Thursday Reads: The Uvalde, Texas NighmarePosted: May 26, 2022
Last night, the shocking truth began trickling out. The massacre in a Uvalde, Texas elementary school was actually enabled by police officers who were too cowardly to go into the school while an 18-year-old murdered 19 children and 2 teachers in a 4th grade classroom. Police put up crime scene tape outside the school while the shooter was murdering children inside. The AP reports that parents and other adults begged police to go in and save those kids, but they refused. In the end, it was a lone border patrol agent who went into the school and killed the shooter.
Associated Press: Onlookers urged police to charge into Texas school.
UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed by a Border Patrol team.
“Go in there! Go in there!” nearby women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who saw the scene from outside his house, across the street from Robb Elementary School in the close-knit town of Uvalde. Carranza said the officers did not go in.
Javier Cazares, whose fourth grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, said 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.”
Here’s video of the people shouting at police to go into the school.
More from the AP story linked above:
Minutes earlier, Carranza had watched as Salvador Ramos crashed his truck into a ditch outside the school, grabbed his AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle and shot at two people outside a nearby funeral home who ran away uninjured.
Officials say he “encountered” a school district security officer outside the school, though there were conflicting reports from authorities on whether the men exchanged gunfire. After running inside, he fired on two arriving Uvalde police officers who were outside the building, said Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Travis Considine. The police officers were injured.
After entering the school, Ramos charged into one classroom and began to kill.
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.”
All those killed were in the same classroom, he said.
A locked door equals “barricaded?” WTF?! Where are all those battering rams cops use to break down doors in no-knock raids? BTW, the tiny town of Uvalde actually has a SWAT team.
Back to the AP story:
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.”
For an hour the gunman was left free to murder children while cops stood around and did nothing but prevent parents from getting to their children. In the end a border patrol agent had to ask a school staff member to unlock the door with key so he could get to the shooter.
Texas officials are clapping themselves on the back for what they’ve described as “heroic” and “courageous” actions by law enforcement who responded to an armed 18-year-old at an elementary school on Tuesday.
Nineteen children and two teachers were killed. Seventeen more were injured.
And despite Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s insistence at a press conference Wednesday that things “could have been worse” if not for law enforcement’s actions, officials are being strangely opaque about what actually happened at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.
When asked how much time passed between the gunman arriving at the school and the gunman being killed, Texas’ Director of Public Safety Steve McCraw offered an indefinite response.
“Forty minutes, an hour,” he said. “But I don’t want to give you a particular timeline.” [….]
Sometime late Tuesday morning, the gunman shot his grandmother in the face. (As of Wednesday she remained hospitalized and in critical condition.) He then got into a truck, drove toward the elementary school a few miles away, and crashed into a ditch more than a hundred feet from the property.
A school resource officer had heard the reports about the crashed vehicle, so he confronted him, according to McCraw. The gunman entered the school anyway. “[The school resource officer] followed him right in immediately,” McCraw said. At that point, “rounds were exchanged.” Then officers from the Uvalde Police Department arrived. There was more shooting, and the officers were wounded (though other officials have said repeatedly that they sustained just minor injuries).
Did police “contain” the shooter in the 4th grade classroom full of children? It sounds like it.
Eventually, those officers “were responsible” for containing the gunman in a classroom, McCraw said. (Spokespersons for the Texas Department of Public Safety had repeatedly told news outlets earlier that the suspect barricaded himself into the classroom and immediately started shooting.)
Spokespersons from Texas Department of Public Safety said in several media interviews that Uvalde Police first received 911 calls at around 11:20 a.m. local time reporting the crash, and reporting a man wearing a backpack, some form of body armor, and holding a rifle, approaching Robb Elementary.
At 11:43 a.m., the school announced that it was going on lockdown, according to KSAT, a local news station. That was the same time that the Uvalde Police Department wrote on Facebook that the school was the site of an active police scene and urged people to avoid the area.
At 12:17 p.m., the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District wrote on social media that there was an active shooter at Robb Elementary, and that people should avoid the area.
At 1:06 p.m., more than an hour and a half after those first 911 calls were made, the Uvalde Police Department said that the shooter “was in police custody.”
All that time went by before anyone actually tried went into the school; and when someone did go in it was border patrol agent, not anyone on the Uvalde police force. Read the rest at Vice News.
And get this: the tiny town of Uvalde has a SWAT team. Where were they in all this?
In February, the Uvalde SWAT team visited local schools and businesses to “familiarize themselves with layouts” of the buildings.
A child who survived the attack on Robb Elementary School in Uvalde has described what happened in that 4th grade classroom. KENS5: ‘It’s time to die’ | Fourth-grader who survived Uvalde school shooting gives heartbreaking account of what gunman told students.
UVALDE, Texas — A fourth grader who survived the mass shooting at Robb Elementary has shared gut-wrenching details about what he witnessed inside that classroom.
“He shot the next person’s door. We have a door in the middle. He opened it. He came in and he crouched a little bit and he said, he said, ‘It’s time to die,'” the boy recalled….
“When I heard the shooting through the door, I told my friend to hide under something so he won’t find us,” he said. “I was hiding hard. And I was telling my friend to not talk because he is going to hear us.”
The boy and four others hid under a table that had a tablecloth over it, which may have shielded them from the shooter’s view and saved their lives. The boy shared heartbreaking details about what happened in that room.
“When the cops came, the cop said: ‘Yell if you need help!’ And one of the persons in my class said ‘help.’ The guy overheard and he came in and shot her,” the boy said. “The cop barged into that classroom. The guy shot at the cop. And the cops started shooting.”
He said that once the shooting stopped, he came out from under the table.
“I just opened the curtain. And I just put my hand out,” he said. “I got out with my friend. I knew it was police. I saw the armor and the shield.”
He said his teachers, Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles, saved their lives.
“They were nice teachers,” he said. “They went in front of my classmates to help. To save them.”
The boy said that it made him feel better hugging his family and telling them about his feelings. He spoke with a counselor and said a highlight was seeing his friend who also survived.
“I would like to say to every kid and parent to be safe,” he said.
Finally, here’s an interview with a parent who lost his daughter in the shooting.
I’m sick to death of Republicans who would rather take blood money from the NRA than save children’s lives. They only care about fetuses; once the babies are born, they are on their own. And I’m sick to death of the Senate, where Republicans can block any attempts to pass gun control legislation because of the filibuster. And I’m sick to death of Joe Manchin and Kirsten Sinema, who would rather have children die from gunshot wounds than vote to the the idiotic filibuster rule.
Here are some more stories on this nightmarish situation:
The Washington Post: After Texas shooting, Republicans face online anger over NRA money.
Ryan Cooper at The American Prospect: The Senate Has Forfeited Its Right to Exist. Not even 19 butchered children can break through its idiotic traditions.
Steve Israel at The Hill: The haunting reason Congress won’t pass sensible gun laws.
The New York Times: In More Than 100 G.O.P. Midterm Ads This Year: Guns, Guns, Guns.
Roxanne Gay at The New York Times: These Are Desperately Uncivil Times. We Are Disgracing America.
I’m so sick and tired of this. Republicans are working as hard as they can to destroy our country, in every way they can think of. And they are succeeding. If you have any reasons for hope, please share them in the comment thread.