With criticism swelling about the police response to the Texas elementary school massacre, a law enforcement official said Thursday that the gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers entered the school “unobstructed” through an unlocked door 12 minutes after police were alerted about a man nearby with a rifle.
Those fateful minutes — and an hour in which the police took cover outside the classroom, apparently seeking to negotiate with an active shooter — have become the focal point of questions from parents and law enforcement experts about whether more could have been done to halt the unfolding tragedy.
Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said at a news briefing that the gunman, Salvador Ramos, 18, did not initially encounter any police officers when he entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Tuesday and opened fire.
— LA Times
That’s how long the Uvalde gunman stood outside the elementary school, firing shots, before entering the building.
Twelve minutes after police were alerted about a man with a rifle near the school, he went inside. After 12 minutes of a gunman firing shots outside the school, he was still able to walk unobstructed through an unlocked door.
And it was still more than one hour AFTER THAT before law enforcement officers entered the building. We don’t know how long it took him to kill those kids (probably not nearly that long) but witnesses said mothers were outside the school screaming at police to go in as shots were being fired inside the building.
As for the SRO who police originally said confronted the gunman outside the school…he wasn’t even on campus when the gunman crashed his truck outside.
I would suggest that of all the issues raised by the details of how this tragedy unfolded, the fact that the guy was able to purchase a rifle ranks somewhere down the list. Those kids inside that school were failed. But it wasn’t by the National Rifle Association or the Republican politicians (and a few Democrats) who resist new gun control laws, the strawmen who have been vilified by the pundits and mainstream media the last few days.