A timeline of how the Robb Elementary School shooting in Texas unfolded

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A family grieves outside of the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. Brandon Bell/Getty Images
A family grieves outside of the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. Brandon Bell/Getty Images
  • On May 24, a shooter opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. 
  • The death toll from the shooting is 19 children and two teachers, at time of writing. 
  • Insider has compiled a timeline of how the day of the attack unfolded. 
  • For more stories go to

On Tuesday, May 24, an 18-year-old gunman opened fire on children and teachers at Uvalde, Texas. 

At time of writing, 19 children and two teachers are dead. The gunman was shot by law enforcement officers at the scene. 

It is the deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook massacre 10 years ago. Many aspects of the day's events are still being confirmed. 

Here is a timeline of what officials and news outlets have confirmed about the shooting. In some cases, the exact sequence of events is unknown. 

May 16 — The shooter turns 18 and buys weapons

The gunman bought two assault weapons after he turned 18, the Associated Press (AP) reported, citing Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez. Local outlet KPRC-2, citing city officials, said he was born on May 16, 2004. 

On social media, Gutierrez said, the gunman's posts "suggested the kids should watch out," as per the AP.

It is unclear which, if any, of these weapons were the ones used at the shooting. 

May 24, morning — Schoolchildren prepare for end-of-year festivities

That day, the pupils had been invited to wear "a nice outfit with fun/fancy shoes" as part of the school's end-of-year celebrations, according to a schedule posted on the school's Facebook page. These celebrations included an honour roll award ceremony. The students at Robb Elementary had two days left in the semester, Reuters reported

May 24, morning — The gunman is believed to have shot his grandmother

Before he headed to the school, "this young man shot his grandmother and fled that scene from that incident," Gutierrez told CNN. Texas Governor Greg Abbott also referred to reports of him shooting his grandmother "right before he went to the school."

The grandmother survived the shooting and was taken to the hospital, CNN reported. Her current condition is unknown.

May 24, around 11.30 — The gunman crashes into a ditch near the school

The gunman drove off and crashed his vehicle near to the school, the AP reported, citing local authorities. Eduardo Trinidad, an eyewitness to the aftermath of the crash, told the local outlet KPRC-2 that the vehicle went through a barricade and into a concrete ditch.

May 24, 11.43 — The school goes into lockdown

"Please know at this time Robb Elementary is under a Lockdown Status due to gunshots in the area. The students and staff are safe in the building. The building is secure in a Lockdown Status," read a notice posted on the school's Facebook page

Shortly after came another post: "There is an active shooter at Robb Elementary." The school said law enforcement was "on site."

May 24 — The gunman opens fire

As soon as the gunman entered the school "he began shooting children, teachers, anybody that was in his way he was shooting people that were in front of him," Lieutenant Chris Olivarez told KPRC-2. It is not clear at what exact time this took place. 

Speaking to NBC News, Olivarez said that the shooter had "barricaded" himself into a single classroom where all his victims were clustered. 

May 24 — A 10-year-old calls 911

At an undetermined moment after the gunman entered the school, a brave 10-year-old girl called 911, according to The Daily Beast, who spoke to her grandmother. The girl, Amerie Jo Garza, had just received her award for the school's honour roll, the Beast reported. She did not survive, the outlet reported. 

May 24 — Law enforcement force their way into the classroom

Insider has not yet verified how quickly law enforcement arrived at the scene, but Olivarez told NBC News authorities responded "in a moment's notice."

"At that point, we had a tactical law enforcement team arrive made up of multiple federal officers, local officers as well as state troopers, that were able to make forcible entry into that classroom," Olivarez went on. 

May 24, 13.06 — Shooter is dead

According to an Uvalde Police Facebook bulletin, by just after 13:00, the shooter was "in police custody." According to Olivarez, police "were able to shoot and kill that suspect," he told NBC News.

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