Uvalde police explain why they waited so long to breach classroom amid rampage

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By VT

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An official with the Uvalde police department has explained why the officers waited so long to breach the fourth-grade classroom that a gunman barricaded himself inside before embarking on a horrific killing spree last week.

Last Tuesday's massacre in the mostly Latino town of Uvalde was the deadliest shooting at a school in the US since 20 children and six adults were shot dead at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.

The 18-year-old gunman, Salvador Ramos, entered Robb Elementary School at around 11:32 AM. He was armed with a handgun and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle before "horrifically, incomprehensibly" opening fire, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said.

Before the mass shooting, the teen shot his grandmother, Celia "Sally" Martinez Gonzales, and crashed his car near the school. He was eventually shot dead by US Border Patrol agents. Nineteen children and two adults were killed in Ramos' attack on one fourth-grade classroom.

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Credit: Newscom / Alamy

In the wake of the rampage, people have been questioning why local police did not breach the room as soon as they arrived on the scene.

AP News previously reported that police waited more than an hour to enter the classroom. The young students repeatedly called 911, including one child who pleaded: "Please send the police now."

But according to Steven McCraw, the Texas Department of Public Safety director, it was believed at the time that everybody in the classroom had already been shot dead - in spite of the continued 911 calls.

"The on-scene commander at the time believed that it had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject ... [and] there were no more children at risk," McCraw told reporters on Friday, per USA Today. "Obviously, based upon the information we have, there were children in that classroom that were at risk, and it was in fact still an active shooter situation and not a barricaded subject."

McCraw continued: "When you go back to the timeline, there was a barrage — hundreds of rounds were pumped in in 4 minutes into those two classrooms; any firing afterwards was sporadic, and it was at the door.

"So the belief was that there may not be anybody living anymore and the subject is now trying to keep law enforcement at bay or entice them to come in."

Featured image credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

Uvalde police explain why they waited so long to breach classroom amid rampage

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

An official with the Uvalde police department has explained why the officers waited so long to breach the fourth-grade classroom that a gunman barricaded himself inside before embarking on a horrific killing spree last week.

Last Tuesday's massacre in the mostly Latino town of Uvalde was the deadliest shooting at a school in the US since 20 children and six adults were shot dead at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.

The 18-year-old gunman, Salvador Ramos, entered Robb Elementary School at around 11:32 AM. He was armed with a handgun and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle before "horrifically, incomprehensibly" opening fire, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said.

Before the mass shooting, the teen shot his grandmother, Celia "Sally" Martinez Gonzales, and crashed his car near the school. He was eventually shot dead by US Border Patrol agents. Nineteen children and two adults were killed in Ramos' attack on one fourth-grade classroom.

size-full wp-image-1263155824
Credit: Newscom / Alamy

In the wake of the rampage, people have been questioning why local police did not breach the room as soon as they arrived on the scene.

AP News previously reported that police waited more than an hour to enter the classroom. The young students repeatedly called 911, including one child who pleaded: "Please send the police now."

But according to Steven McCraw, the Texas Department of Public Safety director, it was believed at the time that everybody in the classroom had already been shot dead - in spite of the continued 911 calls.

"The on-scene commander at the time believed that it had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject ... [and] there were no more children at risk," McCraw told reporters on Friday, per USA Today. "Obviously, based upon the information we have, there were children in that classroom that were at risk, and it was in fact still an active shooter situation and not a barricaded subject."

McCraw continued: "When you go back to the timeline, there was a barrage — hundreds of rounds were pumped in in 4 minutes into those two classrooms; any firing afterwards was sporadic, and it was at the door.

"So the belief was that there may not be anybody living anymore and the subject is now trying to keep law enforcement at bay or entice them to come in."

Featured image credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy