Salvador Ramos roamed outside a Uvalde, Tx., elementary school for 12 minutes, entered without challenge and spent an hour inside before he was killed by law enforcement, authorities said, revising key details in their account of the massacre as the police response was criticized by parents, reports the Washington Post. New details of how Ramos, 18, was able to kill 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary, together with cellphone videos and witness accounts of police outside tackling or handcuffing desperate parents who tried to rush into the building, called into question claims by Gov. Greg Abbott that a “quick response” by law enforcement had saved lives.
Police retreated when Ramos shot at them, state authorities said Thursday. An hour elapsed before a tactical unit led by federal Border Patrol agents went into a classroom and killed the gunman. The response appears to have veered from guidance since the 1999 massacre at Colorado's Columbine High School that says officers should pursue shooters inside buildings without waiting for specialized backup. Authorities retracted a claim that an officer had approached and possibly fired at the gunman outside the school. ,The amended account was offered by Victor Escalon Jr., regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, who said he would “clear up” previous statements. Escalon spoke after the appearance in news reports and on social media of the cellphone videos, some of which showed tearful parents pleading with officers in tactical gear — some carrying rifles or Tasers — to go inside the school and tackle the gunman, or allow them to do so themselves. Officials had previously stated that the gunman was confronted by a school police officer who fired at him. Later, they said the officer had confronted him but did not fire. Escalon said both versions were inaccurate.