Officials working on timeline of mass shooting
It took over an hour for officers to reach the gunman responsible for killing 19 students and two teachers at a Uvalde, Texas elementary school on Tuesday, officials said.
Social media videos circulated the internet on Thursday showing parents begging officers to let them in the school so they could attempt to stop the shooter.
The amount of time that elapsed has stirred anger and questions among family members, who demanded to know why authorities did not storm the place and put a stop to the rampage more quickly. Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Travis Considine said 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered Robb Elementary School and began his rampage at 11:40 a.m. Tuesday.
A Border Patrol tactical unit began trying to get inside the building an hour later, and at 12:58 p.m., radio chatter noted he was dead.
Texas Dept. of Public Safety Regional Director Victor Escalon gave a timeline of events on Thursday, some of which ran counter to previous law enforcement reports:
11:28 a.m.: The gunman crashed his car in front of the school. After exiting the car, he fired on two bystanders who were near a funeral home across from the school.
11:30 a.m.: Police received their first 911 call. Following the 911 call, the gunman reportedly shot at the school.
11:40 a.m.: The gunman entered the school through what was believed to be an unlocked door.
11:44 a.m.: Police enter the school and fired at the suspect. Two officers were reportedly wounded in the exchange, forcing law enforcement to retreat. The gunman barricaded himself in a classroom, firing at students.
Roughly 12:40 p.m.: Border Patrol tactical agents, joined by local law enforcement, entered the classroom and fatally shot the gunman.
In the hour while police apparently waited for backup, Escalon said officers assisted in getting students and teachers out of the school.
Escalon would not say whether procedures were correctly followed.
While previous reports stated that a school resource officer confronted the gunman as he entered the school, Escalon said no such officer was on hand until after the suspect entered.
As to how the shooter got into the school, Escalon said on Thursday that the shooter entered the school building "unobstructed" through a door that was apparently unlocked.
The Uvalde Police Department said its responding officers sustained gunshot wounds from the gunman.
University Health Hospital in San Antonio said on Thursday it is still caring for four patients.
A 66-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl are still in serious condition.
Another 10-year-old girl and a 9-year-old girl are in good condition.
Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio reported Thursday afternoon it was treating two adult patients in fair condition.
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