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Uvalde police are facing new criticism over first-hand accounts and videos showing them handcuffing and restraining frantic parents, who were urging them to storm the Robb Elementary school building amid the massacre.
‘The police were doing nothing,’ Angeli Rose Gomez told the Wall Street Journal. ‘They were just standing outside the fence. They weren’t going in there or running anywhere.’
Gomez has two children in second and third grade and she reportedly drove 40 miles to the school after hearing of the attack.
She was one of the desperate parents who encouraged police with increasing urgency to enter the school.
Eventually, federal marshals put Gomez in handcuffs and told her she was under arrest for intervening in an active investigation, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Angeli Gomez (above) jumped the school fence and ran inside the school where she rescued her children herself
The girl explained she wasn’t hurt and the blood was from her best friend ‘Amerie.’ It was then that Angel Garza (above) realized the blood he was looking at came from his own daughter
Gomez said she was able to convince a Uvalde officer whom she knew to have the marshal free her and she took the opportunity to move away from the crowd, jump the school fence, and ran inside the school where she rescued her children herself.
She said that other parents also trying to get to their kids were tackled and even pepper-sprayed by police.
Angel Garza, whose daughter was killed, was handcuffed after trying to run into the school when he heard that a ‘girl called Amerie’ had been shot.
Garza later told his heartbreaking story to Anderson Cooper.
He explained that when he arrived on the scene he tried to help a young girl covered in blood, because he is a trained medic.
The girl explained she wasn’t hurt and the blood was from her best friend ‘Amerie.’ It was then that Angel realized the blood he was looking at came from his own daughter.
He later found out that she was among those who died.
Gomez (above) has two children in second and third grade and she reportedly drove 40 miles to the school after hearing of the attack.
Video shows Texas cops holding down a parent outside Robb Elementary School on Tuesday while a shooting unfolded inside
Javier Cazares’ fourth grade daughter Jacklyn Cazares was also killed in the attack.
Cazares told the Associated Press that he raced to the school when he heard about the shooting, arriving while police were still gathered outside the building.
Upset that police were not moving in, he raised the idea of charging into the school with several other bystanders.
‘Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,’ he said. ‘More could have been done.’
‘They were unprepared,’ he added.
One shocking video shows officers holding some parents back as they tried to get inside.
The footage shows a parent being pinned to the ground by an officer, while another carrying a taser stands guard nearby.
Other footages shows parents begging the cops: ‘What are you doing!? Get inside the building!’
Another woman could be heard to say ‘They’re trapped inside’ as howls of pained anguish rang out in the background.
It was unclear at what time the footage was shot.
Desperate parents gathered outside Robb Elementary School urging heavily armed officers to charge into the school and stop the gunman
During a press conference on Thursday, Victor Escalon of the Texas Department of Public Safety, addressed the parents’ claims that they were restrained from helping their children.
‘I have heard that information, but we have not verified that,’ Escalon said, adding that there were officers from all over at the scene and that he would interview them to find out what happened.
Cazares, whose daughter Jacklyn Cazares (above) was killed, told the Associated Press that police were gathered outside the building.
Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw told reporters that 40 minutes to an hour elapsed from when Ramos opened fire on the school security officer to when the tactical team shot him, though a department spokesman said later that they could not give a solid estimate of how long the gunman was in the school or when he was killed.
‘The bottom line is law enforcement was there,’ McCraw said. ‘They did engage immediately. They did contain (Ramos) in the classroom.’
Meanwhile, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said the Border Patrol agents had trouble breaching the classroom door and had to get a staff member to open the room with a key.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.
Carranza said the officers should have entered the school sooner.
‘There were more of them. There was just one of him,’ he said.
The footage shows a police officer with a taser standing guard nearby as parents urged Uvalde police to enter elementary school
Questions remain over why it took police so long to get into the classroom where the kids were trapped with the gunman.
Derek Sotelo, 26, who works in a tire shop nearby, said parents were begging to be let into the school.
‘They were just angry, especially the dads. We were wondering, ‘What the heck is going on? Are they going in?’ ‘The dads were saying, ‘Give me the vest, I’ll go in there!’
Juan Carranza, whose house is located across the street from the school, said he witnessed nearby women shouting at officers: ‘Go in there! Go in there!’ soon after the attack began.
Carranza said the officers never did end up going inside.