robb elem 2

Uvalde gunman walked unimpeded into school, authorities say

May 26, 2022
Officials say Salvador Ramos was inside Robb Elementary for at least three-fourths of an hour before officers stormed a classroom and shot him to death.

The 18-year-old gunman who killed 21 people at a Texas elementary school walked in unimpeded through an apparently unlocked back door, a law enforcement official says.

The Associated Press reports that the gunman, Salvador Ramos, apparently was inside the building for at least three-quarters of an hour before Border Patrol agents stormed a classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and killed him, says Victor Escalon, a regional director at the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The school normally has an armed school safety officer. But when Ramos arrived at the campus, “there was not an officer, readily available, armed,” and the gunman entered the building ”unobstructed,” Escalon says.

Law enforcement authorities are facing questions and anger over the amount of time that elapsed before they stormed the classroom and shot Ramos.

The Texas Tribune reports that videos have circulated on social media showing frustrated parents confronting police officers outside the school while the gunman was inside — and debating whether to charge into the school themselves.

CNN reports that since the Columbine school shooting in April 1999, emergency protocol in such situations is to end the threat as quickly as possible because fatalities occur in seconds to minutes.

"It's almost incomprehensible for me to come up with a rational explanation as to why you would wait 30 minutes to an hour to get in there," said Andrew McCabe, CNN senior law enforcement analyst. "The door breaching, if it's just a locked door, that doesn't take 30 minutes to get into."    

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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