Crosses with the names of victims of a college taking pictures, are pictured at a memorial exterior Robb Elementary college, after a gunman killed nineteen kids and two lecturers, in Uvalde, Texas, Might 26, 2022.
Marco Bello | Reuters
The gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary college on Tuesday entered the varsity constructing unobstructed, authorities mentioned Thursday.
Opposite to info officers launched earlier, the gunman was not confronted by a college police officer earlier than coming into Robb Elementary College in Uvalde, state Division of Public Security South Texas Regional Director Victor Escalon mentioned Thursday.
The gunman walked into the west facet of Robb Elementary at 11:40 a.m. Tuesday and began firing. 4 minutes later, native and faculty police adopted him inside, Escalon mentioned.
“They hear gunfire, they take rounds, they transfer again, get cowl, and through that point, they method the place the suspect is at,” Escalon mentioned.
As quickly because the gunman entered, he walked 20 to 30 ft and turned proper to stroll one other 20 ft earlier than turning left and right into a classroom, in accordance with Escalon.
“Officers are there, the preliminary officers, they obtain gunfire. They do not make entry initially due to the gunfire they’re receiving. However we now have officers calling for added sources, everybody that is within the space,” Escalon mentioned.
“Throughout this time that they are making these calls to usher in assist to unravel this drawback and cease it instantly, they’re additionally evacuating personnel, after I say college students, lecturers. There’s lots happening.”
The suspect had shot his grandmother and crashed his pickup truck at about 11:28 a.m. earlier than strolling to the varsity.
Escalon couldn’t instantly clarify how the suspect wasn’t stopped within the 12 minutes between the crash and campus entry.
“We received a crash and a person with a gun after which you might have responding officers. That is what it’s, if that is 12 minutes,” he mentioned.
“On the finish of the day our job is to report the information and have these solutions. We’re not there but.”
Within the time for the reason that taking pictures, questions have been raised concerning the time that elapsed between when the shooter crashed his automobile exterior the varsity and when he was fatally shot by a Border Patrol officer contained in the classroom he barricaded himself in to unleash terror.
State and federal regulation enforcement officers had mentioned earlier that they do not have a timeline but on the exact sequence of occasions.
Some, particularly witnesses who have been on the scene, have accused officers of not appearing rapidly sufficient.
Video footage from exterior the varsity Tuesday seems to indicate distressed dad and mom and locals reacting to information of the taking pictures.
One girl is heard yelling: “Get in! Get in! What’s the f—— deal?”
“They’re all in there, the cops aren’t doing s— besides standing exterior,” a person is heard saying. “You realize they’re little children, proper? Little children, they do not know how you can defend themselves.”
It isn’t clear when the video was filmed or whether or not officers have been contained in the constructing on the time.
Requested if officers didn’t act in a well timed method on the scene, Escalon declined to reply.
“That is a troublesome query, that is a troublesome query,” he mentioned. “I haven’t got sufficient info to reply that query simply but.”
Texas Division of Public Security Director Steven McCraw mentioned at a information convention Wednesday that the shooter was on the college for as much as an hour earlier than regulation enforcement breached the classroom.
“It’ll be inside, like 40 minutes inside an hour,” McCraw mentioned.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott mentioned Wednesday that the gunman entered the varsity by a again door, walked down two quick hallways and got here into two adjoining school rooms the place he locked the door and sprayed bullets indiscriminately.
Officers from a number of models and companies — together with native police and a tactical staff from U.S. Customs and Border Safety — arrived on the scene however could not enter the classroom.
The door to the classroom lastly was opened when the principal produced a grasp key, state and federal regulation enforcement officers mentioned.
Robb Elementary serves second by fourth grade college students within the small city of Uvalde, Texas, about 75 miles from the Mexico border, dwelling to a big Latino group.