UPDATED 7:05 AM PT – Friday, May 27, 2022
A small community in Texas is mourning following the deadly mass shooting at a school. At least 19 students and two adults were killed when a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, which is located West of San Antonio. Officials from the local school district said their hearts are broken and their thoughts as well as their prayers are with all the families affected by the tragedy. They also said grief counseling and support will be available for students, staff and community members.
This comes as investigators are trying to determine a motive in the shooting after suspect Salvador Ramos, 18, opened fire at the school. According to authorities, he acted alone and shot dead by responding police officers. The gunman reportedly purchased a pair of rifles along with 375 rounds of ammunition at a local sporting goods store back in March.
Texas Governor Gregg Abbott (R) has provided more insight into what led up to Tuesday’s mass school shooting. In a press conference Wednesday, he said the 18-year-old gunman was reportedly a high school drop out who may have had a juvenile record.
Provided an update today on the ongoing response to the horrific tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
As Texans, we must come together in support of the entire Uvalde community during this time of heartbreak and healing.https://t.co/zq5vEMiwBE
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) May 25, 2022
The governor added, the shooter made three disturbing Facebook posts shortly before he reached the school. In the social media posts, he said he shot his grandmother in the face and alluded to his plans of attacking the school. The governor credited law enforcement for quickly arriving to the scene and running toward gunfire to prevent further loss of life.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed their condolences for the families who lost loved ones in Texas. On Tuesday, nearly every legislator took to social to send out sympathies following the mass shooting.
President Joe Biden also addressed the nation following the tragic shooting. He commented about how had previously spoken following the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting while noting there have been over 900 reported incidents of gunfire on school grounds since that incident.
“Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?” Biden asked. “Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it? It’s time to turn this pain into action.”
Meanwhile, the shooting remains under investigation as police try to determine the motive behind the massacre. On Wednesday, police revealed all 21 victims, 19 students and two teachers, were in the same fourth grade classroom when the gunman entered and opened fire.
Officials with the Texas Department of Public Health and Safety said they are looking to everything from who this gunman was to why he committed such an awful crime. Those officials led a press conference on Thursday in an effort to clear up information being spread. Here’s the timeline of what they say happened:
11:28 a.m. — The suspect wrecked his truck, which he had stolen from his grandmother after shooting her in the face, outside of the school. He jumped out the passenger side and retrieves what was found out to be ammunition. He sees two women outside of the nearby funeral home and begins shooting at them. The suspect then jumped the fence, which placed him in the school parking lot. He then appears to already shoot at the building.
11:40 — The suspect makes his way into Robb Elementary School. According to video, he discharges dozens of rounds once inside. At about that same time, he walks into a classroom. Officers are at the scene, but they don’t enter or return fire because of the initial shots. However, they are calling for backup. At the same time, officers are evacuating the school. Then the incident turned into a rescue operation. It was reported that a school district police officer approached the gunman, however, the rangers said that was not true. The suspect faced no obstacle between his grandmothers home and the school.
Officials from the Department of Public Safety said they will provide more updates as they come.