19 children and 2 teachers were gunned down in the latest school massacre that took place in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022. The event has garnered national attention, along with an investigation. The latest in the shooting is that police made grave errors in their response to the shooting.
According to statements from the Department of Public Safety, law enforcement may have contributed to the profound loss of life by inaction. Officers were inside the building minutes into the incident where 18 year old Salvador Ramos murdered 21 people. According to Victor Escalon, the regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, the gunman "walked in unobstructed...he was not confronted by anybody". This contradicts earlier reports that cited he was confronted by a school district police officer.
Steven McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, admitted that the officers did not make an early effort to subdue Ramos and, instead, falsely believed he had barricaded himself in the school and was therefore not an active threat. Several 911 calls from inside the locked classroom where the shooter was killing students contradict this belief.
As many as 19 officers waited outside the room for a janitor's key after officials made the determination that the shooter was barricaded. The event lasted from roughly 11:33 AM until 12:50 pm when Ramos was finally shot by police. Ultimately, local officials waited on a SWAT team of border patrol agents to enter the classroom and subdue the gunman after an hour of waiting outside.
Outside the school, an understandably angry and growing crowd of parents and community members began stirring because police were "just standing there". One mother was handcuffed, Angeli Gomez, was handcuffed because she was "interfering in an active investigation" after she attempted to rescue her own kids after waiting for the police.
A Texas Department of Public Safety Lieutenant also told a local news station that the police breached the school to rescue their own children. The effort to save their own children first is being criticized and the officer's response to media is being questioned. Details are still unfolding and the investigation is ongoing. Look for more in the coming weeks.