Frustrated bystanders pleaded for police to enter Robb Elementary School on Tuesday as the shooter continued his rampage for over 40 minutes, The Associated Press reports.
“Go in there! Go in there!” several women shouted at police shortly after the attack began, witness Juan Carranza told the AP. He said the officers did not go in.
He said the officers should have gone in sooner.
“There were more of them. There was just one of him,” he said.
Javier Cazares, whose 4th grade daughter Jacklyn was killed in the massacre, rushed to the school and found police still gathered outside. Frustrated by the inaction, he and others proposed rushing into the school to save their kids.
“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.
Questions about police response:
Officials say the shooter, Salvador Ramos, “encountered” a school security officer outside the school but there have been conflicting reports about whether they exchanged gunfire.
After running inside the school, Ramos fired on two arriving Uvalde police officers who were outside the building.
He “barricaded himself by locking the door and just started shooting children and teachers that were inside that classroom,” Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Department of Public Safety told CNN. “It just shows you the complete evil of the shooter.”
Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said the shooter was inside the school for 40 minutes to an hour. But he said it was officers who contained Ramos in the classroom where all of the victims were killed.
“The bottom line is law enforcement was there,” McCraw said. “They did engage immediately. They did contain (Ramos) in the classroom.”
Killed by Border Patrol:
McCraw said that Border Patrol formed a tactical team that ultimately entered the building and killed the shooter during a gunfire exchange.
The AP reported that the Border Patrol agents had trouble breaching the classroom door and had to get a staffer to open the room with a key.