Texas school shooting: what happened at Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School - and how many were killed by shooter?
At least 19 children and 2 adults were killed in the Robb Elementary School massacre in Texas by an 18-year-old gunman identified as Salvador Ramos
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Uvalde police have faced criticism over the length of time taken to enter into Robb Elementary School to stop active shooter Salvador Ramos.
Ramos was in the building for more than an hour and killed at least 19 children and two adults in what has become the deadliest shooting at a US primary school since the infamous Sandy Hook attack in 2012.
A senior official has admitted that the police made the “wrong decision” not to storm the school.
During a press conference, Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, confirmed that there had been a 40-minute gap from the moment police arrived until they entered the building.
He said officers delayed entering because they did not believe it was still an "active shooter" situation.
This is everything we know about what has happened.
At approximately 11:30am, an 18-year-old gunman who has been identified as Salvador Ramos, opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a predominantly Latino community.
Texas state senator Roland Gutierrez told reporters that Ramos shot his grandmother at her home in the morning. She is believed to be in critical condition in hospital.
He fled the scene in his car before wrecking his vehicle outside the school. He then ran inside and began shooting.
Christopher Olivarez, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told CNN that all of those killed were in the same fourth-grade classroom.
The killer “barricaded himself by locking the door and just started shooting children and teachers that were inside that classroom”, Olivarez said. “It just shows you the complete evil of the shooter.”
Erick Estrada, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told CNN that Ramos had hinted on social media about an upcoming attack.
According to Estrada, the “first thing [Ramos] did on his 18th birthday” was buy two military-style rifles.
Pete Arredondo, chief of the Uvalde consolidated independent school district police department, said that it appeared that Ramos had acted alone at a brief press conference held on Tuesday afternoon.
About 30 minutes before the bloodbath, Ramos made three social media posts, Governor Gregg Abbot said.
According to the governor, Ramos posted that he was going to shoot his grandmother, then that he had shot the woman, and finally that he was going to shoot up an elementary school.
“Evil swept across Uvalde yesterday. Anyone who shoots his grandmother in the face has to have evil in his heart,” Mr Abbott said at a news conference.
“But it is far more evil for someone to gun down little kids. It is intolerable and it is unacceptable for us to have in the state anybody who would kill little kids in our schools.”
How many were killed?
According to authorities, the death toll from the school shooting currently stands at 19 children and two adults.
The latest figures come from Travis Considine, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety. The gunman also died - it is believed that he was killed by police officers.
One of the adults killed has been confirmed as Eva Mireles, a fourth grade teacher.
In a statement reported by ABC News, Eva’s aunt said: “I’m furious that these shootings continue. These children are innocent. Rifles should not be easily available to all.”
Some of the names of children killed in the attack have begun to surface. As reported by the Washington Post, Jose Flores, aged 10, was one of the victims. His uncle, Christopher Salazar, told the outlet: “He was a very happy little boy. He loved both his parents… and loved to laugh and have fun.”
The Associated Press has confirmed eight-year-old Uziyah Garcia and 10-year-old Xavier Javier Lopez to have been killed. According to ABC News, Amerie Jo Garza, also 10, has also been identified by her family as one of the victims.
The shooting has become the deadliest at a US grade school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, almost a decade ago.
What has US President Joe Biden said?
Following the attack, US President Joe Biden addressed the country on Tuesday night after returning to the White House following a five day trip to Asia.
He said: “I had hoped, when I became President, I would not have to do this again.
“Another massacre. Uvalde, Texas. An elementary school. Beautiful, innocent second, third, fourth graders. And how many scores of little children who witnessed what happened see their friends die as if they’re on a battlefield, for God’s sake. They’ll live with it the rest of their lives.
“There’s a lot we don’t know yet, but there’s a lot we do know.
“There are parents who will never see their child again, never have them jump in bed and cuddle with them. Parents who will never be the same.”
In his speech, Biden made reference to the Sandy Hook attack, in which he said: “It’s been 3,448 days - 10 years since I stood up at a high school in Connecticut - a grade school in Connecticut, where another gunman massacred 26 people, including 20 first graders, at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“Since then, there have been over 900 incidents of gunfires reported on school grounds.
“Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Santa Fe High School in Texas. Oxford High School in Michigan. The list goes on.”
Biden called for “commonsense gun laws” to be implemented, stating: “I spent my career as a senator and as Vice President working to pass commonsense gun laws.
“We can’t and won’t prevent every tragedy. But we know they work and have a positive impact. When we passed the assault weapons ban, mass shootings went down. When the law expired, mass shootings tripled.
“The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong.
“What in God’s name do you need an assault weapon for except to kill someone?
“Deer aren’t running through the forest with Kevlar vests on, for God’s sake. It’s just sick.”
Biden asked: “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?”
He ended his speech by saying: “Our prayer tonight is for those parents, lying in bed and trying to figure out, “Will I be able to sleep again? What do I say to my other children? What happens tomorrow?”
“May God bless the loss of the innocent life on this sad day. And may the Lord be near the brokenhearted and save those crushed in spirit, because they’re going to need a lot of help and a lot of our prayers.
“God love you.”
Why have Uvalde police been criticised?
The Uvalde police have faced intense criticism for the delayed response to the shooting. According to a law enforcement official, Salvador walked in unimpended through an apparently unlocked door and was in the school building for more than an hour before he was killed by the authorities.
Nearly 20 officers stood in a hallway outside the classrooms during this week’s attack on a Texas elementary school for more than 45 minutes, before agents used a master key to open a door and confront a gunman, authorities said Friday.
The amount of time that elapsed has stirred anger and questions among family members, who demanded to know why they did not storm the place and put a stop to the rampage more quickly.
“They say they rushed in,” said Javier Cazares, whose daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, and who raced to the school as the massacre unfolded. “We didn’t see that.”
Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Travis Considine said Ramos entered Robb Elementary School and began his rampage at 11.40am on Tuesday.
A Border Patrol tactical unit began trying to get inside an hour later, and at 12.58pm, the teenager was confirmed to be dead.
The school normally has an armed school safety officer but when Ramos arrived on Tuesday “there was not an officer, readily available, armed” and the gunman entered the building ”unobstructed”, Victor Escalon, a regional director at the Texas Department of Public Safety, said.
During the siege, frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the school, according to witnesses.
“Go in there! Go in there!” women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who watched the scene from outside a house across the street.
Mr Carranza said the officers should have entered the school sooner, adding “There were more of them. There was just one of him.”
Abbott said Friday that he was “misled” about the police response to the shooting at the elementary school in Uvalde and that he is “livid”.
The governor told a news conference that in his earlier statements he was repeating what he had been told.
“The information that I was given turned out, in part, to be inaccurate,” he said.
Abbott said exactly what happened needs to be “thoroughly, exhaustively” investigated.
Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said pupils and teachers had repeatedly begged 911 operators for help while director of state police Pete Arredondo told more than a dozen officers to wait in a corridor.
Finally, officials said, a US border patrol tactical team used a janitor’s key to unlock the classroom door and kill the gunman.
What have survivors said?
Chilling details from the experiences of survivors have began to emerge, with one telling CNN that she covered herself in her friend’s blood and played dead whilst she waited for help to arrive.
Miah Cerrillo, 11, told CNN that she and a friend called 911 from her dead teacher’s phone on Tuesday, and waited for what felt like, to her, three hours for officers to arrive at the elementary school.
Miah said that after the gunman moved from one room into the adjacent one she could hear screams and a lot more gunfire, and that the gunman then started blaring music.
Samuel Salinas, 10, told ABC’s Good Morning America that he and other classmates pretended to be dead after Ramos opened fire on the class. Samuel was hit by shrapnel in his thigh.
“He shot the teacher and then he shot the kids,” said Samuel, who was in Irma Garcia’s class.
Garcia died in the attack and her husband, Joe Garcia, died on Thursday of an apparent heart attack.
Gemma Lopez, 10, was in a classroom down the hall when Ramos entered the building.
She told Good Morning America that a bullet came through her classroom wall before any lockdown was called.
Her best friend, Amerie Garza, died in the rampage.