Texas school shooting: 3 days after massacre, questions remain over law enforcement response

What was less clear were the explanations for how a shooter was able to remain in the school for nearly an hour before being killed by law enforcement.

Investigators are still working to piece together a timeline to explain how an 18-year-old gunman was able to walk to Robb Elementary School with a gun, enter an unlocked door unstopped, barricade himself in a classroom, and open fire on a class full of children.

“With all of the different agencies involved, we’re working from every available angle,” Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director for the Department of Public Safety, told reporters Thursday. “We won’t stop until we have all the possible answers,” he told a news conference.

A scene of chaos and confusion began to form outside the school when news of the attack broke on Tuesday.

Parents desperate to get their children to safety began showing up at school, begging law enforcement to let them in as they grew increasingly frustrated with delays in confronting the shooter, identified as Salvador Ramos, a resident of Uvalde.

A father said he asked law enforcement to give him their equipment.

“I told one of the officers myself that if they didn’t want to go in, let me borrow his gun and a vest and I’ll go and take care of it myself, and they told me say no,” the father said. CNN. Her son survived.

Multiple videos captured the frantic scene as parents pleaded with officers to come in or allow them in themselves. Video shows officers holding relatives behind the yellow tape of a police line, refusing to let them in as crying and screaming can be heard in the background.

After about an hour, a U.S. Border Patrol tactical team forced their way into the classroom and fatally shot the shooter, Escalon said.

Days after the confrontation, grief-stricken community members are still frustrated by the delay.

“We deserve to know what happened. These parents deserve to know what happened,” Democratic State Sen. Ronald Gutierrez, whose district includes Uvalde, told CNN, adding “I know that ‘there has been a failure here’.

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“At the end of the day, we have to find out for the future, so that it never happens again, what kind of failures have occurred. And I think in this situation, taking a step back was not the thing to do. do,” he said.

The Uvalde shooting is the deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade and is at least the 30th K-12 school shooting in 2022. The attack came less than two weeks after a racist mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, leaving Americans in mourning. reeling from yet another act of mass violence and prompting renewed calls for reform of gun laws.
As investigators work to establish a timeline for the attack, the last remains of the victims were returned to families on Thursday evening. Six surviving victims were still hospitalized on Thursday, including the shooter’s grandmother, who was shot in the face by her grandson before he went to school.

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After shooting his grandmother in her home, Ramos drove to Robb Elementary, where he crashed his truck into a nearby ditch, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. said Erick Estrada. We don’t know why it crashed.

The shooter shot two witnesses across the street before heading towards the school and shooting at the building, according to Escalon.

There were no officers outside the school to arrest Ramos when he arrived, Escalon said, contradicting earlier reports from authorities that he was ‘hired’ by a school resource officer before entering. in school.

That earlier information was “not accurate,” Escalon said Thursday. The shooter “came in unhindered at first,” he said.

Then Ramos entered the building through an apparently unlocked door at 11:40 a.m., Escalon said.

The door he entered is normally locked, “unless you’re leaving to go home on the school bus,” former principal Ross McGlothlin told CNN.

Inside the school, the shooter barricaded himself in two adjoining classrooms and fired more than 25 times, Escalon said.

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At 11:44 a.m., security forces arrived and entered the school. Three law enforcement officers entered through the same door used by the shooter and four entered through a different entrance, DPS spokesman Chris Olivarez told CNN. When they went to confront the shooter, he shot them and they took cover.

According to Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez, two responding officers received non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

“It’s important for our community to know that our officers responded within minutes” alongside school resource officers, he said.

Officers then called in additional tactical teams and resources such as body armor as they worked to evacuate teachers and students, Escalon said. About an hour later, he said, a US Border Patrol tactical team was able to enter and kill Ramos.

When asked for more details at a press conference about exactly what the responding officers were doing during the hour-long period, Escalon declined to provide further information.

The grieving community reckon with the consequences

In the days following Tuesday’s massacre, residents of Uvalde are still saturated with grief. For some, the devastating news continued to come as community members learned that the husband of one of the victims had also died on Thursday morning.

Joe Garcia died of a heart attack, just two days after his wife Irma was killed in boos, the Archdiocese of San Antonio told CNN. Irma Garcia was a fourth-grade teacher and had been married to Joe for more than 25 years, according to a GoFundMe campaign posted by her cousin. The couple’s family say Joe died of a broken heart.

Edward Timothy Silva, a second-grader who was at the school, told CNN he remembered hiding behind desks in the dark as he heard loud noises in the distance.

“He was asking me if he should go to school next year,” his mother Amberlynn Diaz said. “And I just don’t want him to be afraid of school. I want him to keep learning and not be afraid to go back to school. I want him to have a normal life.”

Tina Burnside, Carroll Alvarado, Joe Sutton, Shimon Prokupecz, Travis Caldwell, Jamiel Lynch, Andy Rose, Amanda Musa, Alexa Miranda, Monica Serrano, Amanda Jackson, Caroll Alvarado, Eric Levenson and Holly Yan contributed to this report.

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