UVALDE, TX – As more information comes out regarding the 19 children and two staff members shot and killed at Robb Elementary School, there seems to still be more questions than answers.
For example, why was Salvador Ramos, the 18-year-old murderer, reportedly shooting outside the school for 12 full minutes before even entering the school without police interference?
While Victor Escalon of the Texas Department of Public Safety had an answer for that question, it was not a helpful one. “There was not an officer readily available and armed,” he said Thursday. His abysmal communication offered to reporters had no further explanation.
Why was Ramos reportedly barricaded IN a room filled with children while police seemingly twiddled their thumbs, presumably causing further loss of life?
Why were parents taken into handcuffs, pepper-sprayed, and tasered while they were begging police to enter the school and stop the threat?
A timeline offered by Escalon gives a glimpse into just how much time and freedom Ramos had to shoot those children. According to said timeline, Ramos shot his grandmother in the head, and then stole her truck and drove to the area of the school. He crashed the car into a ditch at 11:28 am.
At 11:30am, a nearby funeral home called 911 to report that someone (later identified as Ramos) was shooting at people there. The call was described as “a crashed vehicle and an individual armed with a rifle making his way into the school.”
Based on information gathered and the location of the funeral home to the school, it appears that this is the point the school was placed on lockdown, as Red Voice Media reported at the time. At 11:40am, Ramos scaled over an eight-foot-high chain-link fence and started firing prior to entering the school.
The first police units arrived on scene at 11:44 am.
After taking 14 minutes to arrive to a man actively shooting near a school (for which there has been no plausible reason given), police purportedly watched as Ramos entered the school, at which time he came in contact with a school resource officer.
There, the officer was shot in the leg, and Ramos dropped a bag of ammunition before locking himself in a fourth-grade classroom, where he shot and killed 19 students and two staff members and injured 17 other students. Apparently, that was the first classroom that Ramos “was able to gain access to,” according to police.
While Ramos was locked in the room with those children, others were being evacuated by police. “Sources” told Fox News that local police attempted to breach the door and were shot at and injured, and apparently no other contact was attempted until the Border Patrol Tactical Unit arrived.
A grandfather of a student who lives across the street from the school, 77-year-old Bob Estrada said he walked outside when he and his wife heard gunshots, and the two were confused as to why the police hadn’t entered the building. “They are trying to cover something up,” he said. “I think the cops were waiting for backup because they didn’t want to go into the school.”
One of the children evacuated spoke with the Wall Street Journal, as did her mother, Gladys Castillon. Castillon said that she and other parents were literally “pleading” with the police on scene to “act more aggressively” to end the situation.
The WSJ reported: “Ms. Gomez, a farm supervisor, was also waiting outside for her children. She said she was one of numerous parents who began encouraging—first politely, and then with more urgency—police and other law enforcement to enter the school sooner. After a few minutes, she said, U.S. Marshals put her in handcuffs, telling her she was being arrested for intervening in an active investigation.”
A parent was placed in handcuffs by federal marshals for asking them to stop an active shooter in her child’s elementary school. Gomez was only let out after asking the local police (whom she knew) to speak to the marshals on her behalf. In the video below, police can be seen focusing on the parents trying to get their children saved rather than the active shooting situation in the school.
A spokesman for the marshals denied the use of handcuffs on parents, saying, “Our deputy marshals maintained order and peace in the midst of the grief-stricken community that was gathering around the school.”
However, the video confirms that at least one parent was tackled to the ground near the evacuation school busses, and Gomez said she also saw a parent get pepper-sprayed. She also said a father was tasered when he tried to take his daughter directly from the busses.
“They didn’t do that to the shooter, but they did that to us. That’s how it felt,” Gomez said.
Gomez walked away from the crowd once let out of the handcuffs. She then “jumped the school fence, and ran inside to grab her two children. She sprinted out of the school with them.”