Texas elementary school shooting: Live from Uvalde, Texas
A teenage gunman has murdered at least nineteen children and two teachers in a shooting at a Texas primary school only a week after another shooter killed ten people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
The gunman, who has been named as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was shot dead, apparently by police officers at the scene. One of the victims of the shooting has been named as fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles.
Her aunt said that she was “furious that these shootings continue” in a statement after the attack, adding: “These children are innocent. Rifles should not be easily available to all.”
Five children who were killed in the attack have been named as Uziyah Garcia, 8, Xavier Javier Lopez, 10, Amerie Jo Garza, 10, Makenna Lee Elrod, 10, and Jose Flores, 10. Another teacher, Irma Garcia, has also been named by her family as a victim of the shooting.
After the attack, Joe Biden urged Congress to end the “carnage” of gun violence in America, saying: “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?”
The shooter Ramos reportedly shot his grandmother at her home in the morning before wrecking his car outside the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. He then ran into the school and began shooting, according to a Texas state senator Roland Gutierrez. Mr Biden told the nation it was time to “turn this pain into action” and change gun laws following the massacre.
“Why are we willing to live with this carnage?” he said at the White House.
Teacher Irma Garcia confirmed dead by nephew
A second teacher at the elementary school, Irma Garcia, has been named as among the dead.
Her nephew John posted a message on social media, saying: “My tia did not make it, she sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom, i beg of you to keep my family including all of her family in y’all’s prayers, Irma Garcia is her name and she died a hero.”
Ms Garcia had reportedly taught at the school for 23 years and had four children of her own.
Holly Bancroft25 May 2022 11:30
French president describes Texas shooting as a ‘cowardly attack’
More international reaction as Emmanuel Macron, French president, issues a statement about the shooting.
Mr Macron called the attack “cowardly” and said he shared “the rage of those who are fighting to end the violence.”
Read his comments on Twitter here:
Holly Bancroft25 May 2022 11:22
Ten-year-old Amerie Jo Garza named as shooting victim
Amerie Jo Garza, 10, has been named as another child victim of Texas shooting.
Angel Garza, the father of Amerie, confirmed her death in a Facebook post.
“Thank you everyone for the prayers and help trying to find my baby,” he wrote. “She’s been found. My little love is now flying high with the angels above. Please don’t take a second for granted. Hug your family. Tell them you love them. I love you Amerie jo. Watch over your baby brother for me.”
Holly Bancroft25 May 2022 11:10
Texas expanded access to guns as recently as late last year
The mass shooting at a Texas school on Tuesday that killed at least 21 people including 19 children comes less than a year after the state brought in laws that allowed more people to possess handguns.
The law, which came into effect last September, allows gun owners to openly carry a handgun without going through the requirements of needing a licence, background check or any training.
With the law, Texas joined nearly two dozen states that allow some form of unregulated handgun possession.
Texas already allowed rifles to be carried in public without a licence prior to the law.
Holly Bancroft25 May 2022 10:55
Family of those killed in Sandy Hook elementary school shooting call for action on guns
Erica Leslie Lafferty, whose mother was killed in the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in 2012, has called for action on gun violence.
“Thoughts and prayers didn’t bring my mother back after she was gunned down in a hallway at Sandy Hook,” Ms Lafferty wrote on Twitter. “They also won’t bring back the 15 murdered at Robb elementary school back to life. IT IS BEYONE TIME TO TAKE ACTION.”
The death toll from the Texas shooting has now risen to 21, with two teachers and 19 children reported dead.
Read her call to action here:
Holly Bancroft25 May 2022 10:42
Furious senator Chris Murphy asks politicians ‘What are we doing? Why are you here?’
Connecticut democractic senator Chris Murphy, who represents the state where the Sandy Hook elementary school massace happened in 2012, has delivered a passionate speech on the floor of the US senate, calling out his fellow congresspeople for failing to take action on gun violence.
“Why do you spend all this time running for the United States senate? Why do you go through all the hastle of getting this job, of putting yourself in a position of authority? If your answer is that as the slaughter increases as our kids run for their lives we do nothing. What are we doing?,” he asked his colleagues.
“Why are you here? If not to solve a problem as existential as this. This isn’t inevitable. These kids weren’t unlucky. This only happens in this country, and nowhere else.”
“It is a choice. It is our choice to let it continue. What are we doing?”
Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mr Murphy said: “Spare me the bullsh** about mental health. We don’t have any more mental illness than any other country in the world. You cannot explain this through a prism of mental illness because we’re not an outlier on mental illness.”
He continued: “We’re an outlier when it comes to access to firearms and the capacity of criminals and very sick people to get their arms on firearms. That’s what makes America different.”
Holly Bancroft25 May 2022 10:32
Gunman was ‘bullied as a child’ and became ‘different person’, says friend
Texas gunman Salvador Ramos became a “different person” and “kept getting worse and worse” in the last few years, according to a school friend.
Stephen Garcia, 18, told the Washington Post, that he had been best friends with Ramos at school but fell out of touch with him. “I lost my friend a long time ago”, he said.
“He was the nicest kid, the most shyest kid. He just needed to break out of his shell, He was person like all of us – he was like a good friend of mine that has never made me any happier,” Mr Garcia said.
He described how Ramos had been “bullied hard” at school, “over social media, over gaming, over everything”.
Mr Garcia’s family moved away for his mother’s job and Ramos “just started being a different person,” he said.
Ramos dropped out of school and started wearing all black and large military boots, Mr Garcia said. Speaking about the shooting, Mr Garcia said: “I never expected him to hurt people. I think he needed mental help. And more closure with his family. And love.”
Holly Bancroft25 May 2022 10:15
Gunman bought two rifles days after his 18th birthday
The guman who killed at least 21 people in a massace in Texas legally bought two rifles in the days following his eighteenth birthday, the authorities have said.
The shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, reportedly purchased one of the rifles from a federally licensed gun store on May 17, the day after his birthday.
On May 18 Ramos bought 375 rounds of ammunition and then on May 20 he purchased the second rifle.
Holly Bancroft25 May 2022 10:01
‘He was a very happy little boy’
10-year-old Jose Flores has been named by the Washington Post as another victim of the Texas elementary school shooting.
His uncle, Christopher Salazar, told the paper: “He was a very happy young boy. He loved both his parents… and loved to laugh and have fun.”
He said that hours before the shooting on Tuesday Jose had received an award for making the honor roll.
Holly Bancroft25 May 2022 09:47
How Republicans reacted to news of the mass shooting
Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene reacted to the news that 21 people had been shot dead in Texas by saying “we don’t need more gun control”.
Taking to Twitter after the horrific attack, Ms Taylor Greene said that America “needs to take a serious look at the state of mental health today”. She added: “American is failing our youngest generations from decades of rejecting good moral values and teachings. We don’t need more gun control. We need to return to God.”
Texas senator Ted Cruz, who is due to speak at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting this weekend, said he and his wife were “fervently lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde.”
Former vice president Mike Pence said he was “deeply saddened and heartbroken” to hear the news, and Republican senate leader Mitch McConnell said he was “horrified and heartbroken”.
Holly Bancroft25 May 2022 09:32