UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Nearly 20 officers stood for about 45 minutes in the hallway outside the adjoining Texas classrooms where the gunman killed students and teachers this week before U.S. Border Patrol agents unlocked the door to confront and kill him, authorities said Friday.
At least some of the 911 calls made during the Tuesday attack on Robb Elementary School in Uvalde came from inside one of the connected classrooms where 18-year-old Salvador Ramos was holed up, Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said during a contentious news conference.
Throughout the attack, teachers and children repeatedly called 911 asking for help, including a girl who pleaded: “Please send the police now,” McCraw said.
The commander at the scene believed Ramos was barricaded inside the and that the children were not at risk, McCraw said.
“It was the wrong decision,” he said.
The Border Patrol agents eventually used a master key to open the locked door of the classroom where they confronted and killed Ramos, he said.
The motive remains unclear.
Shooter’s warning signs got lost in a sea of social media
State police say the suspect in the Texas shooting had no criminal record or known mental illness that could have signaled he was capable of gunning down 19 children and two adults. But there were warning signs.
The shooting was presaged by scattered, often cryptic warnings that disturbed classmates and neighbors.
He posted an Instagram photo of a hand holding a gun magazine. In his TikTok profile he warned, “Kids be scared.” And he pinned the image of two AR-style semi-automatic rifles displayed on a rug to the top of his profile.
But those foreboding posts hardly stick out on an endless grid of Instagram photos that feature semi-automatic rifles, handguns and ammunition. There’s even a popular hashtag devoted to encouraging Instagram users to upload daily photos of guns with more than 2 million posts attached to it.
The suspect also lashed out on social media, posting of trouble with his mother and photographs of his newly acquired rifles. And there were outbursts and fights with classmates, as well as online exchanges with teenage strangers thousands of miles away, hinting at a desire to hurt and kill.
Grieving husband of wife slain in Texas dies of heart attack
The family of a fourth grade teacher was already reeling from her death in the school shooting that targeted her classroom in Uvalde, Texas. Then, just two days after Irma Garcia was killed, her grieving husband collapsed and died at home from a heart attack.
That’s according to a family member who spoke to The New York Times.
Joe Garcia was 50. He dropped off flowers at his wife’s memorial on Thursday morning and returned home, where he “pretty much just fell over” and died, according to his nephew John Martinez.
The couple was married for 24 years and had four children.
Senate GOP blocks domestic terrorism bill, gun policy debate
A bipartisan group of senators is trying to find a compromise on gun legislation. That’s after Democrats’ first attempt at responding to the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, failed Thursday in the Senate.
Republicans blocked debate on a domestic terrorism bill that would’ve opened debate on hate crimes and gun policy. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he’ll give negotiations about two weeks while Congress is in recess.
The bipartisan group of senators met after the vote and focused on background checks for guns purchased online or at gun shows, red-flag laws designed to keep guns away from those who could do harm and school security measures.