Uvalde Texas school shooting: Official says it was 'wrong decision' not to enter classroom as parents demand answers on response
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UVALDE, Texas — A Texas official admitted law enforcement made the “wrong decision” not to go into the classroom where the Uvalde school shooting suspect was for 35 minutes.

“It was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. Period … We believe there should have been an entry. We don’t have time,” Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said during a press conference Friday.

Children were inside the classroom with him, making 911 calls, McCraw said in a press conference Friday.

The incident commander believed he was dealing with was a barricaded subject inside the school and the children were not at risk, he said.

A tactical team from CBP was on scene at 12:15 p.m., but did not breach the classroom until 12:50 p.m.

“Of course it wasn’t the right decision,” McCraw said. “It was the wrong decision.”

This is a breaking news update. A previous version of this report is below.

Robb Elementary School parents are demanding answers from law enforcement, incensed that an 18-year-old gunman accessed the building through an unlocked door and carried out an hour-long rampage, killing 19 children and two teachers.

Uvalde, a small town in rural Texas, is reeling days after facing the second deadliest school shooting in American history, setting up memorials across the community and gathering in prayer. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Uvalde Sunday to pay tribute to the victims.

The alleged gunman — identified by authorities as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a student at Uvalde High School — allegedly purchased two assault rifles just days after turning 18 and used them to carry out the attack — all within a span of eight days, authorities said. Ramos is now dead.

MORE: Boy who survived Texas school shooting recalls gunman saying ‘you’re all gonna die’

Prior to opening fire at the school, the suspect also allegedly shot his grandmother, officials said.

Gunman entered unobstructed through unlocked door

The response by school officials and law enforcement is becoming a key focus in the ongoing investigation into the Uvalde school shooting, law enforcement sources told ABC News Thursday.

Officials said around 11:28 a.m., the suspect crashed his grandmother’s car on the parimeter of the school, pulled out an AR-style rifle and backpack filled with ammunition, and fired at two nearby witnesses as he made his way toward the school.

SEE ALSO: What we know about 21 Texas school shooting victims; teacher’s widower dies of heart attack

Texas officials said Thursday that police did not confront the gunman before he entered the school, despite earlier reporting that a school district police officer had confronted the gunman.
Even though the school doors were supposed to be locked during the day, it appears the door the gunman entered through was unlocked, Victor Escalon, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s regional director for south Texas, said at a press conference Thursday.

It is unclear whether any students and teachers heard an official call for a lockdown once the gunman entered the building, the sources said.

Additionally, investigators are looking into whether officers on site could have made other attempts to enter the school to end the gunman’s rampage faster, the sources said.

MORE: Onlookers urged police to charge into Texas school after shooting began, witnesses say

Escalon said the officers “don’t make entry initially because of the gunfire they’re receiving. But we have officers calling for additional resources.”

While they made calls to bring in backup, officers evacuated students and teachers.

Approximately an hour later, U.S. Border Patrol tactical teams arrived, made entry and shot and killed the suspect, Escalon said.

TIMELINE: A look at Uvalde shooter’s movements day of massacre

Who are the victims?

A fourth-grade teacher, several sets of cousins and a 10-year-old boy whose family called him “the life of the party” were among those killed in the mass shooting Tuesday, ABC News has learned.

The husband of one of the teachers killed also died two days later from a heart attack. The couple was set to celebrate their 25-year anniversary.

“When parents drop their kids off at school, they have every expectation to know that they’re going to be able to pick their child up when that school day ends. And there are families who are in mourning right now,” Gov. Greg Abbott told reporters.

ABC News has confirmed the identities of the following victims:

  • Eva Mireles, teacher
  • Xavier James Lopez, 10
  • Amerie Jo Garza, 10
  • Rojelio Torres, 10
  • Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10
  • Jailah Nicole Silguero, 11
  • Eliahana Cruz Torres
  • Annabell Rodriguez, 10
  • Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares, 10
  • Irma Garcia, teacher
  • Uziyah Garcia
  • Alithia Ramirez
  • Makenna Lee Elrod, 10
  • Ellie Garcia
  • Nevaeh Bravo, 10
  • Tess Mata
  • Alexandria Aniyah Rubio
  • Layla Salazar
  • Maite Rodriguez

Survivors try to move forward

While authorities piece together a motive for the shooting rampage, survivors are trying to move forward.

The memorial is growing for all 21 victims whose names are now etched in white crosses outside the school.

SEE ALSO: Mass shootings in the U.S. have nearly tripled since 2013, data shows

The distraught families are taking on the difficult task of making arrangements for their loved ones.

The only two funeral homes in Uvalde are both offering free funeral services to victims of the shooting.

Since 2013, the year after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., mass shootings in the United States — described as shooting incidents in which at least four people are injured or killed — have nearly tripled. Already, there have been 213 mass shooting incidents in 2022 — a 50% increase from 141 shootings by May 2017 and a 150% increase from 84 by May 2013. The graphic above shows the number of shooting incidents per state. Mobile users: Click here to see our map of mass shootings in the US since Sandy Hook.

Copyright © 2022 ABC News Internet Ventures.



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