Mother of Texas gunman says son was ‘not a monster,’ could be ‘aggressive’

Obtained by ABC News

(UVALDE, Texas) — The mother of the 18-year-old gunman accused of killing 21 at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, this week told ABC News in an interview that her son was “not a monster,” but that he could “be aggressive.”

“I had an uneasy feeling sometimes, like ‘what are you up to?'” Adriana Reyes told ABC News’ Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman in an interview at her home. “He can be aggressive… If he really got mad.”

Reyes’ son, accused shooter Salvador Ramos, allegedly purchased two assault rifles in the days after he turned 18 and used them to carry out the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history — all within a span of eight days, authorities said.

Twenty-one people, including 19 third- and fourth-grade children, were killed in the attack, law enforcement officials said. Two teachers were killed, as well. Another 17 people were wounded, including three law enforcement officers. Ramos’ grandmother, who police say was the accused gunman’s first victim, is hospitalized in stable condition.

“We all have a rage, that some people have it more than others,” Reyes said.

Reyes expressed sympathy for the children who were killed and the parents who lost them multiple times during the interview, but said she was not aware that her son had been buying the weapons.

“Those kids… I have no words,” Reyes said through tears. “I don’t know what to say about those poor kids.”

Some classmates told ABC News that Ramos was known for fighting and threatening fellow students. They said he exhibited increasingly disturbing behavior over the past two years, threatening at least one classmate and stalking others, and that he claimed to have cut scars into his face.

Ramos is accused of shooting his grandmother at their home in Uvalde before driving his grandparents’ car to Robb Elementary School and opening fire.

“Anyone who shoots his grandmother in the face has to have evil in his heart,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said during a press conference Wednesday. “But it is far more evil for someone to gun down little kids.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Both Buffalo and Uvalde suspected shooters allegedly abused animals

Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

(UVALDE, Texas) — The accused mass shooter who carried out the deadly attack at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, allegedly committed animal abuse and displayed videos of the cruelty to users on a social media platform, according to two users who spoke to ABC News.

In some instances, the alleged animal abuse was committed in public and then posted for online viewing, and the 18-year-old suspect, Salvador Ramos, allegedly boasted about how he and his friends did it “all the time,” according to one user.

Ramos was killed in a shootout with law enforcement officers inside the Robb Elementary School after he allegedly killed 19 students and two faculty members. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that 17 other people were injured in the episode, including three law enforcement officers.

Abbott said the rampage started when the suspect shot and critically wounded his grandmother at her home before driving several blocks to the school, where he crashed a vehicle and engaged in a gunfight with law enforcement officers outside the school before going in and allegedly committing the massacre.

The allegations of animal abuse are similar to what authorities have learned about Payton Gendron, the white 18-year-old suspect who allegedly committed the May 14 racially motivated mass shooting at a Buffalo, New York supermarket that left 10 Black people dead.

According to a document authorities said the Buffalo suspect allegedly posted online and obtained by ABC News, Gendron allegedly detailed taking part in animal abuse in which he killed a cat, according to the document. Within the writings reviewed by ABC News, Gendron alleged that his mother gave him a box to bury the cat he said he killed.

The two users familiar with online posts attributed to Ramos told ABC News the suspect aired his alleged acts of animal abuse on the social media platform Yubo. They said an account they believed belonged to the accused gunman would go on live video on the platform and play videos of him abusing animals, including cats.

One of the users identified herself to ABC News as Maya Xenokostas, while the other did not share their name.

A law enforcement source told ABC News that investigators are aware of the Yubo profile and are looking at it but can’t definitively confirm the account belongs to the suspect. ABC News has not independently confirmed that the alleged account belonged to the accused shooter.

Yubo describes itself as “a social live streaming platform,” according to its website.

In a statement, a Yubo spokesperson said, “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families of the victims of the tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Due to privacy regulations, we are not able to release specific user information outside of direct requests from law enforcement.”

One Yubo user graphically described to ABC News how Ramos would allegedly publicize the abuse, and would “put cats in plastic bags, suspend them inside, throw them at the ground and throw them at people’s houses.”

The user, who did not share their name with ABC News, said the alleged gunman “would display these videos while laughing and boasting about how him and his friends did it ‘all the time.'”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

These are the security measures the Uvalde School District had in place

Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

(UVALDE, Texas) — The Texas school district where 19 children elementary school children and two adults were killed appeared to have security measures in place in the event of a school shooting, records show.

Included in the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District preventative security measures plan were lockdown protocols, a system in place to report threats and bullying, threat assessment teams, as well as the monitoring of social media, according to school district documents featured on the school district’s website.

The school district also has its own police force with four officers and partners with local law enforcement, according to the document. Secondary campuses have staff who patrol door entrances, parking lots and perimeters of campuses.

The standard response plan to reunify parents with students after an incident was provided in a handout for parents with pickup instructions as well as a “Reunification Information” form for parents to complete that identifies the student and the person who is to pick them up, the documents show.

Other preventative measures include motion detectors and alarm systems, a classroom door policy that requires keeping doors locked at all times, and staff training for emergency protocols. In addition, case managers, social workers and licensed professional counselors are on hand to support students and families, according to the documents.

The suspect, 18-year-old Uvalde High School student Salvador Ramos, allegedly shot his grandmother at a separate scene before crashing a car outside of the Robb Elementary School and emerging from the vehicle with an AR-15-style rifle, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News. His grandmother was airlifted to the hospital and is in critical condition, authorities said.

As Ramos approached the school, he was engaged by a school district police officer, who was then allegedly shot by Ramos, sources said.

At one point, students heard banging on a window before their teacher saw the shooter with a “big gun,” a fourth-grade student who was inside the school at the time said in an interview with ABC News, describing the “nonstop” gunshots that followed.

Ramos then entered the school, barricaded himself in a classroom and opened fire, killing 19 students and a teacher, law enforcement sources said.

There, Ramos was shot and killed after trading gunfire with an Uvalde ISD officer and Border Patrol Tactical Unit agents, sources said. Investigators are going through ballistics to determine who fired the shot that killed the suspect.

Authorities have not detailed how Ramos was able to enter the school and classroom despite the security measures in place. Ramos entered the school through a back door, officials said during a press conference Tuesday.

Every door around the building of the school should be locked, and visitors should only be able to access the building from a single point of entry through a secure vestibule that remains locked until they are authorized, security expert Paul Timm, vice president of Facility Engineering Associates, told ABC Chicago station WLS-TV.

Timm said that all classroom doors should remain locked as well, but added that schools often resist that measure because it gets in the way of operations, such as students needing to use the restroom.

Two responding police officers were also injured, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a press conference on Tuesday.

The students killed were mainly third and fourth graders, according to law enforcement sources.

The father of a 10-year-old Jackie Cazares, who was killed in the shooting, blamed the school district for not having locked doors and lacking training and protocol and police for not responding fast enough.

“There was at least 40 lawmen armed to the teeth, but didn’t do a darn thing till it was far too late,” Jacinto Cazares told ABC News in a statement.

A 2017 to 2020 school district audit by the Texas School Safety Center found that only 200 of the districts reviewed had viable active shooter plans. Of the remaining 822 districts, 626 districts in the state did not have a policy in place, and 196 districts had an insufficient policy, the audit found.

The report did not list specific school districts in Texas and what they ranked.

“Significant appropriations” are provided to ensure that the local school systems around the state have resources for the school safety allotment under Texas Senate Bill 11, Mike Morath, commissioner of education for the Texas Education Agency, said during Tuesday’s press conference.

The Texas School Safety Center and the Texas Education Agency provide technical assistance and training to school district leaders to ensure that the threat assessment protocols and these procedures, including threat response plans of the operational multi hazard plans, are practiced on recurring basis, Morath said.

“There have been, essentially, fairly significant efforts to bolster those managerial practices and these detective or preventative practices in schools all over the state of Texas,” Morath said. “And we will continue to do more.”

The shooting in Uvalde, a small town about 90 minutes west of San Antonio, comes just days after a deadly mass shooting in Buffalo, New York and amid a rapid rise in active shooter incidents in the country.

Ramos legally purchased two AR-style rifles just days after his 18th birthday, law enforcement officials said.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Russia-Ukraine updates: Ukraine outgunned 20 to 1 in east, Zelenskyy says

John Moore/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” into neighboring Ukraine began on Feb. 24, with Russian forces invading from Belarus, to the north, and Russia, to the east. Ukrainian troops have offered “stiff resistance,” according to U.S. officials.

The Russian military has since launched a full-scale ground offensive in eastern Ukraine’s disputed Donbas region, capturing the strategic port city of Mariupol and securing a coastal corridor to the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

May 24, 4:47 pm
Drone footage shows devastation inside Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol

Drone footage released by Russian media shows the devastation inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, where Ukrainian forces fended off Russian troops for weeks amid intense fighting before surrendering.

The drone footage released by the Russian news outlet MIC Izvestia showed the collapsed walls of the plant and twisted metal and debris strewn about the entire facility.

The Russian Defense ministry on Friday said the last Ukrainian fighters defending Azovstal had surrendered, giving Russia full control of the port city of Mariupol.

The seizure of Mariupol, gives Russia command of a land route linking the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow seized in 2014, with mainland Russia and parts of eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists.

May 24, 4:21 pm
Canada announces plans to send artillery to Ukraine

Canada’s Defense Minister Anita Anand announced Tuesday that her country is sending Ukraine more than 20,000 artillery rounds of 155mm NATO-standard ammunition, to further support Ukraine’s military response to Russian leadership’s “illegal, and unjustifiable invasion.”

The ammunition, Anand said, has been sourced from the United States at a cost around $98 million and that work is underway to deliver it to Ukraine as quickly as possible.

The ammunition can be fired from M777 howitzer cannons that Canada and its allies have donated to Ukrainian forces.

“Canada stands with Ukraine and its people as they resist Putin’s illegal and unjustifiable assault,” Anand said. “Today’s announcement is another example of our unwavering commitment to provide Ukraine with the comprehensive military aid it needs to defend its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence.”

May 24, 10:33 am
Tone in Kyiv shifts as Ukraine sharpens its language in pursuit of more US arms

The language being used by Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in relation to the war has changed significantly in the past couple of days and, to some extent, reflects the pressure Ukrainian forces are currently under as Russian forces make progress in the eastern Donbas region.

Marking the third month of the war, Zelenskyy’s said in a speech Monday night that the toughest battles in recent days have been in the Donbas, Bakhmut, Popasna and Severodonetsk areas of eastern Ukraine, where Russia has concentrated most of its efforts and is “trying to destroy everything living there.” He warned that the coming weeks of the war “will be difficult.”

“Yet we have no alternative but to fight — fight and win,” Zelenskyy said.

Zelenksyy’s admission of 50 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers dying every day as of this past weekend and his revelation that more than 70 troops were killed in a single attack on a military base near Kyiv a week ago are a departure from the broad Ukrainian messaging up until now, which has been to stay silent on casualty numbers.

The shift in language on the Ukrainian side over the number of troops lost comes amid multiple reports in recent days suggesting Russia is making small but incremental gains in the Donbas. The latest assessment from the British Defense Ministry is that Russia has achieved “some localized successes.”

Zelenskyy and his top officials have ramped up calls for more weapons from Western nations, specifically the United States. As ABC News has reported, multilaunch rocket systems are at the top of the Ukrainians’ wish list. They also want Western-made fighter jets, such as F-16. However, training time and maintenance issues make the supply of fighter jets more complicated.

Ukrainian officials have publicly addressed Western concerns that Ukraine might use medium-range missile systems to hit targets in Russia, saying that Ukraine will only use them to hit targets within Ukraine’s pre-2014 borders. There has been no suggestion that Ukraine would strike targets in Crimea, which presumably would be seen by Western officials as carrying a similar risk of escalation with Russia.

The United States and some of its allies are concerned that Russia would use strikes in Russian territory with Western-supplied weapons as a pretext for direct confrontation with the West.

-ABC News’ Ian Pannell, Dragana Jovanovic and Tom Soufi Burridge

May 23, 4:49 pm
Russian troops have 20 times the military equipment of Ukraine: Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine is outgunned 20-to-1 on the eastern front in a virtual speech to the Ukraine House in Davos, Switzerland, where the World Economic Forum is currently taking place.

“We do not have enough technical supplies because we are fighting against such a big country with a big army,” Zelenskyy said. “They have 20 times more equipment. Just imagine, now in Donbas, we have 1 to 20. You can just imagine what kind of people we have, how strong they are, what strong warriors we have.”

Zelenskyy has continuously pushed Western countries to increase the amount of military aid coming into the country to stave off the attack from Russia. He sent special thanks over the weekend to President Joe Biden for approving $40 billion in additional aid last week.

“I just don’t want hundreds of thousands of people to die, so we need weapons that will allow us to fight at a great distance,” Zelenskyy added in his speech to the Ukraine House.

Zelenskyy said over the weekend that 50 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers are dying every day in the fighting.

-ABC News’ Christine Theodorou

May 23, 4:24 pm
Russian UN diplomat resigns over Ukraine war: ‘Never have I been so ashamed of my country’

Boris Bondarev, Russia’s counselor to the United Nations in Geneva, has resigned, becoming the Kremlin’s most senior diplomat to defect since his country’s invasion of Ukraine began in February, according to a report from U.N. Watch, a nongovernment organization based in Geneva.

“Never have I been so ashamed of my country,” Bondarev wrote in a statement shared with diplomats in Geneva and published by U.N. Watch.

He said he started his diplomatic career in Russia’s ministry of foreign affairs in 2002 and began his most recent role at the U.N. in 2019.

“I regret to admit that over all these twenty years the level of lies and unprofessionalism in the work of the Foreign Ministry has been increasing all the time,” Bondarev said in his statement. “However, in most recent years, this has become simply catastrophic.”

He added, “Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not about diplomacy. It is all about warmongering, lies and hatred. It serves interests of few, the very few people thus contributing to further isolation and degradation of my country. Russia no longer has allies, and there is no one to blame but its reckless and ill-conceived policy.”

ABC News has not independently verified the statement’s authenticity with Bondarev. The Associated Press spoke with him by phone and he confirmed his statement.

Kira Yarmysh, a spokesperson for imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, shared the statement on her verified Twitter account and wrote, “It seems that there was one honest person in the entire Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

-ABC News’ Josh Margolin

May 23, 2:55 pm
Canadian artist turns bullet holes into beautiful flowers in Bucha

Canadian artist Ivanka Siolkowsky is trying to restore some beauty to the war-ravaged Ukrainian city of Bucha.

A former school teacher, Silokowsky has been painting flowers and butterflies around bullet holes she finds in fences, walls of buildings and homes, frequently soliciting children and other local residents to help her.

“The project began a few weeks ago. I only painted 5 fences, but my hope is that the people of Bucha and other formerly occupied cities in Ukraine will continue this project further,” Siolkowsky recently wrote on her Instagram page.

Bucha, which is northwest of Kyiv, is one of the most heavily bomb cities in Ukraine, where residents have told ABC News of witnessing numerous killings and torture at the hands of Russian forces.

Siolkowsky conceded that her paintings are not masterpieces and said someone commented on one of the Instagram posts, writing, “the paintings aren’t even good.”

“Believe me, I’m aware,” she wrote on Instagram. “But the point of this wasn’t to create masterpieces — it was to bring joy back into a city filled with darkness after the Russian occupation.”

May 23, 12:32 pm
Defense Secretary Austin convenes 2nd Ukraine Contact Group meeting

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin convened the second monthly meeting of the Ukraine Contact Group Monday morning, during which more than 40 nations participated virtually.

“This gathering is virtual, but our efforts together are making a very concrete difference on the battlefield,” Austin told the group as he faced two large monitors showing the virtual participants. “We’re all here today because of the extraordinary valor and resilience of Ukraine soldiers and citizens.”

The group was formed last month to help coordinate international efforts to support Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invaders.

“For three months, Ukraine has been fighting with grit and tactical ingenuity against an entirely unprovoked invasion by its far larger neighbor,” Austin said. “And we’re here to help Ukraine for the long haul.”

Defense leaders from 44 countries and representatives of NATO and the European Union participated in the meeting. Several new nations joined the group since its first meeting, including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Ireland and Kosovo.

Ukrainian officials, including Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov, also logged on to the virtual meeting.

“My friends, we’ve got your back — all of us,” Austin told the Ukrainian representatives. “President Zelenskyy and Ukraine’s leaders have made history, and your forces have inspired the free world with their courage and skill.”

May 23, 12:06 pm
Starbucks announces complete withdrawal from Russia

Starbucks announced on Monday its decision to exit the market in Russia.

“We continue to watch the tragic events unfold and, today, we have decided to suspend all business activity in Russia, including shipment of all Starbucks products,” Starbuck CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement. “Our licensed partner has agreed to immediately pause store operations and will provide support to the nearly 2,000 partners in Russia who depend on Starbucks for their livelihood.”

The announcement comes after the company suspended all business activity in Russia on March 8. Going forward, Starbucks said it will continue to pay its employees in Russia for six months.

Starbucks is one of multiple major U.S. and international companies that have put operations on hold in Russia because of the invasion of Ukraine. Other companies that have suspended operations there include Pfizer, Apple, FedEx, McDonald’s and Amazon.

May 23, 11:26 am
Russian soldier sentenced to life in prison in first war crimes trial in Ukraine

A Ukrainian court in Kyiv sentenced a 21-year-old Russian soldier to life in prison in the first war crimes trial since Russia’s invasion began in February.

Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin pleaded guilty and confessed in court last week to killing a 62-year-old Ukrainian man a few days into the Russian invasion.

During the trial, the widow of the man Shishimarin killed testified that her husband meant everything to her and said she believes the Russian soldier deserves life in prison.

However, the widow said she would support exchanging Shishimarin for any of the Ukrainian soldiers taken prisoner this month by Russia at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine.

“I feel very sorry for him,” the widow testified. “But for a crime like that I can’t forgive him.”

May 23, 10:08 am
Zelenskyy calls for preventative sanctions in virtual address at World Economic Forum

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke Monday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, calling on the West to recognize as a mistake the refusal to impose preventive sanctions on Russia and take decisive steps in that direction.

“We must not react, but act preventively,” Zelenskyy told the forum in a virtual address. “And not only adapt what we have to the new realities, but create new tools. … Do not wait for fatal shots. Do not wait for Russia to use chemical, biological or, heaven forbid, nuclear weapons. Do not give the aggressor the impression that the world allegedly will not offer sufficient resistance. Protect immediately to the maximum freedom and a normal, useful world order.”

Zelenskyy said there are still no such sanctions against the Russian Federation, and listed them:

  • Complete embargo on Russian oil.
  • Complete blocking of all Russian banks.
  • Complete rejection of the Russian IT sector.
  • And complete cessation of trade with the aggressor.

Zelenskyy also called for freezing and confiscating Russian assets around the world and sending them to a special fund to pay compensation and restore Ukraine.

“There should be a precedent for punishing the aggressor. … Russian assets scattered across different jurisdictions should be found, arrested or frozen, and then confiscated and sent to a special fund, from which all victims should receive compensation,” Zelenskyy said.

He warned it will not be easy, but added that various aggressors will definitely not be motivated to do what Russia has done and continues to do in Ukraine.

Zelenskyy said he believes the world is at a turning point and that the future of not only Ukraine, but the whole world, depends on the resistance to brutal force.

“This year, the words ‘turning point’ are not just a rhetorical figure of the speech,” Zelenskyy said. “Now is really such a moment when it is decided whether brutal force will dominate the world. If it dominates, then our thoughts are not interesting to it, and we can no longer gather in Davos. For what? Brutal force is looking for nothing but subjugation of those whom it wants to subdue, and it does not debate, but kills immediately, as Russia is doing in Ukraine right now — at this time when we are talking to you.”

May 22, 3:21 pm
Lithuania becomes first EU country to suspend all Russian energy imports

Lithuania is suspending all imports of Russian oil, natural gas and power, the country’s energy minister Dainius Kreivys announced in a statement Sunday, making it the only country in the European Union to suspend all imports on Russian energy.

Lithuania is now receiving liquified gas from the U.S. after becoming the first EU country to suspend Russian gas imports in April, Kreivys said. The country is now generating electricity via local power generation and local EU imports via existing connections with Sweden, Poland and Latvia.

It is unclear what alternate source of oil Lithuania will rely on, but Kreivys’ statement indicates that its sole importer of oil, Orlen Lietuva, refused to import Russian oil more than a month ago, Kreivys said.

The move is an expression of solidarity with Ukraine, Kreivys said, adding that it cannot allow its money to finance a Russian war machine.

The EU stated in March that it would end its dependency on fossil fuels imports from Russia and made plans to phase out Russian oil, gas and coal. The European Commission presented details on how it plans to achieve that last week.

May 22, 2:54 pm
50 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers killed every day, Zelenskyy says

While Ukraine has rarely reported on its combat losses since the Russian invasion began in late February, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced during a press briefing Sunday that 50 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers are being killed every day.

The last time Zelenskyy revealed military death toll figures was in April, when he said that around 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in action and around 10,000 wounded. Zelenskyy did not provide a total figure for combatants killed in action on Sunday.

Since the start of the invasion, most Ukrainian men ages 18 to 60 have been banned from leaving the country. On Friday, a petition calling for the government to cancel the ban was registered with the president’s office.

The petition surpassed the 25,000-signature threshold that requires the president to address it on Sunday. Zelenskyy acknowledged the petition during Sunday’s briefing.

“How would I explain that to relatives of our defenders who are fighting at the most difficult positions in the East, where 50 to 100 troops lose their lives every day?” he said.

Ukraine’s parliament voted to extend martial law through Aug. 23. Zelenskyy’s office has a few weeks to consider the petition.

May 22, 12:41 pm
Zelenskyy welcomes president of Poland amid Ukraine’s bid to join EU

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy extended a warm welcome to Polish President Andrzej Duda on Sunday amid his bid to have his country join the European Union.

During a parliamentary session, Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude to all Poles for their support, making it clear that he’s pushing full steam ahead to ensure Ukraine is granted candidate status.

“I am sure that all the necessary decisions will be made first for the status of a candidate for Ukraine, and then for full membership,” he said. “In particular, thanks to Poland’s many years of protection of Ukrainian interests on the European continent.”

Shortly after Zelenskyy and Duda addressed lawmakers, the parliament session was briefly interrupted when air sirens sounded in Kyiv, and members of parliament were moved to a shelter. The Ukrainian regional military administration later confirmed a Russian missile was intercepted over the Kyiv region.

France’s Minister for European Affairs Clément Beaune in his interview with France TF1 radio said on Sunday that it could take 15 to 20 years for Ukraine to become an EU member state, adding that Kyiv could enter the European political community proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron in the meantime.

May 22, 12:07 pm
Recent attacks have killed more than 200 Ukrainians, Russian military claims

The Russian Defense Ministry provided updates to what it described as the “special military operation in Ukraine” on Sunday, saying that hundreds of Ukrainians were killed in recent attacks.

High-precision air missiles and other attacks launched in Donetsk, Lugansk and Krasnyi on Sunday hit command posts, areas where Ukrainian manpower and military equipment are concentrated and ammunition depots, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The attacks killed more than 210 Ukrainian nationals and destroyed as many as 38 armored motor vehicles, the ministry claimed.

Russian air defense also shot down 11 Ukrainian aircraft and intercepted “multiple launch rockets” in the Kharkov region, according to the defense ministry.

The ministry claimed that, in total, 174 Ukrainian aircraft and 125 helicopters, 977 unmanned aerial vehicles, 317 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,198 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 408 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,622 field artillery and mortars and 3,077 units of special military vehicles were destroyed during the operation.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

New York City subway shooting suspect ordered held without bail

New York City Police Dept.

(NEW YORK) — The alleged suspect in the unprovoked fatal shooting of 48-year-old Daniel Enriquez on a Q train in New York City was ordered held without bail on Wednesday.

Andrew Abdullah, 25, of Brooklyn, was arrested Wednesday after arranging a surrender through his pastor to officers at the 5th precinct, according to law enforcement sources.

During a court appearance Wednesday, prosecutors described Abdullah as a man with an extensive criminal history who, after allegedly shooting Enriquez in the chest, told the other passengers to put their cell phones away, according to ABC New York station WABC-TV.

Abdullah’s attorney, Kristin Braun of Legal Aid Society, told the judge that only one of six witnesses in a lineup could identify the suspect, whom officials have said was wearing a mask on the train, WABC reported.

Abdullah did not speak during the arraignment, according to WABC. His next court date is scheduled for Friday.

Abdullah has about 20 prior arrests, including an outstanding gun charge from last year, according to sources. He also has prior arrests for assault, robbery, menacing and grand larceny, sources said.

Abdullah has three cases that are still pending, including an April arrest for fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property for allegedly being found with a stolen motorcycle, as well as a June 2021 arrest for violating a protective order and March 2021 arrest for assault.

“We moved over 2,900 illegal guns off our streets,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a Tuesday press conference on the arrest. “As soon as we placed them on, more return with bad guys who feel comfortable enough even after we arrest them, that they can come back out and wreak havoc on our city. The industry pumps guns into the community faster than we can take them out. The rest of the shooter doesn’t change what is going on every day in this industry.”

Detectives have also recovered the gun used in the shooting.

It is believed the suspect handed the gun to a homeless man as he fled the Canal Street station. The homeless man then apparently sold the gun for $10 to a third person, who reported it to police, the sources said.

The New York Police Department released surveillance photos Monday of the suspect believed to have shot Enriquez taken shortly after he exited the subway.

The motive for the shooting is still unknown.

In January 2020, Abdullah was arrested as part of a gun-related case and in May 2017 he was charged with second-degree attempted murder as part of an 83-count federal indictment of the Harlem-based street gangs Fast Money and Nine Block. Abdullah was sentenced to three years in federal prison, but served just four months before being released in 2019.

Witnesses say the suspect, alleged to be Abdullah, was pacing back and forth in the last car of a Manhattan-bound train around 11:45 a.m. when he pulled out a gun and fired it at Enriquez unprovoked, according to NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey.

The shooting comes a little over a month after a Brooklyn subway rider opened fire on a train car, wounding 10 people. The suspect in that shooting, Frank James, was arrested one day later in lower Manhattan.

Transit crime is up 62.5% in the city year-to-date from 2021, according to NYPD statistics.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

San Francisco Pride parade bans police uniforms, LGBTQ officers refuse to march

Meera Fox/Getty Images

(SAN FRANCISCO) — Police will be barred from wearing their uniforms at the June 26 Pride march in San Francisco, one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the world. Instead, officers are being advised to march in T-shirts that represent their local law enforcement agency.

The decision has caused a heated debate in the city. However, the discourse stretches across the country, as cities reconsider the presence of police at LGBTQ-led events.

Last year, New York City’s Pride parade organizers banned officers from marching in the parade for the first time in decades.

Police presence was reduced at the event, as organizers say they are reckoning with the legacy of police brutality and abuse against LGBTQ people that the community says continues today.

The heated relationship between San Francisco police and others in the LGBTQ community came to a head in 2019 when a protest on the parade route ended with people being arrested, shoved and allegedly injured by police.

“Some members of our community, the presence of the police in the parade is difficult for them, given their history with the police department,” San Francisco Pride Director Suzanne Ford has said on the impact of the march on the community. “So we want to honor and make sure that we protect and make people feel safe.”

The difficult relationship between police and members of the LGBTQ community has a longstanding history. In 1969, a police raid on patrons at The Stonewall Inn in New York City led to an uprising that gave rise to the gay-rights movement. The bar is now a National Historic Landmark. However, that raid was just one of many examples of police violence against the LGBTQ community, according to historians.

There was a time when every state in America criminalized same-sex sexual behavior. That changed in 1962 and, in 2003, the landmark case Lawrence v. Texas led to the nationwide decriminalization of sexual activity between same-sex couples.

San Francisco officers have responded to the uniform ban by collectively refusing to march in the parade, which will take place on June 26, 2022.

In a statement, the San Francisco Police Department said it “supports the decision of our LGBTQ+ officers” but will still be in attendance for security reasons.

“The San Francisco Police Department is committed to not only serving the diverse communities of San Francisco, but to embracing the diversity of our members,” the statement read. “We recognize the struggles that our LGBTQ+ members have overcome, both within the department as well as outside the department.”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed denounced the event organizers’ decision to bar police uniforms from the parade. She said she loves the parade, but will refuse to join the festivities if parade organizers don’t reverse their decision, according to a statement sent to ABC News

“I’ve made this very hard decision in order to support those members of the LGBTQ community who serve in uniform, in our Police Department and Sheriff’s Department, who have been told they cannot march in uniform, and in support of the members of the Fire Department who are refusing to march out of solidarity with their public safety partners,” Breed said.

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Parkland parent, Sandy Hook survivor speak out on Texas school shooting

ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Nineteen children and two teachers are among those killed Tuesday at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, a small rural town. The gunman, who has been identified as an 18-year-old who attended the local high school, is also dead, according to authorities.

As the country is left reeling in the wake of another mass shooting, Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin Oliver, who was killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, and Mary Ann Jacob, who survived the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut in 2012, speak on the surge of deadly gun violence.

“I think we all thought after the shooting at Sandy Hook School when 20 first-graders died and six teachers, that would drive change and if that was true, then Manuel wouldn’t be on TV with us tonight losing Joaquin, and these parents wouldn’t be going through what they’re going through today,” Jacob told ABC News Live Prime.

It is nearly 10 years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting — one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. On that day, Jacob saved 19 children by barricading them in a closet.

Since then, there have been nearly 980 active and non-active school shooting situations, according to data from the Center for Homeland Defense and Security Naval Postgraduate School.

“It is shocking to me really that after seeing all the different communities it has happened in, we still don’t believe that it can happen in our own community and if we’re not willing to do something,” said Jacob. “Our legislatures are not going to do anything, unless we push them to do something. So vote for people who care about what you care about and make sure that they are going to drive change.”

Jacob said there is no way to shield American children from gun violence, but there is a way to make change through legislative and political action.

“There really is no way to protect your kids from it. I mean your kids are affected just like every kid in the country by watching on TV, knowing other kids who have died, hiding under their desks during active shooter drills,” said Jacob. “But there is a way to change it and that’s by electing people and making sure that the people you elect are accountable for what we need to be doing and every single person in America ought to be doing that.”

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., delivered an impassioned argument on the Senate floor late Tuesday afternoon. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are among the political leaders who have spoken out and are demanding change.

Oliver lost his son Joaquin in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead and more injured. The gunman, Nikolas Cruz, was 19 years old at the time.

Oliver said it shouldn’t have taken another school shooting for a national debate on gun laws.

“The myth behind the ‘good guy with the gun’ is just broken after what happened today in Texas. Where there are a lot of ‘good guys with guns,’” said Oliver.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, guns are the leading cause of death among American children and teens. Nearly 1 out of 10 gun deaths are among those 19 and younger.

Oliver said he cannot offer any comforting words for parents who have lost a child to gun violence.

“There is no comfort possible here,” said Oliver. “You need to take advantage of those cameras today to expose your anger, your sadness, your frustration. Not only to our leaders, we’re talking about corporations here that allow this to happen… This is something that happens only in America. We are known all around the world for this.”

He added that other parents should realize that the same thing could happen to their own child.

“I don’t need to worry about losing my kid because I already lost him – but you do. It’s not about one person, or your kids, in particular, but everyone in America,” said Oliver. “We provide those guns. We provide those inactions. [Children] should go to school like I went to school, have fun, enjoy the day and go back home. Make them stay safe.”

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Parkland survivor, Sandy Hook parent weigh in on Texas school shooting

Rolando Otero/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images, FILE

(NEW YORK) — On Feb. 14, 2018, Sari Kaufman was a 15 year old high school student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when a gunman opened fire and killed 17 people, a majority of whom were her fellow classmates.

Four years later, she says she continues to relive her trauma through the growing number of others like her who are personally affected by gun violence. Most recently, the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, when authorities say an 18-year-old high school student opened fire and killed at least 21 people, including 19 children.

“It’s just really upsetting, especially to see young students, elementary-aged students, have to go through what I went through,” said Kaufman on the Start Here podcast. “And I know from a personal level how difficult it is to deal with that trauma.”

Kaufman said that not only will these children grieve the loss of their classmates and teachers today, but will wake up for the rest of their life with the belief that they can be murdered while at school.

“It forces you to become an adult before you need to be and it takes away your innocence to know that you go to school and that there’s a possibility,” said Kaufman.

“These students are not just going to be affected today, it’s not just going to be tonight. That’s difficult. It’s going to be every day afterwards. And I think that’s what hurts me the most, because I know on a personal level that it’s really difficult to deal with the aftermath and to be this young and have to deal with that the rest of their lives,” Kaufman added.

Over the past five years, there have been 94,057 deaths and 183,926 injuries due to gun violence in the United States, according to a Gun Violence Tracker a part of ABC News’ multimedia series “Rethinking Gun Violence,” which partnered with the independent, nonprofit Gun Violence Archive.

As a growing number of American students have been affected by active school shooters, parents who have lost their children to gun violence will have to continue to live without their child.

Nelba Marquez-Greene lost her six-year-old daughter Ana Grace in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. Now, she is watching other parents go through the same thing she went through nearly a decade later.

“Right now, the families are surviving, but I would say to anyone who wants to help, if you really want to help a family, find out ways to help them directly,” said Marquez-Green on “The View.” “Show up now. Show up 10, 15, 20 years from now. We will need you for a lifetime.”

Marquez-Green said there is more work to be done than just sending thoughts and prayers to the suffering community.

“We must not be unserious in our faith. Thoughts and prayers, faith without work is dead,” she said.

Marquez-Green also urged the country to force change from the lawmakers.

“It is grotesque abdication of duty, abdication of their responsibility to American families, to fail us in this way and we see them,” she said. “Let’s call out the bull crap. Let’s say we see them.”

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Will Texas school shooting force Congress to finally act on gun control?

Tim Graham/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — Experts examine America’s history with guns, the real-life impacts of gun violence and what can be done going forward to mitigate the problem.
As the nation mourns the latest American massacre of 19 elementary school students and two teachers in Texas, the deadliest mass school shooting in nearly a decade, gun control efforts remain stalled in Washington, as they have for almost 30 years.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday night made impassioned remarks expressing outrage at lawmakers who are blocking “common-sense” gun laws and rejected the argument often heard from Republicans that gun violence is a mental health issue.

“These kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency they happen in America. Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage?” Biden said with outrage. “Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with and stand up to the lobbies?”

Since the National Rifle Association formed its own political action committee in 1977, the organization has used its deep pockets to lobby lawmakers at the federal and state level to stave off gun control efforts.

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the NRA spent $1.6 million in the first half of 2019 alone lobbying members of Congress to vote against a proposal to expand background checks for gun sales.

With Republicans offering sympathy to the loved ones of victims in the Robb Elementary shooting, several critics on social media called out their contributions from the gun lobby, citing $13.6 million to Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and $1.2 million to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, over their careers.

The last meaningful gun reform legislation passed on Capitol Hill was the 1994 assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004 due to a “sunset” clause in the legislation. In the nearly 30 years since, gun control measures have mostly stalled on Capitol Hill, and in the current Democratic-controlled Congress, that’s due, in large part, to the Senate filibuster rule.

In the current 50-50 Senate, Democrats need 10 Republicans to join them to reach the 60-vote threshold required by the Senate’s filibuster rule in order to end debate on a bill, allowing it to proceed to a final vote. Republicans have warned even a single exception to the Senate’s 60-vote threshold to advance legislation would be dangerous to the rights of whichever party is in the minority (although both parties have used the so-called “nuclear option” in the last decade — requiring 51 votes to confirm all executive branch and judicial nominees, for example).

Republicans Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn headed back to their home state of Texas on Wednesday to visit Uvalde.

Cornyn has supported bipartisan talks to expand background checks in the past. Cruz has not, and has faced backlash, along with Abbott, for being slated to speak at the NRA’s annual meeting in Houston this weekend, only a few hundred miles away from the massacre in Uvalde. Because former President Donald Trump is also attending, the NRA said Wednesday that firearms would not be allowed at the event, citing Secret Service protocol.

The last time Congress came close to passing substantial gun reform was in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, when a single gunman killed 20 students and 6 adults. Biden was tasked with the White House response on Capitol Hill while serving as vice president, but that effort ultimately failed to garner enough bipartisan support.

In lieu of congressional action, Biden has taken some executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence but conceded last week while in Buffalo there’s “not much” more he can do without congressional support.

Where does gun control stand in Congress?

House Democrats passed two gun control bills last year — one aimed at expanding background check requirements for gun sales, and the second aimed at extending the review period for background checks from three days to 10 days. But Democrats don’t have the votes needed to squash a GOP-led filibuster to pass either bill in the Senate.

Two Senate Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — have been adamant in their opposition to changing the Senate filibuster rule.

“If we can’t get 60 or 70 or more votes, we’ll talk then,” Manchin said Wednesday, expressing some confidence that senators could find some common ground before ending the rule.

Sinema, asked directly if she could support scrapping the filibuster to pass gun control legislation, told ABC News’ Trish Turner, “I don’t think that D.C. solutions are realistic here.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer moved Tuesday evening to put the two House-passed bills on the chamber’s calendar, but it’s unclear if and when a vote would be held. If Schumer does bring legislation to the floor, it would likely be an effort to put every single senator on the record, as he’s done with failed legislation on abortion and voting rights.

When eviscerating Republicans in a floor speech Wednesday, Schumer signaled he was disinclined to put up that vote.

“I accept the fact that most of my Republicans are not willing to do what it takes to present this needless loss of life. The NRA will have a hold on them. That’s just the reality, unfortunately, but it is unacceptable to the American people to think that there are not 10 of my Republican colleagues just 10 — one out of five over here — would be ready to work to pass something that we reduce this plague of gun violence,” Schumer said. “It’s unacceptable, that there are not 10 members of the Republican caucus willing to save lives, find a way to do it. And yet, that’s where we are.”

Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who has represented his state since the Sandy Hook massacre also questioned his colleagues on the Senate floor Monday night in a speech that quickly went viral on social media.

“What are we doing? Just days after a shooter walked into a grocery store to gun down African American patrons. We have another Sandy Hook on our hands,” he said. “There are more mass shootings than days in the year. Our kids are living in fear every single time they set foot in the classroom because they think they’re going to be next. What are we doing?”

Renewed talks but will there be action?

While lawmakers on both sides of the aisle often talk about taking action in the wake of deadly mass shootings, there’s not widespread bipartisan agreement on what action to take.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., pushed for The School Safety Act, which would create a federal clearinghouse database and collect information to establish best practices for school safety nationwide. Rubio will try to force a vote on that legislation Wednesday.Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who has accepted more than $3 million from the NRA in his career, told ABC News Congressional Correspondent Rachel Scott that he does support background checks.

“It’s not just about these horrific mass shootings, it’s also about this broader issue of gun violence, and then what are the actual solutions — what’s actually going to make a difference,” he said. “If we’re passing something to make us feel better here, that doesn’t have any impact on the actual issue.”

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he thinks there could be common ground on red flag laws, noting his bipartisan red flag law bill with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. Red-flag laws allow police or family members to petition a court to order the removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves.

But Graham, asked by Scott on Wednesday if he can assure the American people that — this time — something will get done, said, “I can’t assure the American people there’s any law we can pass that would have stopped this shooting.”

With an apparent eye on midterms, Sen. Cory Booker, D-S.C., said he’s urging Schumer to put every senator on the record.

“I’m hoping it comes to the floor for a vote. It will fail. Americans should know that,’ Booker said. “Right now, there are not seemingly 10 senators that want to do the most moderate of things, which is universal background checks supported by almost 90% of Americans, the majority of gun owners, but I do think at this moment its important we put people on the record.”

Americans across party and demographic lines overwhelmingly support expanded background checks (89%) and red flag laws (86%), according to an ABC News-Washington Post poll from 2019.

ABC News Congressional Correspondent Rachel Scott, Trish Turner and Allie Pecorin contributed to this report.

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Texas shooting highlights how guns are the leading cause of death for US kids

Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(UVALDE, Texas) — The mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, Tuesday has put the spotlight back on recent data showing that firearm injuries are the No. 1 cause of death among children and adolescents in the United States.

A total of 19 children, mainly third and fourth graders — as well as two teachers — were killed at Robb Elementary, in what President Joe Biden referred to as an act of “carnage.”

It’s an all-too-familiar story in which communities are left wondering in the aftermath how to best keep children safe.

“It’s a senseless act of violence,” Dr. Jason Goldstick, an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan, told ABC News. “You shouldn’t be expected to be exposed to violence when going to school like that.”

And it comes just a month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data showing guns were the No. 1 killer of children and adolescents in 2020.

The agency found that 4,368 Americans under the age of 19 died from gun violence in 2020, a 29.5% jump from 2019.

That’s equivalent to 5.4 out of every 100,000 kids and teens in the U.S. dying from a firearm injury and a 63% jump from the 3.3 per 100,000 recorded one decade ago.

It’s unclear what’s behind the spike, but the data is consistent with other recent studies showing the increase in firearm-related injuries at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you look at the trajectory over the last several years, that should raise alarm,” said Goldstick, who is also a member of the university’s Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention. “The fact that this is the leading cause of death among kids is obscene.”

It also marks the first time since the CDC started recording leading causes of death among children that firearm-related injuries overtook motor vehicle crashes as the No. 1 cause.

For the last 21 years, gun deaths were second to motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of death among children and adolescents; however, the gap between the two categories has been narrowing since 2016, the CDC said.

By comparison, motor vehicle accidents killed about five per 100,000 Americans aged 19 and younger in 2020.

That is a more than 50% decline in the rate of children and adolescents being killed by cars since 1999.

There has been significant progress in reducing the fatality rate of motor vehicle crashes, including increased use of seat belts and safety technology, including automatic emergency braking systems and airbags.

“A lot of the political rhetoric around reducing firearm-related deaths center around gun control and the Second Amendment,” Goldstick said. “But we were able to accomplish huge reductions in motor vehicle crash injuries without banning cars ever. There’s no reason an analogous approach can’t work for firearms.”

He added there are several evidence-based approaches that can help drive down firearm fatality rates including investments in organizations and programs aimed at curbing community violence, safe storage campaigns and firearm training courses.

“​​Tracking these kinds of trends is really sort of step zero,” Goldstick said. “It’s not a solution … It tells you it’s a worsening problem and points us in a direction to focus on to reduce mortality among children and teens.”

ABC News’ Ivan Pereira contributed to this report.

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