Revised chronology of police response to the Texas shooting confirms what parents already feared

Residents of Uvalde, Texas, say they don’t know what to do with the impressive police admission Friday that they waited more than an hour outside the closed door of two Robb Elementary School classrooms while the children they were inside with the gunman who shot 19. of his classmates and two teachers.

“With the benefit of the retrospective, of course, it wasn’t the right decision,” Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Homeland Security, told reporters in a Press conference out of school.

He said that the commander of the on-site incident on Tuesday, who was a member of the school district’s own police force, had determined that when three Uvalde police officers entered the school at 11:35 a.m., the situation it was no longer an active shootout, but a barricade shooter scenario and “there were no more children at risk.”

“Obviously, according to the information we have, there were kids in the classroom who were at risk, and in fact, it was still an active shooter situation,” McCraw said.

At 12:03 p.m., there were 19 officers from four different police agencies inside the hallway outside the adjoining classrooms, and yet officers did not break down the door until 47 minutes later, and only after obtaining the keys of a school janitor.

A map showing the route taken by the gunman to reach the two classrooms he pointed to inside the school. (Chandan Khanna / AFP / Getty Images)

No surprise to parents who watched the shootout unfold

The new detailed timeline confirmed what many of the parents and relatives who had rushed to school on Tuesday suspected and tried desperately to push past agents to save their children.

A father who had driven to the school to check on his niece’s condition said officers at the scene were asking spectators at nearby houses to enter.

“” Enter the house! Enter the house! ‘ That’s what they shouted, “There’s a gunman, a high-powered rifle,” he said as he stopped to look for snow cones at Extreme Southern Sno Pitt Stop with his two children.

“They already knew everything. How, okay, so why didn’t you all go in there?”

Residents who stopped at Extreme Southern Sno Cone Pitt Stop on a suffocating Friday in Uvalde were disappointed by the new details of the police response. (Kazi Stastna / CBC)

The father did not want to be identified in the police interviews, but said he had relatives in law enforcement and believes that rushing to try to save lives in such a situation, even at the expense of their own , is part of the commitment of the sworn agents. when taking the job.

“What good is a web site if it simply” blends in “with everything else out there? [with] children “.

Selena Tristan, 46, did not attend the press conference because she was trying to distance herself from the news coverage of her son, who was in a 2nd grade class at the opposite end of Robb Elementary during the shooting, but says many parents are. angry.

“I know a lot of people are angry because they don’t understand how long it took.”

Selena Tristan, 46, and her son, Andres Galan, 9, are eating snow cones in their car outside the Extreme Southern Sno Pitt Stop. He says many residents are angry about how long it took police to confront the gunman. (Kazi Stastna / CBC)

“While someone is firing, you go to the gun”

Although McCraw said Friday that officers were following the barricade shooting protocol and thought there was time to retrieve the classroom keys and wait for a tactical team with equipment to break down the door, he also admitted that they should ‘have broken this protocol.

“When you have an active shooter, you don’t have to wait for tactics,” he said. “As long as there are children and as long as someone shoots, you go to the gun, you find it, you neutralize it. Point.”

While McCraw told reporters that the hundreds of rounds that 18-year-old Salvador Ramos shot in both classrooms were fired in just the first four minutes he was inside the school and that any subsequent shooting was sporadic and the door, there were multiple calls to 911. made by two kids inside during the 47 minutes that 19 officers waited outside.

A chart showing the revised timeline of how the shooting unfolded was described by McCraw on Friday (The Associated Press)

McCraw said police were still trying to determine if anyone died during that time.

“I’m coming,” said Linda Sosa.

The 74-year-old grandmother said she had lived in Uvalde all her life and had not had good experiences with the police. She has a son in prison serving a drug possession sentence who she said was treated harshly by officers during his detention.

The house of the gunman’s grandmother, Celia Gonzalez. She was the first to be shot by the gunman, but managed to call 911 and survived. (Kazi Stastna / CBC)

“My son was doing wrong, I can accept that, but the way they treated him should have treated that guy who killed so much. [many] little kids who didn’t know what was going on. “

Sosa grew up living with Celia Gonzalez, Ramos’ grandmother, who was the first to be shot when she started. He described González, who survived the shooting, as a kind person and Ramos as “very calm”.

“I wouldn’t believe I would do such a thing,” Sosa said.

TARGET | Police reveal new details of response to school shooting:

Texas police admit “wrong decision” to delay response to school shooting

Officials say police in Uvalde, Texas, made the “wrong decision” to wait more than an hour in a school hallway before confronting an armed gunman who had barricaded himself inside the school. ‘a classroom with children.

Reluctant to criticize

Gloria Garcia is better prepared to give agents the benefit of the doubt.

“I don’t know what the truth is,” said the 88-year-old, who lives on Geraldine Street, away from Robb Elementary. “I don’t like to say anything bad about the police, but, you know, it could be true that they responded slowly.”

She was at home on the day of the shooting, right on the street from where Ramos crashed her car into a ditch before walking to school a few feet away. He heard three loud bangs and thought someone had hit the wall of his house.

“I don’t like to say anything bad about the police, but, you know, it could be true that they responded slowly,” said Gloria Garcia, 88. (Kazi Stastna / CBC)

“After a few minutes, I heard bang, bang, bang, bang. I thought they were killing birds because there are so many trees.”

It was only when she received a call from her daughter, who is a therapist at a local high school, that she realized it was more serious.

“She says,” Mom, if you’re out, come in. There’s something terrible about Robb, “he said.” And then I looked out the window and saw all the commotion. “

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What we know about the victims of the Texas Elementary School shooting

CBC’s Makda Ghebreslassie provides details about the 19 children and two teachers who were killed in the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

The officer passed the shooter moments before entering

One of the details that came out of Friday’s press conference was the fact that a consolidated independent school district official from Uvalde assigned to Robb Elementary passed the gunman while he was still in the school parking lot. The officer was chasing what he thought was the shooter near the back door of the school and did not see Ramos hiding behind a car.

Texas school districts often have their own police officers, and the Uvalde district has six. Officials had initially said the school officer was on the scene and had committed to the gunman. But then they clarified that this was not the case and that it only came after the first call to 911 and later helped to evacuate children from other classrooms with classmates.

Police officers help the children run to a safe place after escaping through a school window. (Pete Luna / Uvalde Leader-News / Reuters)

“It simply came to our notice then [school]but I mean, I’ve come several times for other things, like ceremonies, and they’re not always here, “said Sandra Medina, whose daughter Jazmine was in a 4th grade classroom, a few rooms down from where the gunman was firing.

Some parents who had seen the police contain themselves and then gave a contradictory account of their intervention had been openly critical of the response even before Friday’s admission of multiple failures.

Sandra Medina, 34, and her daughters, Alyssa, on the far left, and Jazmine, are preparing to bring flowers to a memorial at Robb Elementary. (Kazi Stastna / CBC)

“I even asked the cops,‘ Do you need help? ’Said Javier Cazares, who was desperately trying to reach his nine-year-old daughter, Jacklyn, who died at school along with her cousin. “We were ready to rush … we were very angry.”

Cazares told CBC’s Susan Ormiston earlier this week that she couldn’t stand the idea of ​​her and her teammates being alone with the gunman for so long before help arrived.

“God knows how long my little one and the rest were like this,” she said, her voice trembling and her breath catching as she realized.

TARGET | An anxious father criticizes the police response:

The father of the victim of a shooting at a Texas school criticizes the police response

Police “could have come in faster,” said Javier Cazares, the father of one of 19 children killed Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas.

He said he wanted more parents to get angry and demand accountability from officials and police.

“His job was to come in and save lives, not wait,” he said Thursday.

But on Friday, McCraw had little consolation to offer Cazares and others when reporters asked him what he would tell them.

“I have nothing to tell parents other than what had happened,” he said. “We are not here to defend what happened; we are here to denounce the facts … If I thought it would help, I would apologize.”

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