Why Was TX School Shooter Left in Classroom for Over 30 Minutes Before Law Enforcement Stormed?


UPDATE, May 26, 20229: Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Victor Escalon said at a news conference Thursday that the gunman who killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday was not obstructed by police officers outside the school, according to National Review. The account that gunman Salvador Ramos was engaged by law enforcement officers outside the school was based on statements from Texas DPS officials that were apparently in error.

This post has been edited to reflect the new information, including the removal of a sentence that stated that Rep. Tony Gonzalez, the Republican who represents the area, was apparently mistaken when he said in a CNN interview there had been no gunfire outside the school.

Two days after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School dead, questions are being raised about the speed of law enforcement’s response.

While some facts are generally known about the rampage by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, which ended with Ramos fatally shot by a Border Patrol agent, crucial details remain publicly missing about what transpired between when the gunman first arrived at the school and when he was killed.

And a period of between 30 to more than 60 minutes is key.

According to a New York Times report, Ramos arrived at the school about 11:30 a.m. He had just shot his grandmother in the home where they lived.

According to National Review, Texas Department of Public Safety regional director Victor Escalon told reporters at at news conference Thursday that Ramos then drove a pickup truck to the school.

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He was able to climb a fence and enter the school unobstructed, Escalon said, according to National Review. That contradicted previous reports that Ranos had encountered a school district police officer who tried to stop him from entering the school, and that the two may have exchanged gunfire.

It also contradicted an earlier Associated Press account that two Uvalde police officers were also unable to stop Ramos from entering the school.

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Rep. Tony Gonzalez, a Republican who represents the Uvalde area, said there was a “kind of a 30-minute lull” between when Ramos entered the classroom and when the Border Patrol agent brought him down.

However, considering Ramos was not killed until after 1 p.m., it was much more than 30 minutes.

What happened in that period is where the questions arise.

According to the AP, Javier Cazares, whose fourth-grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, said he found police outside the building after he heard about the attack and rushed to the scene.

He said he suggested to other civilians that they head for the building themselves.

“Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,” he told the AP. “More could have been done.”

The AP cited a “law enforcement official familiar with the investigation” who said Border Patrol agents who responded needed to get a key to the classroom where Ramos was barricaded from a school employee.

An Uvalde Police Department Facebook post reported the “Shooter is in Police Custody” at 1:06 p.m.

What isn’t known, at least publicly, is why there was such a delay between when Ramos entered the building to begin his slaughter and when law enforcement entered to stop him.

It’s also unclear whether that had anything to do with the number of victims who died or when, specifically, they were shot. However, one student survivor interviewed by San Antonio’s KENS-TV recounted hiding from the gunman in the classroom during the ordeal.

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What is clear, as the political and media fallout continues, is that there are still plenty of questions to answer surrounding the killing.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.