In a dramatic reversal of the narrative of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, a Texas Department of Public Safety official said gunman Salvador Ramos was outside the school firing his rifle for about 12 minutes.
Previous official versions of events had said Ramos was confronted in some manner upon entering the school by a school-based officer. But Victor Escalon Jr., a regional director for the DPS, said at a news conference Thursday that Ramos entered the building without opposition, according to The Washington Post.
Escalon said that during the 12 minutes between when Ramos crashed a pickup truck near the school and he entered, Ramos opened fire on witnesses. During that time, a 911 call reported a man with a gun.
Stunner of a news conference in Uvalde this afternoon. @TxDPS revealed the gunman lingered outside the school for 12 minutes, shooting, before walking in unobstructed. There actually was no armed ISD officer there, as they’ve been saying all week there was https://t.co/p4qcTRenD8
— Elizabeth Findell (@efindell) May 26, 2022
Escalon said witnesses told police the gunman left the truck toting one rifle and a bag. Two people exiting a funeral home across the street were fired upon, Escalon said.
After that, Ramos climbed a fence, shot at the school from a parking lot, and eventually entered the school through an unlocked door, he said.
Escalon said Thursday that officers were “inside making entry” and took cover, but also said, “They don’t make entry initially because of the gunfire.”
— Alexander (@alexanderrusso) May 26, 2022
“They hear gunfire, they take rounds, they move back, get cover,” Escalon said.
On Wednesday, Texas DPS chief Steven C. McCraw said responding officers “engage[d] the active shooter and continue[d] to keep him pinned down in that location.”
Escalon’s version was different.
Spox also clearly combative with reporters and covering up information. Really disgusting https://t.co/uwvRqplQBa
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) May 26, 2022
“The majority of the gunfire was in the beginning” of the incident, he said.
Escalon said “during the negotiation there wasn’t much gunfire, other than trying to keep the officers at bay.”
This was the first mention of any negotiations with Ramos.
Previously, police spokesmen said Ramos barricaded himself inside a classroom.
ABC reported that a law enforcement official said the police response team that entered had difficulty breaching the classroom door and needed someone to use a key to open the door.
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