May 26, 2022

Texas school shooting death toll rises to 21, including 19 children 5/25/22 Transcript

Texas school shooting death toll rises to 21, including 19 children 5/25/22 Transcript
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Further updates on the shooting at Robb Elementary School and interviews with the families in Uvalde, Texas on 5/25/22. Read the transcript here.

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Speaker 1: (00:00)
… what played out at the school right here behind me and the children in that classroom.

Speaker 2: (00:05)
[inaudible 00:00:05] school.

Speaker 1: (00:07)
Tonight, inside the unspeakable horror. Officers running to the scene with the 18-year-old gunman already inside Robb Elementary School, where second, third and fourth graders were in the middle of their day. Authorities say he got in through a back door, slipping into a classroom, and opening fire on fourth graders and their two teachers.

Speaker 3: (00:32)
To all EMS units, stand by. Do not attempt to get closer. We’ve got shots fired.

Speaker 1: (00:32)
Authorities believe he got into that school at 11:32 AM.

Speaker 3: (00:35)
… need to respond to South Grove and Mill Street to establish a perimeter.

Speaker 1: (00:42)
Authorities say the suspect, Salvador Ramos, a high school dropout here, turned 18 just nine days ago. Tonight, the ATF now saying just one day after his birthday, he bought an AR-15 style rifle. Three days later, he bought a second one. And four days after that, he was here at the elementary school.

Speaker 1: (01:01)
Tonight, Texas Governor Greg Abbott describing the horror that played out even before he arrived at the school, at the home where he lived with his grandparents.

Greg Abbott: (01:10)
The first thing that happened was that the gunman shot his grandmother in the face. She then contacted police.

Speaker 1: (01:22)
A neighbor describing the grandmother with a gunshot wound to her forehead, helping her to dress the wound. Tonight she’s in critical condition. And as all of this was playing out, Governor Abbott now revealing the suspect was posting chilling private messages on Facebook. The first message that he was going to shoot his grandmother.

Greg Abbott: (01:40)
The second post was, “I shot my grandmother.” The third post, maybe less than 15 minutes before arriving at the school, was, “I’m going to shoot an elementary school.”

Speaker 1: (01:54)
The suspect’s grandfather telling ABC News he had no idea his grandson had these weapons, and that he had no driver’s license. Still, taking off in their truck.

Greg Abbott: (02:05)
The gunman fled, and as he was fleeing, had an accident just outside of the elementary school and he ran into the school.

Speaker 1: (02:12)
Authorities say on his way in, opening fire with school officers, the suspect wearing tactical gear, getting into the back of the school.

Greg Abbott: (02:20)
The gunman then entered a back door and went down two short hallways and then into a classroom on the left-hand side. The gunman entered into that classroom and the classroom was connected internally to another classroom.

Speaker 1: (02:35)
Authorities say the gunman then barricading himself inside that fourth grade classroom, and began shooting. Border Patrol police, sheriffs all converging on that classroom.

Speaker 1: (02:45)
Outside, parents racing to the school, amid reports of an active shooter. A firefighter describing the parents and first responders pulling children through windows to get them out.

Speaker 1: (02:56)
Back in that classroom, Border Patrol killing the gunman. And we learned today that one of those officers, a deputy sheriff losing a daughter in the shooting. And the children who did get out, unable to erase what they saw, what they heard. Fourth grader, Jordan Legis.

Jordan Legis: (03:13)
We just hear all kinds of gunshots going off, like nonstop, like constantly gunshots, and we’re over here all scared on the ground, fearing for our lives.

Speaker 1: (03:23)
The superintendent ending the school year early.

Dr. Hal Harrell: (03:26)
My heart was broken today. We’re a small community and we need your prayers to get us through this.

Speaker 1: (03:35)
The school children evacuated, many taken to the Civic Center. Some even taken to the funeral home, waiting to be reunited with their parents. And then the family’s waiting, the grief on their faces as the hours went by, consoling one, another pleading for answers.

Speaker 7: (03:54)
[inaudible 00:03:54], please line up right here.

Speaker 1: (03:56)
And the remarkable moment, Pedro Adame, searching for his niece in the crowd of children being led inside, when suddenly they spot one another.

Pedro Adame: (04:05)
[crosstalk 00:04:05] Yes, it’s okay. We’re right here. We’re right here. Okay. It’s okay. We’re right here. Okay. Hey, hey. We’re right here, okay. It’s okay. We’re right here.

Speaker 1: (04:15)
For so many others here, the reunions never came. Tonight, these are the young lives stolen here in Uvalde.

Speaker 1: (04:24)
Amerie Jo Garza had just turned 10. And look at this image, holding an award for the honor roll. That award had just been given to her hours before the shooting. Her family says she tried to call 911 during the shooting. Tonight, her father, Alfred Garza.

Speaker 1: (04:41)
What would you want people to know about your daughter?

Alfred Garza: (04:44)
That she was the best person that I know. Full of life. Gone too soon. Always smiling. Very productive. She was her own self. She was her own person. She was a leader. She didn’t try to be like anybody. She wanted to do things the way she wanted to do them. And that’s what I admired most about my daughter. She was not a follower. She was a leader.

Speaker 1: (05:08)
He shows me the video of them fishing together he now cherishes.

Alfred Garza: (05:12)
Do you know what you’re doing? Do you know what you’re doing?

Amerie Jo Garza: (05:14)

Speaker 1: (05:18)
Overnight here, Adolfo Cruz, a grandfather waiting for word on his granddaughter, Eliahana Cruz Torres.

Adolfo Cruz: (05:24)
I just took a little time to go to the hospital and see if we could find out anything over there, and nothing.

Speaker 1: (05:31)
His granddaughter did not survive.

Speaker 1: (05:34)
There was Xavier James Lopez who was 10. A family member saying Xavier’s mom was at that award ceremony just hours before the shooting. She had no idea it would be her final time with her son. His grandmother on the pain.

Amelia Sandoval: (05:55)
It’s so it’s so hard. You send your kids to school and thinking they’re going to make it back home, and they’re not.

Speaker 1: (05:55)
Annabell Rodriguez was 10. She died along with her cousin, Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares, also 10 years old, seen here in her first communion just weeks ago. Her father telling ABC News, “My little girl was full of life and touched so many people. She had the biggest heart. Jackie was the one that would go out of her way to help anyone.”

Speaker 1: (06:16)
10-year-old Rojelio Torres, his mother telling us he was a very smart and loving child. There was 10-year-old Makenna Lee Elrod and Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10 years old, and Jailah Nicole Silguero, 11. They were cousins too. The family telling us they were nothing but loving, baby angels. Always had a smile on their face, just full of life. Uziyah Garcia, his grandfather saying, “He was the sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known.”

Speaker 1: (06:42)
And tonight here, the teachers, Irma Garcia. It was her 23rd year teaching at the school, about to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary with her husband. She taught the children with fourth grade teacher, Eva Mireles, at the school for 17 years. She loved hiking in the outdoors and her students loved her.

Speaker 1: (07:01)
Tonight, the growing memorial, outside the school here, the flowers on the school sign, the officers just off behind it. And that father who showed me his daughter fishing with him, and his vow tonight to always honor her.

Alfred Garza: (07:16)
We have to honor her and make sure that we do good. From this day forward, I want to live my life for my daughter that can’t be here to live hers. I want to try to do as much as I can, the best I can, as positive as I can. And I just want to do what would make her happy. Just live my life how she would want me to live it and just do her proud. Do her proud and just live the life that she can’t live anymore.

Speaker 1: (07:44)
That’s your purpose now.

Alfred Garza: (07:45)
That’s my purpose now.

Speaker 1: (07:48)
The father determined to honor his daughter. The parents here, the families here that must now somehow find a way forward without their children.

George Stephanopoulos: (07:56)
Hi everyone. George Stephanopoulos here. Thanks for checking out the ABC News YouTube channel. If you’d like to get more videos, show highlights, and watch live event coverage, click on the right over here to subscribe to our channel. And don’t forget to download the ABC News app for breaking news alerts. Thanks for watching.

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