Democratic congressman Joaquín Castro asked the FBI to investigate the contradictory versions of the Uvalde authorities about the shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school Tuesday in Texas.
Castro cited reports that “parents unsuccessfully urged law enforcement to enter the building during and confront the shooter.” However, according to reports, the police refused to enter.
The 18-year-old shooter entered unhindered through an apparently open doorpolice said Thursday.
Besides, the shooter, Salvador Ramos, was apparently inside the building for at least three-quarters of an hour before Border Patrol agents stormed a classroom and killed him, according to the schedule provided by Víctor Escalón, regional director of the Department of Texas. Public security.
The school normally has an armed school security officer. But when Ramos arrived on Tuesday, “there was no officer, readily available, armed”and the gunman entered the building “without obstacles,” Escalón said.
Law enforcement authorities they faced criticism and reproach from parents for the amount of time that passed before they entered the place.
Many other details of the case and the police response remain to be clarified. The motive for the massacre, the nation’s deadliest school shooting since Newtown, Connecticut, a decade ago, remained under investigation, and authorities said Ramos had no known criminal or mental health history.
During the attack, which ended when a US Border Patrol team stormed in and shot the attacker to death, frustrated parents urged police officers to enter the building where the shooter was barricadedaccording to witnesses.
“Get in there! Get in there! The women yelled at the officers shortly after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who watched the scene from outside a house across the street.
Carranza said officers should have entered the school earlier: “There were many policemen and there was only one, the shooter.”
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said Wednesday that t40 minutes to an hour elapsed between Ramos opening fire on the school security officer and being shot by the tactical team.
“The bottom line is that the police were there,” McCraw said. “They got engaged right away. They did contain (Ramos) in the classroom.”
But a department spokesman said Thursday that authorities were still working to clarify the timeline of the attacknot knowing whether that 40-minute to hour period began when the shooter arrived at the school, or earlier, when he shot his grandmother at home.
“At this time we do not have a precise or reliable timeline to say that the attacker was in the school during this period,” Lt. Christopher Olivarez told CNN.
Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz did not give a timeline but said repeatedly that his agency’s tactical officers who arrived at the school did not hesitate.. She said they moved quickly to enter the building, lining up in a “pile” behind an officer holding a shield.
“We wanted to make sure we moved quickly, moved quickly, and that’s exactly what those officers did,” Ortiz told foxnews.
But a law enforcement officer said that once in the building, Border Patrol agents had trouble forcing open the classroom door and had to ask a staff member to open the classroom with a key. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.
Olivarez said investigators were trying to establish whether the classroom was, in fact, locked or otherwise barricaded.
Javier Cazares, whose fourth-grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, said he ran to the school as the massacre unfolded. When he arrived, he saw two officers outside the school and five others escorting students out of the building.. But it was 15 to 20 minutes before officers arrived with shields, equipped to confront the gunman, he said.
As more parents came to the school, he and others pressured police to act, Cazares said. He heard four gunshots before he and the others were ordered back to a parking lot.
“Many of us were arguing with the police, ‘You all need to go in there. Everyone must do their job.’ His response was: ‘We can’t do our job because you are interfering‘” Cazares said.
Ramos crashed his truck into a ditch outside the school, grabbed his AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle and shot two people outside a funeral home, who escaped unharmed, according to authorities and witnesses.
As for the armed school officer, he was driving nearby but not on campus when Ramos crashed his truck.according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.
(With information from AP)
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