Answers Still Needed in Uvalde School Shooting Timeline

Answers Still Needed in Uvalde School Shooting Timeline

Look What’s Missing in the Uvalde School Shooting Narrative

( – Salvador Ramos, 18, entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, with an AR-15-style rifle and 600 rounds of ammunition on Tuesday, May 24. By the time authorities had a handle on the situation, more than an hour later, the gunman had killed 19 students and 2 teachers and injured more than a dozen others. Conflicting reports and questions surrounding the amount of time it took before law enforcement confronted the gunman — over an hour — have people demanding answers.

Confusing Timelines

Ramos was on FaceTime with a 15-year-old girl in Germany at 11 a.m. and indicated to her he’d shot his grandmother in the head at 11:07. Another report showed Ramos crashed his truck at 11:28 a.m. outside a funeral home and entered Robb Elementary just 12 minutes later while firing shots. The first accounts indicated a school district police officer in the school might have confronted the shooter before he entered. However, those on the scene, including a Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) representative and some of the victims’ parents, say that was false.

In a media briefing on Thursday, TXDPS Regional Director Victor Escalon, Jr., tried to clarify the timeline, but his explanation raised more questions than answers. During the briefing, he confirmed no district officer was onsite, and Ramos entered the school without confrontation, allegedly through an unlocked door. In fact, according to some reports and witness accounts, police didn’t confront Ramos for more than 40 minutes.

Escalon added to the confusion by offering seemingly contradictory information during the Thursday news conference. He first said the officers made entry and then took cover after Ramos fired on them. Then, he said they didn’t enter at all because of the gunfire.

Why the Delay?

In the aftermath of the tragedy, parents and others are asking what took officers so long to respond? Even with onlookers urging the police to enter the school, they allegedly remained in its parking lot. Another report says nobody approached the shooter until federal Border Patrol agents arrived, entered the school and engaged in a shootout with the suspect. Finally, authorities killed Ramos in a shootout at 12:58, 90 minutes after the shooter first crashed outside the school.

Demanding Answers

The conflicting accounts have prompted many, including Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), to call on the FBI to investigate the law enforcement agencies involved. Castro is seeking answers to two questions:

  • How long were police officers helping other classrooms while Ramos remained barricaded?
  • Did the security officer on the scene exchange fire with the suspect outside the school?

Castro also wants to know the shooter’s motive. In addition to these questions, many are asking one more question, which may never have an answer: Could a faster, more decisive law enforcement response have avoided or minimized the tragedy? Investigations are still ongoing, and it could be months before there’s a reliable picture of the day’s events.

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