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Texas shooting: Governor Abbott issues disaster declaration for Uvalde as funeral services begin

Services are planned for 11 children and their teacher Irma Garcia this week

Alex Woodward,Alisha Rahaman Sarkar,Gino Spocchia
Wednesday 01 June 2022 23:21 BST
Texas police admit ruling gunman inactive was ‘the wrong decision’

Families and community members have gathered to remember the 19 children and two adult teachers who were killed in last Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, with funerals beginning to take place.

All 21 victims will be buried between now and mid-June, authorities have said, with funerals held on Tuesday for Amerie Jo Garza and Maite Rodriguez, both 10 years old. About a dozen services are planned for this week alone.

The investigation into the Uvalde massacre is continuing with revelations that the school district’s law enforcement agency has not responded to interview requests with the Texas Rangers as investigators probe the response.

Recently released footage from outside the school captures a 911 dispatcher relaying information from a child who called emergency operators, “advising he is in the room, full of victims” – again raising questions about the police decision not to storm the classroom.

Governor Greg Abbott has meanwhile issued a disaster declaration for Uvalde allowing the Texas Division of Emergency Management to provide critical assistance.


Greg Abbott issued disaster declaration for Uvalde to send resources to grieving town

Governor Greg Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for Uvalde, which will allow state and local agencies to deploy resources to the grieving town, including mental health services and other aid.

“The community of Uvalde has been left devastated by last week’s senseless act of violence at Robb Elementary School and should not have to encounter any difficulty in receiving the support needed to heal,” Governor Abbott said in a statement. “All of Texas stands with Uvalde, and we are prepared to provide support through all available means.”

Alex Woodward31 May 2022 22:38

Report: Uvalde police and school district are not cooperating with Texas probe

Uvalde’s police department and Independent School District have stopped cooperating with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s investigation into the massacre, according to ABC News, citing “multiple law enforcement sources.”

Uvalde police and school district stops cooperation with Texas probe, says report

Uvalde’s police department and Independent School District have stopped cooperating with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s investigation into the massacre that killed 19 students and two teachers, according to a report.

Alex Woodward31 May 2022 23:21

Texas teachers demand gun control action from Ted Cruz

Teachers union members and advocates marched to the office of Republican Senator Ted Cruz on Tuesday to demand that he support “sensible gun regulation” in the wake of the Uvalde massacre.

The Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers called the senator’s response to the killings “abominable” while he continues “beating a drum promoting the status quo.”

“Cruz’s response to the slaughter of children – pushing for more armed school staff – is not only opposed by a vast majority of teachers, but also is an illogical idea that has not proven to be effective,” the group said in a statement.

The senator was among several high-profile speakers who addressed the NRA’s conference in Houston just days after the massacre, despite several attendees dropping out, including the state’s other Republican Senator John Cornyn.

In his remarks, Senator Cruz called for stronger school security measures and baselessly claimed that “elites” and Democratic lawmakers are using the massacre as pretext to “disarm Americans.”

After the convention, he dined at an upscale sushi restaurant in Houston where he was confronted by diners.

“Nineteen children died! That’s on your hands!” one person captured in a viral social media clip told him.

Alex Woodward31 May 2022 23:30

The parents of these Uvalde victims want to ban AR-15s. Will America listen?

An extremely popular rifle has been used for mass death in schools and in massacres across the US, including the recent attacks in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas.

But many parents in Uvalde and legislators around the country are trying to get AR-style rifles off the street after the Texas massacre, the second deadliest school shooting in US history.

Josh Marcus reports:

The parents of these Uvalde victims want to ban AR-15s. Will America listen?

Those touched by Uvalde shooting want reform, but Republicans in Texas and beyond won’t budge

Alex Woodward1 June 2022 00:00

Texas officials: Uvalde school police chief has not responded to follow-up interview requests

Pete Arredondo, the chief of the Uvalde Independent School District police and incident commander at the scene of the massacre, initially cooperated with law enforcement officials probing the response but has since not responded to follow-up interview requests from Texas Rangers, according to the Texas Deparment of Public Safety.

Last week, officials revealed that Arredondo made the “wrong decision” to withhold law enforcement from entering the school while believing that the incident was no longer an “active shooter” situation but one in which the gunman was “barricaded” in a standoff with police.

That critical hourlong lapse, during which children called 911 for help, not only falls against active shooter training protocol but may have led to more bloodshed.

Who is Uvalde police chief Pete Arredondo?

Investigation underway into law enforcement response to Uvalde massacre that left 19 children and two teachers dead at the hands of teen gunman

Alex Woodward1 June 2022 00:10

Texas governor declares disaster in Uvalde to help deploy resources ‘needed to heal’

Greg Abbott’s declaration for a state of disaster provides broad executive authority to direct the governor’s response to the mass shooting and expedites critical state and local resources to the grieving town, including mental health facilities and other aid.

The disaster declaration will allow, among other things, for the Texas Division of Emergency Management to continue running a family resource centre that was established last week at the Uvalde County Fairplex, where victims’ families can connect with mental health services and other resources.

Texas governor declares disaster in Uvalde to help deploy resources ‘needed to heal’

Greg Abbott’s order expedites critical state and local aid to grieving town

Alex Woodward1 June 2022 00:45

More student-led demonstrations demanding gun reform across US

Students in California and Minnesota on Tuesday joined nationwide demonstrations demanding gun reform legislation in the wake of the latest massacre in Uvalde.

Hundreds of teenagers staged classroom walkouts and rallied in downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday to demand a statewide advisory group composed of students and teachers from every school district in Minnesota to discuss “actionable steps to reduce gun violence in schools,” among other proposals, according to The Star-Tribune.

Student activists from Miguel Contreras Learning Center also crowded outside Los Angeles City Hall on Tuesday to protest gun violence and demand stricter gun control measures.

Alex Woodward1 June 2022 01:30

Can New York require ‘microstamping’ on bullet casings?

New York officials unveiled several gun reform proposals on Tuesday in the wake of the massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde, including one long-gestating measure that would require handguns to be equipped with “microstamping” technology, which would etch a unique code into each bullet casing as its fired.

A similar proposal in 2010 failed to pass. Now Governor Kathy Hochul and Demcoratic leadership in the state’s legislature are backing another attempt.

If it passes, the state would be the second in the US to mandate microstamping on firearms.

Alex Woodward1 June 2022 02:00

Girl Scouts award Amerie Jo Garza with posthumous honour

Amerie Jo Garza, whose funeral services were held in Uvalde on Tuesday, one week after she was killed in the Robb Elementary School massacre, was posthumously awarded the Girls Scouts’ bronze cross, which recognises a scout’s attempt to save lives at the risk of their own.

Amerie, who turned 10 years old just two weeks before she was killed, was one of the students who called 911 from her fourth-grade classroom.

“On May 24, Amerie did all she could to save the lives of her classmates and teachers. It was our honor as Amerie’s council to present the Bronze Cross to her family, and Girl Scouts will continue to pay tribute at her funeral services today with a Presentation of Color,” Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas said in a statement.

“We will carry her story with us always and ensure her brave actions will endure for generations,” the organisation said.

The organisation is collecting notecards and donations; information for how to help is available at this link.

Alex Woodward1 June 2022 03:00

Uvalde teacher did not leave door propped open for gunman, attorney says

An Uvalde teacher did not leave a door propped open that allowed the gunman to enter Robb Elementary School, her lawyer told The San Antonio News-Express, despite claims to the contrary from Texas law enforcement.

On Friday, Colonel Steve McCraw with theTexas Department of Public Safety said that a door to the school was left ajar by the teacher who ran outside when she heard the gunman crash his truck nearby.

Lawyer Don Flanary says that the teacher had initially propped the door open to get food from a car, but actually closed it shut after realising the heavily armed gunman was heading towards the school.

Uvalde teacher did not leave door propped open that gunman used, says lawyer

Lawyer says that door was shut as gunman closed in on Robb Elementary but may not have locked

Alex Woodward1 June 2022 04:00

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