Family individuals of the kids stuck within the devastating faculty taking pictures that killed 19 youngsters and two adults have described the trauma scholar witnessed.
The dying toll for the “horrific … incomprehensible” taking pictures which passed off at a number one faculty in Texas has greater to 19 youngsters and two adults, in conjunction with the gunman.
The deaths had been shared by way of Texas state senator Roland Gutierre in a non-public briefing to Texas police officers and reported by way of CNN.
On Tuesday morning (native time), 18-year-old native highschool scholar Salvador Ramos opened hearth at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The faculty is ready 96km east of the southern border of Mexico and about 128km west of San Antonio.
“He shot and killed horrifically … incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher,” mentioned the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, earlier than the extra deaths had been reported.
“It’s believed that he abandoned his vehicle and entered the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde with a handgun and he may have also had a rifle, but that is not yet confirmed according to my most recent report.”
‘She saw blood everywhere:’ Family describe taking pictures carnage
The aunt of 3 youngsters who attended the varsity has detailed the trauma witnessed by way of scholars who had been provide all over the taking pictures.
Around 600 scholars attend the Texan faculty, who’re enrolled in years two to 4. CNN’s Ed Lavandera reported that the sufferers had been elderly between seven and 11.
Speaking to The Washington Post, Erika Escamilla, 26 relayed the occasions described by way of her 10-year-old niece.
According to the kid, the assault passed off as the kids got here in from recess, after they heard a person “cursing and yelling, and then gunshots”.
The woman’s instructor guided the scholars right into a school room the place they had been informed to get down. The instructor’s additionally “turned off the airconditioning and the lights, and started to cover the windows with paper”.
However it wasn’t till the kids had been evacuated that they noticed the horrific scene round them. It’s additionally unknown if the gunman entered the study room, or shot at it without delay.
“She’s traumatised. She said she felt like she was having a heart attack,” Ms Escamilla mentioned. “She saw blood everywhere.”
One nine-year-old boy who was once additionally stuck up within the taking pictures informed his grandmother that the gunshots “sounded like fireworks”.
“He goes, ‘It sounded like fireworks, Grandma.’ It was in his classroom,” she informed KENS 5.
She mentioned that her grandson was once anxious after he was once shot within the leg at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde however has already been launched from the health center.
He was once feeling neatly sufficient to snap a photograph with the law enforcement officials who walked him out, mentioned the lady, who was once now not named.
Sharing perception into the gunman’s persona, the executive of US speedy meals chain Wendys – the place Ramos labored – has described him as any individual who in large part “kept to himself”. However, the chain’s night supervisor, Adrian Mendes mentioned they didn’t paintings in combination intently and had been on other shifts.
“He felt like the quiet type, the one who doesn’t say much. He didn’t really socialise with the other employees,” he mentioned.
“He just worked, got paid, and came in to get his check.”
First sufferers recognized
44-year-old instructor Eva Mireles has been recognized because the first sufferer of the Robb Elementary School taking pictures.
The particular training instructor and mum-of-one had taught on the faculty for a minimum of 5 years. She was once additionally married to a police officer on the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, Ruben Ruiz.
Speaking to ABC reporter Cecilia Vega., Ms Mireles’ aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado, mentioned she was once enraged at Texas’ lax gun regulations.
“I’m furious that these shootings continue. These children are innocent, rifles should not be easily available to all,” she mentioned.
The oldsters of a kid taught by way of Ms Mireles grieved her loss on Twitter.
“My daughter’s beautiful teacher was the teacher who was killed in Uvalde, TX. Eva (Ms Mireles) taught Gabby in elementary school,” she tweeted.
“She was a beautiful person & dedicated teacher. She believed in Gabby & went above & beyond to teach her as you can see below. There are no words.”
The oldsters of 10-year-old scholar Xavier Lopez additionally showed that their son died within the taking pictures. The kid was once a fourth grader at Robb Elementary School. ABC reporter, Reena Roy mentioned his cousin and mom had reportedly handiest attended an award rite for the kid within the two hours earlier than the taking pictures.
Meanwhile the oldsters of 10-year-old Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez have persevered to seek for their lacking daughter.
The kid’s mum has shared a photograph of her lacking daughter on Facebook. Her publish has since been shared greater than 1300 instances at the social media platform.
“Plzs help me find Annabell Rodriguez we still haven’t gotten any word,” she wrote in her status.
Sharing a photo of Annabell, she wrote: “I love you baby! Hoping we find you and that wherever you are that you are safe!! Prayers for all parents and children..”
Annabell’s father also shared a photo of his daughter with the Texas Rangers in an attempt to locate the child, Fox News reports.
Shooter received guns after birthday
As it stands, how Ramos acquired the weapons – a handgun and possibly a rifle – and his motives are unknown, said Mr Abbott.
Police Chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, Pete Arredondo also confirmed that authorities are not “actively looking for another individual or any other suspects in this case”.
In the US, some states (including Texas) have no minimum age for the ownership of a long gun (like a rifle), while federal law prohibits children under the age of 18 from owning a handgun.
In Texas, there are no other laws surrounding the possession of a firearm, regardless of age.
Shooter’s social media post four days before shooting
According to social media posts, Ramos shared images of the weapons and ammunition in the four days before the shooting.
In one of the photos, he appears to tag a woman unknown to him and then attempts to have a conversation with her over Instagram messages.
Sharing a series of messages between her and Ramos from the morning of the attack, he hints that he has “a secret” he wants to share.
His last message to her is: “Ima air out”.
In a series of Instagram stories, the woman said Ramos was a stranger and the interaction left her feeling scared and uncomfortable.
“He’s a stranger, I know nothing about him. He decided to tag me in his gun post. I’m so sorry for the victims and their families, I really don’t know what to say,” she wrote in a now-deleted Instagram story.
“The only reason I responded to him was because I was afraid of him. I wish I stayed awake to at least try to convince him to not commit his crime. I didn’t know.”
Ramos’ Instagram account has since been removed from the social media platform.
Shooter killed his grandma earlier than faculty assault
Prior to the varsity taking pictures, Ramos shot his grandmother earlier than fleeing the scene.
Texan State Senator Roland Gutierrez showed the news to CNN and said she was airlifted to San Antonio.
“(She) is still holding on,” he said.
“This young man shot his grandmother and fled that scene from that incident.”
Comments from Mr Abbott earlier stated that this occurred before the school shooting.
“It is being reported that the subject shot his grandmother right before he went into the school. I have no further information about the connection between those two shootings,” he said.
Students were placed into lockdown about 11.43am local time, after gunshots were heard in the area.
Police arrived at the school at 1.06pm, the Uvalde Police Department confirmed on Facebook.
One video taken from the school of the suspected shooter showed a figure dressed in black and wielding a weapon, running into a building.
The footage was shared by a local Uvalde woman on Facebook.
Where is our backbone? Biden’s plea to the US
US President Joe Biden has made a push for stricter gun laws in light of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting. In response to the attack, the US flag at the White House has been flown at half-staff as a tribute to the victims.
“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 in a battlefield, for God’s sake?” he said in an address to the nation.
“The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is mad.
“I am sick and tired. We have to act.”
Returning from his meeting with Quad leaders from Toyko, he asked Americans to consider why mass shootings “rarely happen anywhere else in the world,” but do in the US.
Mr Biden also served as Vice President during the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in which a 20-year-old gunman killed 26 victims, including 20 children aged between six and seven.
While the Obama administration attempted to pass gun control laws which would encourage stricter background checks on gun purchases and the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, the legislation was culled by the Senate.
“(Other countries) have mental health problems, they have domestic disputes, the have people who are also lost,” said Mr Biden.
“These kinds of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world.
“Where in god’s name is our backbone? It’s time to turn this pain into action.”
Number of other injuries remains unknown
It is understood that 13 children arrived for treatment at Uvalde Memorial Hospital and two officers sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
University Health, in San Antonio, said they received two other patients from the shooting, a 10-year-old girl and a 66-year-old woman. Both are listed in a critical condition.
According to ABC, two additional adult victims were being treated at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
“We don’t have a condition to release at this time,” a statement from the hospital told the outlet.
All students have been accounted for and a reunification site has been set up at a nearby community hall.
As a result of the shooting, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District in Texas confirmed they would be cancelling the rest of the school year, as well as all district and campus activities, after-school programs, and events.
Grief counselling and support will also be made available for students.
“The school year’s done. We will have no school tomorrow or Thursday. All activities are cancelled throughout the district,” said the superintendent of Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, Dr Hal Harrell.
Biden briefed on attack
US President Joe Biden has also been briefed about the shooting, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed in a tweet.
Mr Biden is slated to address the United States upon his return from a meeting with Quad leaders in Tokyo.
“President Biden has been briefed on the horrific news of the elementary school shooting in Texas and will continue to be briefed regularly as information becomes available,” she tweeted.
His prayers are with the families impacted by this awful event, and he will speak this evening when he arrives back at the White House.”
Homeland security has also been briefed about the shooting.
More to come