Wednesday, February 21

Vigil held for 19 children, 2 teachers killed in TX school shooting ; Beto O’Rourke confronts TX gov

UVALDE, Texas — The small town of Uvalde, Texas came together to pray for the 21 victims and their families after Tuesday’s deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School.

Authorities say 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, armed with an AR-15 style weapon, stormed into a classroom, barricaded himself inside, and opened fire.

Nineteen children lost their lives inside that classroom along with two teachers.

MORE: What we know about Texas elementary school shooting victims so far

For responding officers, this was personal. Many had their own children in harm’s way.

“To all EMS units, standby. Do not attempt to get closer. We got shots fired,” a radio broadcasted to rescue workers.

Officials say officers shot and killed the suspect roughly 40 minutes to an hour after his first encounter with a school resource officer at the building’s entrance.

Authorities say the suspect turned 18 just nine days ago.

ALSO READ: Beto O’Rourke interrupts Texas Gov. Abbott at Uvalde news conference, calls shooting ‘totally predictable’

The ATF said just one day after his birthday, Ramos bought an AR-15 style rifle.

Three days later, he bought a second one.

And four days later, he was at Robb Elementary School.

Ramos’ grandfather told ABC’s Matt Gutman he didn’t know his grandson had weapons.

“If I would have known, I would have reported it,” Rolando Reyes said.

Messages obtained by ABC News also reveal a chilling warning just minutes before the shooting.

The suspected gunman texted a 15-year-old girl in Germany.

First, he described an argument with his grandmother over paying his phone bill.

Later, he wrote, “Ima go shoot up a elementary school right now.”

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Investigators are now pouring over his social media.

The school superintendent ended the school year early.

SEE ALSO: US sees sharp rise in deadly mass shootings

Dr. Hal Harrell, Superintendent at UCISD said, “My heart was broken today. We’re a small community and we will need your prayers to get us through this.”

A Customs and Border Protection official told ABC News that there were four border patrol agents, members of elite specialized units, who engaged and stopped the shooter along with the state and local officers.

TAKE ACTION: Resources for survivors and victims of gun violence

Since 2013, the year after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., mass shootings in the United States — described as shooting incidents in which at least four people are injured or killed — have nearly tripled. Already, there have been 213 mass shooting incidents in 2022 — a 50% increase from 141 shootings by May 2017 and a 150% increase from 84 by May 2013. The graphic above shows the number of shooting incidents per state. Mobile users: Click here to see our map of mass shootings in the US since Sandy Hook.

The number of people injured or killed does not include the suspect or perpetrator. These graphics show the number of victims across all mass shootings since 20 children and six adults were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut on Dec. 14, 2012.

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