Texas shooting: Police reaction questioned

About an hour passed between Salvador Rolando Ramos’s first shots at police, who then barricaded himself in a classroom, killing 19 children and teachers, and the moment he was neutralized by the police tactical squad, authorities said.

In the aftermath of the 1999 high school shooting in Columbine, Colorado, the guidelines put in place instructions for law enforcement to target the shooter immediately.

A spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety said the local police response is part of what Texas Rangers will consider in the state as part of its investigation into the shooting.

Currently, many questions remain unanswered, especially during this critical one-hour period, and the information is sometimes contradictory.

In a mid-afternoon press briefing, South Texas Department of Public Safety Director Victor Escalon was pressed with questions about the police response.

Could someone have arrived earlier?He said. I don’t have enough information to answer this question at this time.

He added that the answer would not be known until all the police officers who were at the site were questioned. We won’t stop until we have all the answersconfirmed. Give us time.

He also denied the presence of an armed policeman on the site, who was specifically assigned to the school’s security, contrary to what the authorities had previously claimed. They even reported a confrontation with the shooter when he entered the school.

Salvador Ramos shooter. I got in at first without a hitchVictor Escalon explained.

from home [sa] grandmother [à l’endroit où il a accidenté le camion] to me [son entrée] Inside the school, he did not encounter anyone. »

Quote from Victor Escalon, director of the South Texas Department of Public Safety

Then shoot several shots In the school halls, until he entered the classroom, Mr. Escalon continued.

Two police officers from the municipality then tried, without success, to enter the building before withdrawing to stand protected He added that the shooter was shooting at them. They reportedly called in reinforcements within minutes of the first exchange of fire.

During this time they make calls for help, and they also evacuate students and teachers. There are a lot of things going onhe argued.

Escalon said other police officers also cleared other classrooms.

Most of the shootings took place at the beginningIn reference to Negotiation with the shooter.

During the negotiations, there weren’t many gunshots, save for an attempt to keep the police in a stalemate.

The timeline provided by the authorities

  • 11:28 a.m.: The shooter rammed his car into a fence near the school, where he escaped after shooting his grandmother; He gets out of the car with a semi-automatic weapon and ammunition, then shoots two passersby; someone calls 911;
  • 11:40 a.m.: He enters the school and shoots before barricading himself in a classroom.
  • 11:44 a.m.: Police officers from Ovaldi and the School District Police Department enter the school;
  • Around 1 p.m.: The shooter was shot by a US Border Patrol tactical squad.

Aware of the criticism, Uvald Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez said in a statement Understand that questions arisewhich evokesOngoing investigation Led by the Texas Rangers.

It is important for our community to know that our police officers responded within minutes alongside the police [du district scolaire consolidé indépendant] Uvald. »

Quote from Extract from the press release from the Uvald Police Department

Interviewed by CBS affiliate KENS, a 9-year-old witnessed the shootout. The young survivor said he and his classmates hid under a table covered with tablecloths when he heard the gunman shooting in the classroom door.

: “It is time to die”,” the text: “When he entered, he said: “It is time for death”” }} “>When he entered, he said: It is time to die.Witnessed.

When the police arrived, [un] The policeman said, “Shout out if you need help!” And someone in my class said: Help me. The man heard her, so he entered and shot her. »

Quote from A student who survived the shooting in an interview with KENS

The policeman entered the classroom. The man shot the policeman. The police started shootingHe said.

According to a preliminary timeline compiled by Texas law enforcement and cited The New York TimesThe majority, if not all, of the victims were killed within minutes of the shooter’s arrival at the school.

Helpless and helpless parents

The vast majority of the shooting victims at Robb Elementary School in Ovaldi, Texas, were children.

Photo: Reuters/Marco Bello

Residents and residents of Ovaldi interviewed by US media expressed outrage at the police response time.

For example, Javier Casares, whose 9-year-old daughter was murdered, told The New York Times That the authorities distorted reality. They said they rushed in and it’s all not what we sawlamented.

The 43-year-old father said he doesn’t understand why the police are there I stood there as long. There were plenty of men outside, armed to the teeth, who could have entered faster. It could be over in minuteshe thinks.

Angeli Rose Gomez, a mother of two students at the school, said she appealed to the police to enter the school, Wall Street Magazine Their hands are being handcuffed by federal agents to obstruct the operation running. The father had been sprayed with pepper spray.

Several videos posted on social media show anxious parents, begging the police to enter the school or let them pass in hopes of going to save their children.

In one of them we hear a man saying: [Les enfants] They’re all there, and the cops do nothing but stay outside. You know they’re little kids, right? Young children, they don’t know how to fend for themselveshe says to the police.

Biden will travel to Yuvaldi on Sunday

The White House also indicated that President Joe Biden will travel to Uvald on Sunday to meet with bereaved families.

This will be his second visit to relatives of the shooting victims in less than two weeks. Early last week, he traveled to Buffalo, New York, where a gunman had shot and killed 10 residents of an African American community days earlier.

In recent days, the US president has called on elected officials to “confront the gun lobby,” then said the Second Amendment is “not absolute.”

On this issue, as on many others, the ideological divide between the Democratic and Republican camps is widening.

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