UVALDE, TX – The first photo from inside the Robb Elementary School shooting was released on Monday, showing multiple officers with rifles and a ballistic shield inside the hallway of the school.
The timestamp on the photo was 11:52 am, indicating that officers had heavy firepower earlier than previously thought. That timestamp is 19 minutes after the murderer, Salvador Ramos, initially entered the school (11:33 am), and still about an hour prior to officers entered the target classroom at 12:50 pm.
This, despite Victor Escalon of the Texas Department of Public Safety telling reporters just two days after the shooting, “There was not an officer readily available and armed.”
Information now indicates that 11 police officers entered the school within three minutes of the gunman, who continued shooting well past that timeline. Students inside the classrooms were also dialing 911 during the incident, which we now know is while the police were already inside the school not far from where Ramos shooting and killing 19 children and two adults.
Also on Monday night, a City Council meeting was held regarding the incident at Uvalde City Hall. The meeting included a committee from the Texas House of Representatives who were present to hear testimony regarding the shooting incident.
During the meeting, Texas lawmakers were apparently “intimidated” by journalists being present. Therefore, journalists were asked to leave by the fire marshal.
A chaplain and parents were also present, and they were also asked to leave the meeting. As he left, the chaplain said, “we want the truth of why they didn’t protect our kids.”
A CNN correspondent, Shimon Prokupecz, questioned why they were being asked to leave, to which the fire marshal responded, “we actually had a lady who had a panic attack last week…she just freaked out [because of reporters in the room].”
Committee chair Dustin Burrows said the intention of the meeting was to hear testimony from Uvalde Police, a school district officer, and a member of the Department of Public Safety. Apparently, the public was not to be permitted into the hearing.
Body cam footage allows us to hear gunshots being fired inside the school, presumably from Ramos, at 11:44 am. At the same time, an officer can be heard saying, “If there’s kids in there, we need to go in there.”
District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, who did not have a police radio on him, called the landline to the department. “It’s an emergency right now,” he said. “We have him in the room. He’s got an AR-15. He’s shot a lot…They need to be outside the building prepared because we don’t have firepower right now. It’s all pistols.”
Another officer with a shield entered the school at 12:03 pm, followed two minutes later by another one. It’s been suggested that the Chief was attempting to locate keys to the door, and also that he attempted to contact the shooter. The Chief was reportedly heard asking Ramos if he could hear him.
The Chief asks out loud, as heard on the camera footage, if officers should consider shooting Ramos through the exterior window.
A Senate hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.