Beto O’Rourke crashes Abbott press conference on Uvalde school shooting

UVALDE, Texas (KXAN) — Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke crashed Gov. Greg Abbott’s press conference Wednesday as the governor was providing an update on the shooting at a Uvalde elementary school that killed at least 21 people Tuesday.

O’Rourke walked toward the stage after Abbott’s opening statement and could be heard saying “you are doing nothing.”

Sen. Ted Cruz responded to O’Rourke’s display, calling O’Rourke an “embarrassment.” Multiple other Texas leaders were standing on the stage surrounding Abbott, including Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas Speaker Dade Pehlan.

O’Rourke could be heard saying the shooting was “totally predictable.”

O’Rourke was escorted out of the venue by police. Outside, he spoke to reporters.

“There’s no words that anybody shouting can come up here and do anything to heal those broken hearts,” Abbott said after the exchange.

The shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde left at least 19 students and two adults dead. Officials have not yet officially released the names of the victims, but families are coming forward to identify their loved ones.

“We owe those parents actions. I’ve talked to the parents in El Paso, I’ve talked to the parents in Santa Fe high School, I’ve talked to the parents in Midland Odessa. They want us to do something right now. I want us to do something right now. We can do something right now. But if we continue to accept this, it’s not just the governor’s fault — it is on us,” O’Rourke said.

The shooting happened just two days before the last day of the school year, per Uvalde CISD’s calendar.

“In this one moment in time, put aside personal agendas … think about somebody other than ourselves. Think about the people who are hurt,” Abbott said in a raised voice.

“There will be plenty of time to discuss and analyze what happened yesterday and do everything in our power to hopefully prevent it from happening again. Now is the time, people watching around the world in this country, in this state, to focus on the families,” Patrick said.

O’Rourke is running for governor against Abbott in November.

from KRON4

‘Have you no shame?’ Feinstein asks Republican senators

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is calling on the U.S. Senate to immediately move to consider her Age 21 Act, a bill to raise the age required to purchase assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines from 18 to 21.

Feinstein’s call to action comes less than 24 hours after an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

The shooter reportedly purchased two AR-15 assault rifles shortly after his 18th birthday, one of which he used to murder children in their classroom Tuesday.

“It just shows you the complete evil of the shooter,” Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety said. The Texas gunman barricaded himself inside the 4th grade students’ classroom until law enforcement officers broke in and killed him, Olivarez said.

On May 14, another 18-year-old gunman killed 10 people inside a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y. He legally purchased an AR-15-style assault rifle shortly after his 18th birthday.

Under the Age 21 Act, the Texas and New York teenagers’ weapons purchase attempts would have been rejected.

“In fewer than 10 days, two mass shootings by 18-year-olds left 31 people dead. And in both shootings, assault rifles were legally purchased by teenagers because our gun laws are broken and because Republicans refuse to help fix them,” Feinstein said.

“Both these teenage shooters would have been turned away at a bar. But they were able to walk into gun stores and legally purchase one of the most deadly weapons available,” Feinstein said. “This is unconscionable.”

“Even though the Age 21 Act had bipartisan support in the past, too many Republicans live in constant terror of the gun lobby and refuse to do anything to stop the bloodshed. To all my Republican colleagues who think an 18-year-old should be able to buy an assault rifle, this is the result: 31 lives snuffed out, including 19 young children in an elementary school classroom. Have you no shame?” Feinstein asked.

She said, “I am heartbroken by these senseless deaths and I am sickened that our country stands by and does nothing.”

Members of the community gather at the City of Uvalde Town Square for a prayer vigil in the wake of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. (Photo by Jordan Vonderhaar /Getty Images)

President Joe Biden echoed Feinstein’s urgency for new gun restrictions in a somber address to the nation on Tuesday.

“As a nation we have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name are we going to do what has to be done Why are we willing to live with this carnage?” Biden asked.

The Texas school shooting happened hours before the Golden State Warriors basketball team played a Western Conference Finals game in Dallas, Texas.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr refused to talk about basketball during a pre-game press conference with reporters. Instead, he made an emotional speech and challenged senators to make a change.

Kerr called out 50 U.S. senators for failing to vote on a background check bill that was passed by the House of Representatives.

“We are being held hostage by 50 senators in Washington, who refuse to even put it to a vote,” Kerr said. “Despite what we, the American people, want, they won’t vote on it because they want to hold on to their own power.”

 “So I ask you, Mitch McConnell. I ask all of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings, I ask you, are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children, and our elderly, and our churchgoers?” Kerr said.

Kerr added, “It’s pathetic. I’ve had enough.”

Law enforcement officers speak together outside of Robb Elementary School following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell / Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told his fellow senators that he will not immediately bring gun control measures to the floor because there’s almost no chance of gaining enough votes from Republicans.

Schumer said bringing gun-control legislation to the floor, even in the immediate aftermath of Uvalde, would be fruitless because of staunch Republican opposition. 

Schumer said it is up to American voters to elect new senators.

Schumer said, “Sadly, this isn’t a case of the American people now knowing where their senators stand. They know. They know because my Republican colleagues are perfectly clear on this issue. Crystal clear. Americans can cast their vote in November for senators or members of Congress that reflect how he or she stands with guns.”

from KRON4

Uvalde school shooting: How to help victims and families

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Following Tuesday’s school shooting in Texas that left 19 students and two adults dead, Americans are gathering to remember the victims, fundraise money for their families and send resources to a small community rocked by tragedy.

People across the country were saddened, confused, and devastated by the events that unfolded at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. And as more information about the victims and the circumstances surrounding the tragedy become available, many Americans are asking how they can help the families and loved ones who are mourning the loss of those killed.

Nexstar’s KXAN has gathered several ways we can all help support the community of Uvalde.

Robb School Memorial Fund

A memorial fund has been set up by Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District through First State Bank of Uvalde. Donations will go to families of the shooting victims, the district said in a tweet. There are three ways to contribute:

Checks should be made payable to the “Robb School Memorial Fund.”

Verified GoFundMe fundraisers

GoFundMe has created a centralized hub for Texas school shooting fundraisers that have been verified by its trust and safety team.

“GoFundMe’s Trust & Safety Team updated state officials in Uvalde, Texas, on the steps we take to protect donors and recipients, and provided information about the GoFundMe Guarantee, our policy guaranteeing all of the funds raised on GoFundMe go to the right place,” the company wrote in a release.

GoFundMe has created a mobile crisis team to be able to rapidly review fundraisers being created to verify them, the company said.

Below are the GoFundMe fundraisers that have been verified as of Wednesday. Those wishing to donate can also check back with the centralized hub for additional fundraisers as they’re added.

Blood donations

South Texas Blood & Tissue is hosting an emergency blood drive Wednesday at the Herby Ham Activity Center in Uvalde from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. University Health, in Uvalde, also asked people to donate blood if they wanted to help victims of this shooting.

In Austin, We Are Blood is encouraging donations locally. The organization says it has seen a “significant uptick in appointments, walk-ins and donations interest” since the shooting. They say donor center appointments are virtually full through the weekend as people have rushed to help.

WeAreBlood is hosting a blood drive at the Texas State Capitol, 1220 Colorado Street, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, May 26. This drive will be walk-in only and will not have appointments available. 

“We are in regular contact this afternoon with South Texas Blood & Tissue, who serve the Uvalde community and San Antonio, to let them know we stand ready to lend aid should they need it,” We Are Blood said in a statement to KXAN. The organization added that aid has not been requested yet.

Event planned at the Texas State Capitol

Coalition Austin is hosting an emergency community mourning for the victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting on Wednesday, May 25, from 6-8 p.m.

“We welcome all to come together as a community to mourn and support one another in the face of yet another senseless tragedy of America’s gun violence epidemic,” they said in a post.

Organizers are asking people to bring candles and flowers to honor those who lost their lives.

Red Cross of Central Texas

The American Red Cross said it currently has “all the resources and assistance” it needs, though it appreciates the influx of support since Tuesday’s shooting. The

“We will continue to coordinate with local officials and community partners to determine how we can best support the Uvalde community in the days and weeks ahead.”

from KRON4

California moves toward allowing lawsuits over illegal guns

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Hours after a deadly elementary school shooting in Texas, California senators on Tuesday approved giving people the power to sue those who traffic in illegal firearms, mimicking a Texas law that is intended to deter abortions.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom sought the bill as a gibe to the U.S. Supreme Court after the justices gave preliminary approval to a Texas law allowing people to go after those who provide or assist in providing abortions. The California bill would automatically be invalidated if the Texas law is eventually ruled unconstitutional.

Democratic Sen. Anthony Portantino pointed to the Texas shooting, where at least 18 children were killed. He said California should use Texas’ abortion law as a model for good. “Let’s use that plan for something that keeps us safe, and not something that punishes women,” he said.

The California version would allow people to file civil lawsuits against anyone who distributes illegal assault weapons, parts that can be used to build weapons, guns without serial numbers, or .50 caliber rifles. They would be awarded at least $10,000 in civil damages for each weapon, plus attorneys fees.

The move comes in the wake of recent mass shootings, including the Texas school, a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and elsewhere, including what police call a gang shootout that killed six people and wounded 12 people within blocks of the California state Capitol last month.

Aside from the political statement, proponents said the measure addresses a so-far intractable problem of deterring the use of homemade or untraceable “ghost” guns. The problem is growing rapidly even though California already has some of the nation’s strictest firearms rules.

“Increasing gun violence in California is not an indictment of tough laws. It is a wake-up call for adopting even more prudent gun laws to (deter) these latest illegal weapons,” Portantino said.

Gun owners’ organizations and even some gun control advocates have questioned the wisdom of creating what amounts to a bounty to encourage people to bring civil actions to punish crimes.

But only Republican Sen. Andreas Borgeas spoke against the bill, saying that legislators should empower law enforcement to act against those who have guns illegally. He supported other measures, like requiring that guns have serial numbers.

“The private right of action, however, I think is taking this bill way too far,” he said, because it would encourage lawsuits by plaintiffs’ attorneys.

The measure passed on a 24-10 vote, with Democratic Sen. Melissa Hurtado joining Republicans in opposition.

Senators approved three other gun control bills, sending them all to the state Assembly over the opposition of Republican lawmakers.

One would require schools to annually send parents information on the safe storage of firearms and immediately report threats of mass violence. But Portantino removed the most controversial provision, which would have required parents to report gun ownership to school officials.

The second would bar gun shows on state property, with Democratic Sen. Dave Min arguing the state should not be abetting firearm sales.

The third, also by Min, would require dealers to install safeguards to deter illegal gun sales and thefts, including digital video surveillance systems.

from KRON4

Bay Area schools bolster security presence in wake of Texas shooting

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — In the wake of the Texas school shooting that took the lives of over a dozen children and their two teachers, schools throughout the Bay Area are bolstering security around campuses.

In the East Bay, parents and students will see more sheriff’s deputies around schools as local law enforcement looks to provide some sort of security to the parents who are dropping off their children at school.

“It’s terrifying to send your kid off to school every day and you just hope for the best,” one parent said.

Slightly north in Novato, the police department announced via Twitter that they will provide officers to schools throughout the Novato Unified School District.

The Livermore Police Department also announced they will have an increased patrol presence at schools The department said despite no direct threat to schools in the community, they want to continue to be vigilant in the wake of the shooting in Texas.

In the South Bay, the Santa Clara and Mountain View police departments will deploy officers around schools Wednesday.

“Today, if you see a patrol vehicle at a school, it is our effort to check on our friends in education,” the Santa Clara Police Department said via Twitter.

“Our children are our world. Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve increased our presence around schools today to ensure students, staff and parents know that classrooms and campuses are safe,” Mountain View police added.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

from KRON4

Gun, ammo found in 2nd grader’s desk at California school

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A gun and a loaded magazine were found in a second-grader’s desk at a California school after other students alerted the staff that a classmate had brought a weapon, officials said.

The incident occurred Tuesday at Edward Kemble Elementary in Sacramento, the Sacramento City Unified School District said in a statement to families.

The staff called police “who secured the weapon and opened an investigation,” the statement said.

“We are grateful that this incident did not result in a tragedy such as those that districts have experienced, including today’s tragic and senseless mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas,” the district said. “This is due in large part to the bravery and awareness of the students who came forward and alerted staff at Kemble today.”

In Texas, an 18-year-old gunman fatally shot 19 children and two teachers before law enforcement officers killed him.

The Sacramento school district said the incident involving the second-grader was a reminder of the importance of “See something, say something.”

A telephone message seeking further information was left at the Sacramento Police Department’s public information office on Wednesday.

from KRON4

Schumer tells colleagues not to expect a gun control vote anytime soon

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told colleagues on the Senate floor Wednesday that he will not immediately bring gun control measures to the floor in the wake of two mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, because he doesn’t expect them to muster enough Republican votes to pass.  

Instead, the Democratic leader said he will wait for Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and other members of his caucus to try to negotiate a bipartisan compromise with Republicans on a measure that has a better chance of securing 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.  

“There are some who want this body to quickly vote on sensible gun safety legislation, legislation supported by the vast majority of Americans,” he said. “They want to see this body vote quickly so the American people can know which side each senator is on …. I’m sympathetic to that, and I believe that accountability votes are important.”  

But Schumer said he thought that bringing gun-control legislation in the immediate aftermath of Buffalo and Uvalde, where two lone shooters left a total of 31 people dead in the span of 10 days, would be fruitless because of staunch Republican opposition to such reforms.  

He noted that Republicans opposed proposals to expand background checks, ban assault-style weapons and prohibit high-capacity magazines after a gunman killed 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.  

“If the slaughter of schoolchildren can’t convince Republicans to buck the NRA, what can we do?” he said, referring to the National Rifle Association.  

“Sadly, this isn’t a case of the American people now knowing where their senators stand. They know. They know because my Republican colleagues are perfectly clear on this issue. Crystal clear.”

“Republicans don’t pretend that they support sensible gun safety legislation. They don’t pretend to be moved by the fact that 90 percent of Americans, regardless of party, support something as common sense as background checks, that the vast majority of gun owners support the background checks bill,” he said.  

Schumer said he would hold legislation from the floor to give Murphy and other colleagues a chance to negotiate bipartisan legislation that has a better chance of passing.  

“Americans can cast their vote in November for senators or members of Congress that reflect how he or she stands with guns,” he said. “In the meantime, my Republican colleagues can work with us now. I know this is a slim prospect, very slim, all too slim. We’ve been burnt so many times before. But this is so important.”  

One promising candidate for action is “red flags” legislation crafted by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that would authorize and establish procedures for removing firearms from people judged a danger to themselves or others. 

Graham and centrist Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) co-sponsored Blumenthal’s Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act in the last Congress.  

Schumer held out hope that Republicans will come around to supporting gun violence measures at some point in the future, even if he doesn’t see a chance of passing reform proposals anytime soon.  

“I have such a firm belief, taught to me by my late father … that if you do the right thing and persist, justice will eventually prevail.  But you got to keep persisting, and we will,” he said.  

He offered the slim hope that Murphy and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who negotiated a narrowly crafted bill to expand background checks with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in 2013, would be able to reach some kind of agreement with Republicans in the next several weeks or months.  

“Democrats have been trying to work hard with Republicans, Sen. Murphy, Sen. Manchin, on legislation that will eventually pass and become law,” he said. “The other side has refused. There are so many options available to us. So many ideas. We just need some brave Republicans to stand before history and yell stop.” 

Murphy told reporters on Thursday that he would like to get 10 Republican votes to pass a bill so he’s not looking for a quick vote on gun-control legislation that would likely break down along party lines and fail.

“Right now my focus is on getting a result so I’m not ready to take this to the electorate. I would like to find a path forward with Republicans and Democrats in the next week or so and if we fail — and we failed before — then certainly this ultimately becomes a choice for the voters,” he said.

Murphy’s home-state colleague, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), however, is ready to put Republican senators — and even Democratic moderates — on the record by bringing legislation to the floor for a vote.

“We need to move forward. Democrats have a number of realistic sensible proposals to stop this needless senseless violence. I’m very hopeful that we’ll come together. All we’ve heard from Republicans is negative. But we have an obligation to act. To put our colleagues on record,” he said.

Blumenthal also suggested the Senate skip the Memorial Day recess to get a bill ready for the floor.

“I think we need to move forward as quickly as possible,” he said.

“Put people on the record and Americans have the right to know where we stand on stopping gun violence and we are going to do it as quickly as practically possible,” he said.

-Kelsey Carolan contributed to this report, which was updated at 12:13 p.m.

from KRON4

New home sales fall sharply

(KRON) – On today’s Winners & Losers, financial expert Rob Black discusses stocks rising as new home prices fall.

Winner: Stocks rise waiting on Federal Reserve update

Stocks rose as traders awaited the Federal Reserve’s release of its policy meeting from earlier this month.

The stock market’s fragility was on full display yesterday. Mega-cap stocks are struggling.

Russia is stepping up its military effort in eastern Ukraine in a push to win control of the Donbas region.

Beijing continues to wrestle with COVID cases, which is lending to nervousness about the potential for increased lockdown restrictions.

Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) trading was down 12% after issuing Fiscal Year 2023 EPS guidance well below consensus to account for the expected impact of the “evolving macroeconomic conditions.”

Elon Musk’s $1.1 billion Twitter profit is now a $40 million loss.

Toyota finally has a product to compete with Tesla. Despite an awkward name and mixed reviews, the bZ4X could be the most consequential electric vehicle launched this year.

Loser: New Home Sales Fall Sharply

A recession alarm has been sounded. The buying frenzy that’s boosted the housing market throughout the pandemic might be quickly losing momentum.

Sales of new single-family homes fell sharply 16% in April for the fourth straight month, dragged down by high prices and rising mortgage rates.

The month-over-month slide was the biggest since 2013, and the rate of sales was the lowest in two years.

Robert Dietz, the chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, called the plunge “a clear recession warning for the overall economy for the quarters ahead.”

The residential real estate market is slowing down: rising mortgage rates and home prices have put pressure on home affordability.

A significant number of prospective home buyers are being priced out of the market.

Existing-home sale numbers out last week from the National Association of Realtors showed a decline.

Last month, the median sales price of a new home in April was $450,600, a 19.6% increase from a year ago

On Wall Street, builder stocks were trading lower. D.R. Horton, Lennar, NVR, and PulteGroup, the four largest public builders by market capitalization, were down between 2.5% and 3.8%.

from KRON4

Police investigating Oakland shooting

OAKLAND (KRON) – The Oakland Police Department is investigating a shooting that happened just before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

It was reported in the 800 block of 35th Street, near the MacArthur BART station, OPD Public Information Officer Candace Keas told KRON4. The public is being advised to avoid the area.

Keas told KRON4 no further information will be released because this is an active investigation. Nonetheless, anyone who has information is asked to call OPD’s criminal investigations number at 510-238-3821.

from KRON4

Biden to sign policing order on anniversary of Floyd’s death

WASHINGTON (AP) — With Congress deadlocked over how to address racism and excessive use of force, President Joe Biden plans to sign an executive order on policing Wednesday, the second anniversary of George Floyd’s death.

The decision reflects Biden’s struggle to use the limited powers of his office to advance his campaign promises, as well as his attempt to strike a balance between police and civil rights groups at a time when rising concerns about crime are eclipsing calls for reform.

Most of the order is focused on federal law enforcement agencies — for example, requiring them to review and revise policies on use of force. It would also create a database to help track officer misconduct, according to the White House.

Although the administration cannot require local police departments to participate in the database, which is intended to prevent problem officers from hopping from job to job, officials are looking for ways to use federal funding to encourage their cooperation.

In addition, the order would restrict the flow of surplus military equipment to local police.

The public announcement is scheduled for the first day after Biden’s return from his first trip to Asia as president.

Rev. Al Sharpton described Biden’s order as “an important step” that showed the president “took the initiative” when Congress failed to act, but he said activists would “never give up” on pushing for legislation.

“George Floyd woke us up, and we should not go back to sleep,” Sharpton said in a statement.

Biden is expected to appear alongside relatives of Floyd, whose killing by Minneapolis police sparked nationwide protests two years ago.

It was the largest series of demonstrations in American history, occurring in the midst of coronavirus lockdowns and President Donald Trump’s divisive reelection campaign.

However, transforming the initial outcry into political change has proven difficult.

When four officers were convicted last year for killing Floyd, Biden urged Congress to pass legislation to reform police by the anniversary of his death.

The guilty verdict was “not enough,” he said, and “we can’t stop here.”

However, no legislation was passed, and bipartisan talks dragged on, and later broke down.

The White House eventually decided to move forward with executive actions rather than wait for Congress.

In September, the Justice Department curtailed federal agents’ use of no-knock warrants — which allow law enforcement agents to enter a home without announcing their presence — and updated its policy to prohibit agents from using chokeholds in most circumstances.

But extending such rules to local police is more challenging, and White House officials have spent months in negotiations with civil rights groups and police organizations.

The resulting set of policies is less extensive than originally sought, not to mention delayed by a year.

“We know full well that an executive order cannot address America’s policing crisis the same way Congress has the ability to, but we’ve got to do everything we can,” said a statement from NAACP President Derrick Johnson.

The order goes beyond issues involving misconduct and use of force. It would also assess the impact of facial recognition software on civil liberties, look for ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in federal correctional facilities and suggest better ways to collect data on police practices.

The research could eventually lay the groundwork for more changes within American law enforcement in the future.

from KRON4

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