Tuesday, May 24, 2022
At least 18 elementary school children dead in Texas massacre, reaction from President Biden and others, details on police killing suspect, social media posts and other news of the day.
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It has happened again. At least 20 people are dead in a mass shooting, this time at an elementary school in Texas. Here’s what we know:
18 children and three adults are dead after the shooting, which took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a town of about 15,000 West of San Antonio, The Texas Tribune has confirmed. Most of the victims are likely between ages 7-10:
Robb Elementary teaches second, third and fourth grade students. The school had 535 students in the 2020-2021 school year, most of them Hispanic and considered economically disadvantaged. Uvalde itself is a predominantly Hispanic town.
Two hospitals in the area are treating those injured in the shooting. Uvalde Memorial Hospital told The Texas Tribune it had received 13 children and one adult from ambulances and buses. Two patients arrived at the hospital dead. Two children have since been transferred to San Antonio for treatment, while a third is pending transfer.
University Health in San Antonio had said it was providing care for two patients connected to the shooting. The 66-year-old woman and the 10-year-old girl are in critical condition.
The suspected shooter has been identified as Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old, NBC News and The Tribune report:
“The investigation is leading to tell us the suspect did act alone during this heinous crime,” Pete Arredondo, the chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, said at a news conference.
Abbott identified the shooter as Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old Uvalde resident. The man abandoned his vehicle and entered Robb Elementary with a handgun and possibly a rifle, the governor said. The shooting started around 11:32 a.m., Arredondo said.
Abbott also said that Ramos reportedly shot his grandmother before going into the school. No other details were immediately available on that shooting.
DailyMail has some of the more disturbing details about the alleged suspect leading up to the shooting:
Ramos's social media was full of photos of guns, which he bought legally on his 18th birthday, state senator Roland Gutierrez said.
Ramos messaged a woman he knew on Instagram, tagging her in a photo of the guns.
'I got lil secret. I wanna tell you,' one message said.
'Be grateful I tagged you,' he wrote.
She replied: 'No it's just scary,' adding: 'I barely know you and you tag me in a picture with some guns?'
A Border Patrol agent who was working nearby when the shooting began rushed into the school without waiting for backup and shot and killed the gunman, who was behind a barricade, according to a law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about it.
The agent was wounded but able to walk out of the school, the law enforcement source said.
‘I am sick and tired. We have to act:’ President Joe Biden, returning from a trip to Asia, addressed the massacre at The White House Tuesday night:
More reaction from around the country:
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: ‘Texas across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde.’
Texans are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime & for the community of Uvalde. Cecilia & I mourn this horrific loss & urge all Texans to come together. I've instructed & Texas Rangers to work with local law enforcement to fully investigate this crime.
Former President Bill Clinton: ‘My heart breaks for the families who sent their children and loved ones off to school today at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, whose lives will now never be the same.’
Attorney General Merrick Garland: ‘We join our fellow Americans in mourning this terrible loss and in their resolve to end this senseless violence.’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: ‘Words are inadequate to describe the agony and outrage at the cold-blooded massacre of little schoolchildren and a teacher at Robb Elementary School today.’
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell: ‘The entire country is praying for the children, families, teachers, and staff and the first responders on the scene.’
Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, who represents Sandy Hook Elementary, the site of another school shooting that left 20 children dead in 2012, spoke on the U.S. Senate floor, urging lawmakers to pass new restrictions on guns:
Before we go, a quick look at some other stories making headlines today:
A man accused of being a member of the Islamic State helped plot to murder former President George W. Bush in retaliation for waging war against Iraq, The New York Times reports:
Law enforcement officials said they had arrested an Iraqi citizen living in Columbus, Ohio, Shihab Ahmed Shihab Shihab, 52, and charged him with aiding and abetting a plot to assassinate Mr. Bush, going so far as to conspire to smuggle undocumented immigrants into the United States to help carry out the killing.
Mr. Shihab was also accused of committing an immigration crime. The F.B.I.’s application for a warrant called Mr. Shihab a self-described “soldier waiting for directions from the leadership in Qatar.” And it alleges that he planned to provide material support to the Islamic State.
Mr. Shihab could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Justice Department’s case against him, as described in court documents, relied in part on the information gathered by two undercover informants, one of whom has worked with the F.B.I. for more than a decade.
The case could be a reset for the Justice Department, which recently lost a case that relied on informants to support allegations that four men plotted to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. Defense lawyers pointed to the F.B.I. and its informants to bolster their argument that their clients were encouraged to agree to a plan they would not have otherwise undertaken. The jury acquitted two of the men and could not reach a verdict on the others.
Mr. Shihab told an F.B.I. informant that he “did not care if he died as he would be proud” to be involved in the killing of Mr. Bush, the F.B.I. said in the warrant application, which was filed in federal court in the Southern District of Ohio. He believed Mr. Bush, who invaded Iraq in 2003, was responsible for the “breaking apart” of the country and the deaths of many of its citizens.
The two informants met with Mr. Shihab and secretly recorded their conversations. They also communicated on their phones via the messaging app WhatsApp, and the F.B.I. obtained a warrant for Mr. Shihab’s phone records two months ago.
The informants not only worked with Mr. Shihab on plans to smuggle Iraqi citizens into the United States, but also provided him with cellphones and cellphone data cards that he used to communicate about those plans, the warrant application says.
Tuesday was primary Election Day in multiple states. POLITICO has live coverage here. Some results that have come in as we hit publish:
-Yahoo News: In a major blow to Donald Trump’s reputation as the Republican kingmaker, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp trounced former Sen. David Perdue in the GOP primary for governor.
-CNBC: Herschel Walker, the former pro football player and businessman endorsed by ex-President Donald Trump, will win Georgia’s Republican Senate primary race.
-CNN: North Korea fired at least three ballistic missile in an easterly direction on Wednesday morning.
The tests come on the heels of US President Joe Biden's first presidential trip to Asia.
Japan also reported at least two missiles fired from North Korea, with one of those flying in in an "irregular trajectory" at a distance of about 750 kilometers (466 miles), Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said.
Kishi said that missile landed just outside of Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Last week, a US official warned that North Korea appeared to be preparing for an intercontinental ballistic missile test during Biden's trip, after satellite imagery revealed activity at a launch site near the capital, Pyongyang.
Biden met with South Korea's new President Yoon Suk Yeol over the weekend, where the two leaders said they would begin exploring an expansion of joint military drills between their countries.