thoofrmt according to sources we learned there was an off duty border patrol officer who entered with local authority and engaged the gunman in gunfire, they were responsible for eventually killing him. putting an end to the tragic, what will soon be 24 hours ago. the community, is facing moving on from this. this is where parents waited hours on end. giving authorities dna samples to be positively matched with the young victims. second, third, fourth grade children, jose. we know parents waited here well
into the night. we have seen teachers from robb elementary, where grief countors will be for the foreseeable future. for anyone who would like to speak to someone. texas governor abbott, senator cruz, are en route to uvalde. expected to make statements at the local high school here, and again around noon. we do anticipate to learn more about this investigation, jose. this perimeter that has surrounded robb elementary school, is massive. hundreds of officers gathering evidence. one of the biggest questions of all, potential motive for the gunman to do what he did. right now, no leads on that however, that could be changing in the coming days. >> thank you very much.
texas state senator gutierrez. who represents this area, and thank you for being with us in a difficult time. you live here. this is your area. you go from san antonio to the border. 700 miles of border in your district. what -- how do you process this? >> it has been a very hard 24 hours. i heard yesterday around 1:00. we heard it was one child. as the day esktalated, it was four, then, nine, then 19. we started visiting with my constituents, the county judge and others. went to the reunification center. families waiting to hear if
their child were dead or alive. as people were informed you heard uncontrollable crying. it has been a hard 24 hours. that center, which was a center where partners went to be reunited with their children, evolved into this place where parents had to give their dna hoping, praying, begging, that their children survived. how do you go forward? those screams are screams from your soul. >> it was amazing to me to see
people waiting. very calmly. to get horrifying news. to see that, the calmness of it all. huddled with their families, praying. i can't believe that we are living with nightmare right now. i wish- eye don't wish people in america could have saw what i saw last night. i wish that people who advocate for these types of weapons knew what i now know. we need change in this country. >> it is so raw. so real, and i mean, there are some parents yet to be with their deceased children. some that will never be able to see their children the way they left them yesterday morning.
here, in robb, the bullets destroyed the children. it is so real, so recent. so raw. i am wondering. i know, just talking to you about now, your focus, and rightfully so, on the help that theed people and the officers, the people who had to go into that fourth grade classroom and see what they saw. the people that heard, including yourself, those screams. that is immediate. talk to me. about the future. >> we tend to talk about the mental health care nawe need for shooters and the like. and there is a desperate need for that in texas. nobody talks about the mental health care for communities. we are dealing with bereavement
consult ants, this will be a long-term thing. this will be something they will be reeling with after the media is gone months after. i dare not say i know what happened in that school, out of respect for these families. >> i thank you for that. >> i am just. just shocked beyond belief and beyond words. i don't know what call to action there is. any time we want to do something in the state legislature, the republican-controlled legislature said no. we are not going to do anything. people elect me to solve problems, in this space, i feel powerless. after we try and we try, we can't get a gun sense. if we don't learn from this, what are we?
what i am doing in austin? if i can't get republican colleagues to learn from this. >> i know you haven't slept. i know you haven't been home at all. you are going to go home. what are you going to say when you get home? >> i have been driving back and forth. this morning, i hugged my daughters. when they went off to school. i started thinking about the 19 parents that weren't going to get their kids off to school anymore. one of my kids said stop. i said no, give me a hard squeeze hug. they are pre-teens now. this is where we are at. this is where we are at in this country. it is not right.
48 past the hour, it was supposed to be celebration week for robb elementary, tomorrow was the last day of school. after yesterday's shooting, the superintendent decided to end the year. he said the year is done. last night, families waited hours at reunification centers. >> there is nothing you can say.
i will say it again, there is nothing -- it is the children. they are babies. >> he representing part of san antonio, just east of of here. thanks you for being with us. you are a parent. you have young kids. what do we say? congressman? what do we do? what do we say? >> just as a texan, american and as a parent, watching this unfold has been heart-breaking. i dropped my kids off, i have an 8 year-old, 6-year-old, i dropped them off at their elementary school. i have, in the past stared at the front of that building, and wondered what would happen if a
shooter made his way into that building. if my kids would have any chance to survive that i think that is what so many parents in america think about. we see the shootings happen time after time, not only in greg abbott in texas make the situation even worse by passing and signing into law even more lax gun laws. >> you know, the laws that are already on the books here, you know, they may get i guess illegal to buy handgun if you're under 21 and a long gun 18. it seems as though, you know -- i just, the shooter apparently purchased these, the weapon just
last week and i'm just -- i don't know, congressman. you know, i'm just across the street from robb elementary school. look at the sign. right? welcome. this is a community, congressman, you know well. this town is 90% latino, 80% latino, the school is 90% latino. how do we -- is there -- i'm just -- you know, we were just speaking with senator gutierrez. he says i feel powerless. i feel like i can't -- he just feels powerless. >> yeah, jose, it's an overwhelmingly latino community but we've seen many different communities. we seen white rural communities hit by the gun violence, african american churches, synagogues, mosques, americans of every background and time and time again as congress has tried to
do something about this, you know, there are a crop of politicians, republicans in the senate mostly who refuse to do even popular things like pass background check legislation, which the house of representatives passed. that's 90% support among the american people. the american people isn't debating what they want to do on the issue. they know what they want to see out of the elected officials but the nra and gun lobby have such a lock on the republican party. not every single person but most and that has made it so hard to pass any kind of legislation. so i'm not surprised that people are frustrated, are angry at congress. again, state legislatures and some governors have like greg abbott who promised after el paso in 2019, promised to do something so that this would not happen again. he made it easier for people like that young man who killed
those people yesterday to get guns in texas. >> congressman joaquin castro, thank you for being with us this morning. our next guest dr. patel grew up near uvalde, calling it a crowned jewel in the texas hill country and paid tribute to the school on twitter saying classrooms are filled with laughter. there is a smell of crayons, floor cleaner and chalk at all times. joining us now is dr. patel an nbc news medical contributor and former obama white house policy director. i've been thinking a lot about what you wrote about that, the smell of the crayons and of the cleaning products that smell like fresh roses and lavender. you say you wrote that thread because you wanted people to see the beauty of uvalde. tell us about this beauty.
>> yeah, jose, thank you. i'm so glad you're there. i hope you get to go to all the places, the beauty, even being in front of robb elementary. you can see the beauty of the people all around. there is a main square there, getty street that literally fashioned after the main squares in the town squares that we see in mexico and so many places across the world and it's such a beautiful place. if you can imagine places where the doors are not locked, where if you have a family that needs to watch another child, you can just assume that you can join them for dinner. that's what it was for me and i know we would go to the frio river which is also there, beautiful river we'd tube down, splash into on a clear day you can see the bedrock through the water. it's crystal clear. this is a town of beauty and that beauty will hold a grief that will never go away and that this is something that jose,
across the world, across especially texas and the united states, we're going to have to unfortunately learn how to talk about this with our children. so i have a 5 and 7-year-old and i've had to think about exactly the congressman, the senator have done and there are resources to help to talk to your children about this because, you know what, jose? one of my college roommates is from there. her niece who graduated from robb elementary, we were texting last night and i think you're going to talk to other friends of mine hopefully in the next hour. what they said to me is their children, 10 and 12 said they're not surprised something like this happened. so this is something that is adults were kind of shocked as we should be. jose, there is something fund mentally wrong when our children are no longer surprised and that is not -- that is not the united states. and another thing, uvalde, we consider it the cross roads of texas, america in your heart on the map.
it's like right in the center and i want people to remember that and keep this town in their hearts. not for prayers and thoughts but for really feeling the love from these people and i feel it from far away, too. >> i feel it from right here. you know, just speaking to guadalupe a little bit ago and right here a gentleman was telling me he lost three cousins, three cousins were affected by this and some of his family lost their lives here. dr. patel, that cross is so strong and that love of and for people is so strong but man is this hard? man, this is hard. >> yeah. it's hard and i think that those of us who don't even have -- if you don't have a connection, i had people say to me i don't
know what to do. i think number one, there is absolutely -- this is exactly what grief is -- this is the definition of grief. you don't need to be personally affected to be affected and then i'm trying to explore, you know, gun control is a public health emergency. just as important as covid-19. and i think we need to start actually talking about that more as doctors, friends at uvalde memorial hospital, small hospital that is literally doing heroic acts today, yesterday and in the coming days, we need to speak up more on the front line because those children coming in -- you know what, jose? it doesn't have to be children. it doesn't matter when there is senseless violence, we need to speak up and be present. thoughts and prayers are important but we need to turn it into action. >> dr. patel, gracias. thanks. that's it for this hour. i'll be back after a quick
break. much more live from uvalde, texas. live from uvalde, live from uvalde, texas. ♪ to bare my skin ♪ ♪ yeah, that's all me ♪ ♪ nothing and me go hand in hand ♪ ♪ nothing on my skin, that's my new plan ♪ ♪ nothing is everything ♪ achieve clearer with skyrizi. 3 out of 4 people achieved 90% clearer skin at 4 months. of those, nearly 9 out 10 sustained it through 1 year. and skyrizi is 4 doses a year, after 2 starter doses. ♪ i see nothing in a different way ♪ ♪ it's my moment so i just gotta say ♪ ♪ nothing is everything ♪ skyrizi may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. before treatment, your doctor should check you for infections and tuberculosis. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms such as fevers, sweats, chills, muscle aches or coughs, or if you plan to or recently received a vaccine. ♪ nothing is everything ♪ talk to your dermatologist about skyrizi. learn how abbvie could help you save.
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