Officials are investigating the police response to the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday after information and videos revealed that police waited outside the school for more than 40 minutes before engaging the gunman. The massacre left 21 people dead and another 17 injured.
Austin American-Statesman investigative journalist Tony Plohetski said on Thursday that authorities confirmed an investigation was underway “amid conflicting witness statements, including what steps they took to stop the gunman.” He added that officials could no longer confirm their initial reports that a school officer “exchanged fire” with the gunman.
Plohetski said the investigation will analyze timelines using radio traffic, as well as ballistics to determine the source and time of the gunfire.
“Sources say these types of reviews are standard after major incidents but are intensified in this case because of discrepancies in statements and gravity of the matter,” he added.
New video surfaced on Wednesday showing a crowd of frantic parents outside the school, with some pleading and shouting at officers to enter the school to stop the massacre. One parent even said, “Let’s just rush in because cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to.”
18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos had barricaded himself inside two adjoining classrooms where he killed his victims while police couldn’t gain entry into the building.
Officials said Ramos has initially encountered a “brave” school officer who he shot before he entered the building through a back door, though they’ve now said they aren’t confident that the school officer discharged his weapon in the confrontation.
Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Travis Considine said after getting inside the building, the Ramos fired on two responding Uvalde police officers who were outside the building. Both officers were injured.
Ramos entered the building, locking doors behind him and telling children and two teachers inside, “It’s time to die.”
Ramos “barricaded himself by locking the door and just started shooting children and teachers that were inside that classroom,” Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety said. “It just shows you the complete evil of the shooter.”
Some 40 minutes later, Border Patrol tactical agents were able to enter the building only after obtaining a key from a staff member. They exchanged fire with Ramos, ultimately killing him. They later discovered 19 children and two teachers had been slain.