According to authorities, the shooter in the Texas school murder walked in unnoticed through an unlocked door, then murdered 19 students and two instructors while safely ensconced in their classroom for an hour prior to getting executed by a tactical squad, Reuters reports.
The Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) newest official facts on Tuesday’s gun massacre differed drastically from earlier Texas police statements, raising doubts about security measures at the primary school and law enforcement’s reaction.
As a safety precaution, the school district in Uvalde, Texas, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) west of San Antonio, has a policy of locking all entries, including classroom doors. However, one student told Reuters that on the day of the shooting, certain doors were left open to allow visiting parents to enter and leave for an awards day gathering.
The more comprehensive timeline was released only hours after videos of distraught parents outside Robb Elementary School during the incident surfaced. Officers were forced to hold several dads after they begged them to storm the premises.
The death toll from the rampage, which is the bloodiest school shooting in the United States in almost a decade, increased on Thursday when it was revealed that the husband of one of the deceased teachers died of a heart attack while preparing for his wife’s burial.
DPS spokesman Victor Escalon said the shooter, Salvador Ramos, 18, made his way unopposed into the school grounds after smashing his pickup truck nearby during a press conference. After 12 minutes, the mayhem began.
Ramos was met by a school-based law enforcement officer as he sprinted toward the school, according to preliminary police reports. Ramos had driven to the school from his house after shooting and injuring his grandmother there. When Ramos arrived at the school, Escalon stated, there were no armed police there.
“That’s a tough question,” Escalon said when asked if cops should have made en masse entry sooner.
Officers called for assistance and evacuated kids and employees after the initial exchange of gunfire, he said.