UWALDE, TX (AP) — Frustrated onlookers have called for police officers to break into a Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage has killed 19 people. children and two teachersWitnesses said Wednesday as investigators worked to trace the massacre, which continued upwards. of 40 minutes and ended when 18-year-old shooter was killed by a border guard team.
“Go in there! Go in there!” near women yelled at the officers soon after attack started, said 24-year-old Juan Carranza, who saw the scene from outside his house through street from Robb Elementary School in friendly city of Uvalde. Carranza said the officers didn’t go in.
Javier Cazares, whose fourth grade daughter Jacqueline Cazares, was killed in in attack said he rushed to school when he heard about the shootingarriving when the police were still assembled outside in building.
Disappointed that there were no police moving in he raised the idea of charging to school with several other passers-by.
“Let’s just impulse in because the cops don’t do anything like they should,” he said. “More could have been done.”
“They weren’t ready,” he said. added.
A few minutes earlier, Carranza had watched Salvador Ramos crash his truck into a ditch outside school, grabbed my AR-15 in style semi-automatic and shot at two people outside next funeral home who escaped unharmed.
Officials say he “bumped” with a school district security officer. outside school, although there have been conflicting reports from the authorities on whether men exchanged gunfire. Running inside, he fired on two arriving Uvalde police officers who we outside The building said the Department of Texas of Public Safety Representative Travis Considine. The policemen were injured.
Entering the school, Ramos burst into one class and started kill.
He barricaded himself by locking the door and just started shooting children and the teachers who were in that class,” Lieutenant Christopher Olivares. of the Department of Public Safety told CNN. “This is just shows you complete evil of shooter.”
All those killed were in Same class, he said.
Branch of Director of Public Safety Steve McCraw told reporters that between 40 minutes and an hour had passed since Ramos opened. fire on school security officer when tactical team shot him, although a department spokesman said later that they could not give solid score of how long shooter was in school or when he was killed.
“The bottom line is that law enforcement was there,” McCraw said. “They went into action immediately. They kept (Ramos) in cool room.”
Meanwhile, the police official familiar with an investigation revealed that Border Patrol agents were unable to force the door to the classroom and had to ask an employee to open the room. with a key. official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.
Carranza said that the officers should went to school earlier.
“It was more of them. There was just one of him,” he said.
Uvalde is a predominantly Hispanic city. of about 16000 people about 75 miles (120 km) from the Mexican border. Robb Elementary School with about 600 students. in second, third and fourth grades, is one-story brick construction in mostly residential area of modest homes.
Hundreds of people gathered in the stands of the city fair for Wednesday vigil and the crowd swelled so big some stood around the speakers on dirty arena. Some cried. Some have closed their eyes condensed, silent prayers. Parents hugged their children like speakers lead prayers for recovery.
Before the attack on the school, Ramos shot and wounded his grandmother in home they shared, authorities said.
Neighbor Gilbert Gallegos, 82 who lives through street and knew family for decades, said he was messing around in his yard when he heard the shots.
Ramos ran out in front of the front door and through small yard to truck parked in front of in house. He seemed panicked, Gallegos said, and it was hard for him to get truck out of the park.
Then he sped away: “He was spinning out I mean fast gravel spraying in in air.
His grandmother appeared covered in blood: She says“Berto, that’s what he did. He shot me.” She was hospitalized.
Gallegos, whose wife called 911, said he did not hear any arguments either before or after the shots and knew that of No history of bullying or insults of ramos, who he rarely saw.
Investigators also shed no light on Ramos motif for in attack which also left minimum 17 people injured. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Ramos, a resident of in small city about 85 miles (135 km) to the west of San Antonio didn’t know criminal or mental health history.
“Right now we don’t see a motive or a catalyst,” McCraw said. of the Department of Public safety.
Ramos legally bought a rifle and second one like This is last a week just after his birthday, authorities said.
About half an hour before the mass shooting, Ramos sent first of three online Messages warning about him plansAbbott said.
Ramos wrote that he was going to shoot the grandmother, then he shot the woman. in last a note sent about 15 minutes before he got to Robb’s elementary school, he said he was going to shoot up elementary school, according to Abbott. Ramos did not specify which school, investigators said.
Ramos sent private, one-to-one text messages via Facebook, said company spokesman Andy Stone. Did not have clear who received messages.
Grief seized Uvalde when the details surfaced.
dead including Eliana Garcia outgoing 10-year-old who loved to sing, dance and play basketball; fellow fourth grader, Xavier Javier Lopez, who looking forward to summer of swimming; and teacher Eva Mireles, whose husband the officer with school district police department.
“You can just tell by their angelic smiles that they were loved,” said Uvalde Superintendent Hal Harrell, struggling with back with tears in my eyes, remembering children and teachers are killed.
The tragedy was latest in seemingly endless wave of mass shootings for the USA in last years. Just 10 days ago, 10 Black people were shot death in racist attack in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
attack was the deadliest school shooting in US since gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012
Among the calls for tightening restrictions on firearms, the Republican governor has repeatedly spoken about mental health struggles among Texas residents. young people and claimed that tougher gun the laws in Chicago, New York and California are inefficient.
Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who it works against Abbott for governor, interrupted speech on Wednesday news conference, calling the tragedy “predictable.” Pointing his finger at Abbott, he said: on you until you decide to do something else. This will continue.” O’Rourke was escorted out like some in the room called to him. Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin shouted that O’Rourke was “sick son of bitch”.
Texas has some of most gun friendly laws in nation and was the site of some of deadliest shootings in United States over in past five years.
“I just not know how people I can sell this type of a gun the child is 18 years old.” —Syria Arismendi, aunt of – said the victim Elianna Garcia through tears. “What is he going to use This is for but for this goal?
President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that “the Second Amendment is not absolute,” as he called it for new restrictions on guns in commemoration of massacre.
But prospects for reform of nation gun the rules seemed dim. Retries over years to expand background checks and introduce other restrictions run into the republican opposition in Congress.
The shooting occurred just days before the National Rifle Association’s annual convention. set to begin in Houston, with Governor of Texas and both of State Republican senators are scheduled to speak.
Dillon Silva, whose nephew was in classroom, said the students were watching Disney movie “Moana” when they heard several loud bangs and a bullet shattered the window. Moments later, their teacher saw the attacker’s footsteps. past.
“Oh my God, he has gun!” the teacher shouted twice, according to Silva. “The teacher didn’t even have time to lock the door,” he said.
cohesive community, built around a shaded central square, includes many families who lived there for generations.
Lorena Auguste was working as an assistant teacher at Uvalde High School when she heard about the shooting and started writing frantically to her niece, a fourth grade student at Robb Elementary School. In the end she found out the girl was fine.
But that night, her niece had a question.
“Why did they do it to us? the girl asked. “We good Children. we didn’t do anything wrong”.
Bleiberg reported from Dallas. Acacia Coronado, Eugene Garcia and Dario Lopez-Mills in Uvalde; Ben Fox, Michael Balsamo, Amanda Seitz and Eric Tucker in Washington; Paul J. Weber in Austin; Juan Lozano in Houston; Gene Johnson in Seattle; Stephen Groves in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.
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