An off-duty U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent grabbed his barber’s shotgun and sprinted into the Robb Elemental School in Uvalde, Texas school after his wife texted him that there was an active shooter in the building. The hero rescued dozens of children, as well as his own daughter and wife.
Jacob Albarado told the New York Times that he was getting a haircut when his wife, Trisha, who teaches fourth grade at Robb Elementary, texted him about the terrifying situation.
“There’s an active shooter,” she wrote, according to Albarado. “Help.”
She then texted him, “I love you.”
Albarado immediately jumped into action. With his barber’s shotgun in hand, he sped toward the school where his daughter, a second-grader, was hiding inside a locked bathroom, and his wife was hiding under desks with her students.
Across the school, the gunman fatally shot 19 children and two teachers.
When Albarado arrived on scene, the police had not yet entered the school. Working with the officers, Albarado devised a plan to enter the school and evacuate the students.
Albarado said he and the officers entered the area of the school where he knew his daughter would be. As he searched for her, he started “clearing all the classes in her wing.”
Two officers provided cover while others led dozens of “hysterical” children and teachers outside the school.
Albarado said that when he finally found his daughter Jayda, 8, they hugged before he immediately got back to work guiding more children to safety.
“I did what I was trained to do,” Albarado said.
According to the New York Post, Albarado said in a Facebook post that one of his daughter’s friends and teammates was killed in the attack.
“I’m so angry, saddened and grateful all at once. Only time will heal their pain and hopefully changes will be made at all schools in the U.S. and teachers will be trained & allowed to carry in order to protect themselves and students,” he wrote.
Officials revealed on Friday morning that the shooter was able to enter Robb Elementary School through a door that had been propped open by a teacher, and he was never confronted by the school’s resource officer who was not on campus at the time.
Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw attempted to explain why officers waited nearly an hour before entering the classroom where the gunman was killing children and teachers, telling reporters that the commander on the scene believed the situation had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject. The commander believed there were “no more children at risk.”
“With the benefit of hindsight, what I’m saying now, is that of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. Period. There is no excuse for that,” McCraw admitted.