UVALDE (KFDX/KJTL) — New information released by authorities Thursday in the most lethal mass school shooting in a decade conflicts with early reports, answering several looming questions but raising even more.
A news conference was held in Uvalde with an update on the investigation into the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that claimed the lives of 19 students and 2 teachers on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Victor Escalon, Texas DPS Regional Director for the South Texas Region, spoke with the media and provided new information at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 26.
During the news conference, Escalon said the gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, entered the school unimpeded by armed security, and there was no armed security officer on campus at the time of the shooting.
“There was not an officer readily available [and] armed. No,” Escalon said.
This conflicts initial reports of a shootout with armed officers upon Ramos arriving at the school.
Additionally, Escalon said the door through which Ramos entered Robb Elementary School was not locked, though officials are still investigating why this is the case.
The update also addressed recent questions and criticisms facing law enforcement officials on how much time elapsed before they stormed the school to stop a gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said Wednesday that 40 minutes to an hour elapsed from when Ramos opened fire to when the tactical team shot him.
However, Escalon said Thursday that law enforcement was making their way inside the school within minutes.
Escalon told reporters the police received a call about Ramos’ wrecked truck and that he had guns at round 11:30 a.m., and that officers were making entry into the school by 11:40 a.m.
Escalon also said that “more than 25” rounds were fired upon Ramos’ entry into the school, that most of the gunfire happened “in the beginning”, and that multiple law enforcement agencies worked to evacuate students and barricade Ramos inside the building.
“The bottom line is law enforcement was there,” McCraw said. “They did engage immediately. They did contain (Ramos) in the classroom.”
Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz did not give a timeline but said repeatedly that the tactical officers from his agency who arrived at the school did not hesitate. He said they moved quickly to enter the building, lining up in a “stack” behind an agent holding up a shield.
The motive for the massacre — the nation’s deadliest school shooting since Newtown, Connecticut, a decade ago — remained under investigation, with authorities saying Ramos, had no known criminal or mental health history.