Monday, July 4

The Texas police acknowledge that they were wrong not to intervene earlier in the Uvalde school despite the desperate calls of the children

Throughout the shooting at a school in the Texas town of Uvalde that killed 21 people, teachers and children called the 911 emergency number several times asking for help, including a girl who begged: “Please, send the Police”, as explained this Friday by the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steven McCraw.

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Criticism of police action during the school shooting has been mounting in Texas, where local authorities have acknowledged the attacker entered the building unopposed and are facing increasing questions about their response to what happened.

At a press conference Friday, McCraw said nearly 20 officers stood in a hallway outside classrooms during Tuesday’s attack on the elementary school for more than 45 minutes before officers used a skeleton key to open a door and confront the gunman, reports the Associated Press.

The commander at the time — whom he has later identified as the school district’s police chief, according to CNN — believed the attacker, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was barricaded in a classroom and that the children were not in danger. . Instead of immediately storming into the classroom and engaging the attacker, McCraw said the commander decided “there was time to retrieve the keys, and wait for a tactical team with the team to go ahead and open the door and engage the subject.” .

“I was convinced at the time that there was no further threat to the children and that the subject was barricaded and that they had time to organize” to enter the classroom, McCraw has said. “Of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision.”

As he explained, Border Patrol agents eventually used a skeleton key to open the locked classroom door where they confronted and killed Ramos, who killed 19 students and two teachers.

McCraw has said there was a volley of gunfire shortly after Ramos entered the classroom where he was killed, but that the shots were “sporadic” for much of the 48 minutes as officers waited outside the hallway. He has claimed investigators don’t know if or how many children died during those 48 minutes.

One hour inside the school

The impression that the police acted slowly or improperly has been reinforced on social media and among some Uvalde residents, especially after authorities confirmed that the attacker spent up to an hour inside the building before being shot dead by the police. agents. Several videos recorded on Tuesday circulate on the internet in which parents and relatives of students are seen in the vicinity of the school screaming and confronting the Police for, in their opinion, not intervening while a shooting is taking place inside.

“Our job is to report the facts and have answers, but we still don’t have them,” the regional director for South Texas of the state Department of Public Safety, Víctor Escalón, said at a press conference on Thursday.

Escalón indicated this Thursday that, contrary to what school district sources indicated hours before, there was no confrontation between a security guard and the attacker, Salvador Ramos, when he entered the Robb Elementary School around 11:40 a.m. Tuesday morning. “Is not true. (Ramos) He entered the school without opposition.”

Escalón also acknowledged that “apparently”, the lock on one of the school doors would have been open when Ramos arrived at the center, for reasons that are still being investigated.

After shooting his grandmother in the face at her home, Ramos got into a vehicle and drove to the vicinity of the elementary school, where his car crashed around 11:28 a.m. From there he walked with a rifle and ammunition for 12 minutes until he entered the school at around 11:40 local time. Four minutes later, the police stormed the school.

On his way to the school on foot, Ramos shot two people who were in a funeral home across the street, without causing any injuries.

When local police officers arrived at the scene, they heard shots and identified the classroom where the assailant was, but they were unable to access it because Ramos opened fire on them every time they tried.

Those agents called for reinforcements and began the evacuation of students and teachers from the rest of the school, while Ramos remained barricaded in a classroom where he fired indiscriminately at the attendees, killing the 19 children and two teachers and injuring many others.

It was around 12:40 p.m. when Border Patrol special agents arrived and managed to shoot down the 18-year-old shooter. At 12:58, US forces radioed that Ramos had been killed and the attack was over.