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Texas gunman walked through apparently unlocked door – Press Telegram

By JAKE BLEIBERG, JIM VERTUNO and ELLIOT SPAGAT

UVALDE, Texas (AP) – The 18-year-old gunman who killed 21 people at a Texas elementary school has entered unobstructed through a seemingly unlocked door, a police official said Thursday.

In addition, the gunman, Salvador Ramos, was reportedly inside the building for at least three-quarters of an hour before Border Patrol officers stormed a classroom and killed him, according to a schedule by Victor Escalon, Texas Department’s regional director. . Public Security.

The school usually has an armed school security officer. But when Ramos arrived on Tuesday, “there was no officer, available, armed,” and the gunman entered the building “without hindrance,” Escalón said.

Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.

Many other details of the case and the police response remained murky. The motive for the massacre – the deadliest school shooting in the country since Newtown, Connecticut, a decade ago – has continued to be investigated, and authorities said Ramos had no known criminal or mental health record.

During the siege, which ended when a U.S. Border Patrol team burst in and shot dead the gunman, frustrated spectators urged police officers to charge at the school, according to witnesses.

“Get in there! Get in there!” The women shouted at officers shortly after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who watched the scene from outside a house across the street.

Carranza said officers should enter the school earlier: “There was more. There was only one of them. “

Texas Department of Homeland Security director Steve McCraw said Wednesday it had been 40 minutes to an hour since Ramos opened fire on the school’s security officer until the tactical equipment fired at him.

“The bottom line is that law enforcement was there,” McCraw said. “They were contacted immediately. They were (Branches) in the classroom.”

But a spokesman for the department said Thursday that authorities were still working to clarify the chronology of the attack, without knowing if that 40-minute to one-hour period began when the gunman arrived at school, or earlier, when he shot his grandmother in the home.

“We don’t have an accurate or reliable timeline right now to say that the gunman was in school during this period,” Lt. Christopher Olivarez told CNN.

The head of the Border Patrol, Raúl Ortiz, did not give a timetable but said repeatedly that the tactical agents of his agency who arrived at the school did not hesitate. He said they moved quickly to enter the building, queuing in a “pile” behind an officer holding a shield.

“What we wanted to make sure of was to act quickly, to act quickly, and that’s exactly what those agents did,” Ortiz told Fox News.

But a law enforcement official said that once in the building, Border Patrol officers had trouble opening the classroom door and had to get an officer to open the room with a key. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak publicly about the investigation.

Olivarez said investigators were trying to establish whether the classroom was, in fact, closed or blocked in some way.

Javier Cazares, whose fourth-grader daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, died in the attack, said she went to school while the massacre took place. When he arrived, he saw two officers outside the school and about five others escorting the students outside the building. But it was 15 or 20 minutes before officers arrived with shields, equipped to face the gunman, he said.

As more parents attended school, he and others pressured police to act, Cazares said. He heard about four shots before he and the others were ordered back to a parking lot.

“Many of us argued with the police,‘ You all need to get in there. You all need to do your job. ‘ His response was, “We can’t do our job because you’re interfering,” Cazares said.

Ramos crashed his truck into a ditch outside the school, grabbed his AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle and fired at two people outside a funeral home, who escaped unharmed, according to authorities and witnesses.

As for the armed school officer, he was driving nearby but was not on campus when Ramos crashed his truck, a law enforcement official said he was not authorized to handle the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Investigators concluded that the school officer was not located between the school and Ramos, so he could not confront the shooter before he entered the building, the order official said.

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Bleiberg reported from Dallas.

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Learn more about school shooting in Uvalde, Texas: https://apnews.com/hub/school-shootings

Texas gunman walked through apparently unlocked door – Press Telegram Source link Texas gunman walked through apparently unlocked door – Press Telegram

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