Death toll in Texas elementary school shooting rises; 19 children, 2 adults killed by shooter

The suspect was identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a student at Uvalde High School

ByMark Osborne and Meredith Deliso ABCNews logo
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Death toll rises to 21, mostly children, in TX school shooting
The death toll in the shooting at a Texas elementary school rose to 22, with at least 19 children and two adults killed, according to authorities.

UVALDE, Texas -- The death toll in the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, rose to 22, with at least 19 children, one teacher, and a second school employee killed, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The 18-year-old suspect, a student at Uvalde High School, is also dead, Gov. Greg Abbott said.

Abbott said the suspect "shot and killed horrifically and incomprehensibly" more than a dozen students and a teacher.

The incident began when the suspect, identified by Abbott and law enforcement sources as Salvador Ramos, shot his grandmother. Initial reports from law enforcement said the shooter's grandmother had died, but as of 11 p.m., law enforcement sources told ABC News the grandmother was in critical condition but still alive.

Texas public safety officials said Ramos then left his home in a truck, which he crashed in a ditch outside Robb Elementary School. He got out with an AR-15 style rifle and numerous magazines, law enforcement sources told ABC News. He was also wearing body armor.

As he approached the school, an Uvalde ISD school resource officer engaged the suspect, but Ramos shot him, law enforcement sources said.

The shooting took place as soon as the suspect entered the school and all of the victims at the school died "in the same location inside the school," authorities told ABC News.

Inside the school, the suspect traded fire with Uvalde ISD officers and Border Patrol Tactical Unit agents, sources told ABC News.

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"U.S. Border Patrol Agents responded to a law enforcement request for assistance re an active shooter situation inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Upon entering the building, Agents & other law enforcement officers faced gun fire from the subject, who was barricaded inside," a DHS spokeswoman said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Law enforcement sources told ABC News that they are now tracing the AR-15 style rife the shooter used, and also recovered the body armor and numerous magazines of ammunition.

This photo shows 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, identified by law enforcement sources as the Robb Elementary School shooting suspect.

SEE ALSO: Teacher killed in Texas school shooting identified

Fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles was killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Family photo

ABC News confirmed that fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles was among those killed. Mireles worked in the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District for 17 years, her aunt, Lydia Martinez Delgado, said in a statement.

"This is my hometown, a small community of less then 20,000. I never imagined this would happen to especially to loved ones," Delgado said.

Family also identified one of the children killed was 10-year-old Xavier Lopez. He was in fourth grade. His cousin told ABC News his mother had attended his awards ceremony just a couple hours before the shooting, not knowing it would be the last time she saw her son.

"When parents drop their kids off at school, they have every expectation to know that they're going to be able to pick their child up when that school day ends. And there are families who are in mourning right now," Abbott said. "The state of Texas is in mourning with them for the reality that these parents are not going to be able to pick up their children."

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Brandon Elrod told ABC News that he was searching for his 10-year-old daughter after the Uvalde school shooting and feared that "she may not be alive."

Two responding police officers were among those injured, Abbott said. They are expected to survive, he said.

The shooter's social media is being combed by investigators, and he reportedly sent videos and photos of guns to other users on multiple platforms, ABC News reports.

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Uvalde Memorial Hospital had said 15 students were being treated in the hospital's emergency department in the wake of the incident. Two patients were transferred to San Antonio for treatment, while a third was pending transfer, the hospital said. A 45-year-old was also hospitalized after getting grazed by a bullet, the hospital said.

University Health in San Antonio said it had four patients from the shooting incident -- a 66-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl who were both in critical condition, a 10-year-old girl in good condition and a 9-year-old girl in fair condition.

Two adult victims of the school shooting are being treated at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, according to an Army official, who did not have an update on their conditions.

ABC News special report: 14 students, 1 teacher dead after shooting at Texas elementary school

The suspect in the shooting is also dead, the governor said.

A number of the shooting victims are children of Customs and Border Patrol agents, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

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Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin did not confirm casualties, but told ABC News in a text message that "this is a very bad situation." He said the office is trying to contact parents before releasing any information.

Bystander Isaias Melendez said he witnessed students evacuating a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Isaias Melendez

The shooting occurred shortly after 11:30 a.m. local time, police said.

The school, which has students in the second, third and fourth grades, informed parents shortly after 2 p.m. that students had been transported to the Sgt. Willie Deleon Civic Center, the reunification site, and could be picked up.

Parent Ryan Ramirez told San Antonio ABC affiliate KSAT he had gone to the civic center and the elementary school trying to find his fourth grade daughter in the wake of the shooting.

"[I'm] just confused and worried. I'm trying to find out where my baby's at," he told the station.

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School has been canceled for the remainder of the school year, including all extracurriculars on Wednesday and Thursday. The graduation ceremony "will be addressed at a later time," officials said. Grief counseling will also be made available, according to officials.

Uvalde, Texas, is located about 90 minutes west of San Antonio.

The Bexar County Sheriff's Office and San Antonio Police Department are sending aid, and the FBI is responding.

The Houston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also said it is assisting in the investigation.

SEE ALSO: US sees sharp rise in deadly mass shootings

Law enforcement says the United States has seen a sharp rise in deadly mass shootings.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has been briefed on the situation and the agency "is actively coordinating with federal, state, and local partners," a spokesperson said. Customs and Border Protection officials in the area also responded to the scene.

The National Counterterrorism Operations Center believes there is "no known terrorism nexus" at this time, according to a law enforcement bulletin obtained by ABC News.

Since 2017, mass shootings in the United States -- described as shooting incidents in which at least four people are injured or killed -- have nearly doubled year over year. Already, there have been 212 mass shooting incidents in 2022 -- a 50% increase from 141 shootings in May 2017. 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 from the last five years
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 from the last five years.

ABC News' Pierre Thomas, Luke Barr, Aaron Katersky, Nicholas Kerr and Mireya Villarreal contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.