A Uvalde police officer shot the gunman before he entered the school and will leave 21 dead
The performance of the Uvalde (Texas) police continues to amaze. This time it transpired that one of the agents was able to shoot down the gunman Salvador Ramos before he entered the elementary school, despite the fact that he was already shooting outside. The uniformed man had him within range for an instant, but he hesitated for fear of causing harm to children who were out there. The gunman entered the interior and killed 19 schoolchildren, aged between ten and eleven, and two teachers.
That fateful missed opportunity was revealed by the sheriff’s deputy with whom that agent spoke, according to The New York Times. This is the second time that the uniformed officers had an opportunity to “neutralize” Ramos before he entered Robb Elementary School and avoid the subsequent massacre. It had already been indicated that a police officer from another body, the one assigned to schools, arrived earlier, but passed by with his car without seeing the gunman in the school parking lot.
This information confirms that the agents arrived quickly at the scene on May 24. It was a quick response that is in even greater contrast to the 77-minute accusation that it took them to enter the double classroom in which Ramos barricaded himself. They held back, waiting to receive protective equipment, despite knowing there were people trapped alive.
More than a dozen, of the 33 children and three teachers who were in those classrooms, remained alive during that period of time, which ended when specialists from the border guards body killed the aggressor. Outside, in the corridor, there were at that moment more than 60 uniformed men gathered.
Investigators are trying to determine if any of those who died could have been spared earlier medical care. There is no doubt that some of the victims were alive and in desperate need of medical attention. A teacher breathed her last in the ambulance. Three children died near the hospital.
The question now is that there was even a chance to prevent that slaughter. Ramos opened fire outside the school. The officer who arrived with his rifle had seconds to decide to fire, but he feared hurting children out there and the responsibilities he might have had to assume. In addition to the 21 deceased, eleven other people were injured.
This policing is under investigation on several fronts by the Texas Rangers, the Department of Justice and a special committee of the state legislature. The district attorney has also been implicated in the state investigations.
Part of these inquiries focus on the delay of one hour and 17 minutes from the time Ramos entered until they hunted him down. This case now shows that several agents were there earlier than previously thought and that the gunman entered the center. Police responded quickly after receiving a call that a van had hit the fence near the school and the driver was shooting.
At least two patrol cars arrived, one from the small police force that watches over the schools and another from the local police that showed up barely a minute later. Ramos was still outside, shooting at neighbors in the area. According to the sheriff’s office bailiff, deputies were also in the attacker’s crosshairs. Two uniformed men took cover behind one of the patrol cars. He wanted to return fire, but they held back.
When that police officer asked the agent the reason for not shooting, he replied that there were children and he was afraid of hitting one of them. Although the documentation confirms that there were children, it is never specified whether they were in the firing line.