Thursday Reads: The Uvalde, Texas Nighmare

Good Morning!!

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:

NBC News: The Uvalde school district had an extensive safety plan. 19 children were killed anyway.

NBC News: What we know — and don’t know — about the Texas elementary school shooting.

Texas Tribune: Hours after Uvalde school shooting, Gov. Greg Abbott attended a fundraiser 300 miles away.

NBC News: Abbott calls Texas school shooting a mental health issue but cut state spending for it.

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.

Ronald Brownstein at The Atlantic: The Real Reason America Doesn’t Have Gun Control. The basic rules of American democracy provide a veto over national policy to a minority of the states.

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.

36 Comments on “Thursday Reads: The Uvalde, Texas Nighmare”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    • Enheduanna says:

      Since when is the naked truth propaganda?

    • RonStill4Hills says:

      Could “the only in America” component possibly be the psychotic sexualization of guns and gunfire by these gun fetishists that these mass murders are also incidents of “mock” rape.

      I think that guns, long guns in particular are used as proxy penises and that the mass shootings are sexual violence as well as gun violence.

      Tell me this, why is it so rare for women to do this?

      I know that I have zero training so anything I say is eseential pop cultutre psycho-babble, but perhaps someone who does have the training can explain why the fuck it seems to be these self loathing frustrated losers who go out and buy these giant semi-automatic strap-ons and then violate the innocent.

      Why America? Every coountry has violent movies and video games. They all have crazy people. They also have guns, even if not in the same numbers. The difference, IMO is the insane sheriff vs. gunslinger, whoever blows the biggest holes in the other guy is King Dick, mythos that primarily only exists in America.

      These pathetic, souless, lonely, insecure cyphers go looking for an identity and find it in “rounds per second.” “Look at all the bodies, nobody can say I didn’t ‘get some’ before they took me out!”

      Why America? The fear of impotence gun cult.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Those are good points about the sexualization of guns. As for why it happens here, it’s because Republicans oppose gun laws. We don’t have these mass shootings in Massachusetts–at least so far– because we have very strict gun laws.

        • RonStill4Hills says:


          • NW Luna says:

            “these self loathing frustrated losers who go out and buy these giant semi-automatic strap-ons and then violate the innocent.”

            Agree, Ron. They seem to consider guns as mechanical Viagra for their egos. The white male gun fetishism goes along with contempt of and violence to women, and to males who aren’t white. To anyone who’s different.

            Even the women caught up in the gun cult hardly ever turn their AR-15s on children and people just living their lives.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        I am with Luna here…agree with you Ron.

      • quixote says:

        It’s less interesting to think about it this way, but I think it’s closer to reality: it’s not that guns are sexualized, it’s that sex is weaponized.

        Everything, in that mentality, is pressed into service of the desperate need to be dominant. They don’t care about love or life or laughter, or anything that really matters. Or sex for that matter. Everything they do is to make notches showing how they’re one up.

        That’s important for how to solve the problem. If they were really suffering from a misconception, education could do some good. They’re not. They’re drunk on (trying to get) power over somebody, anybody. The solution is to make it impossible to lord it over other people. Make women and all black people better off. Have an immigration system without a vast underclass of “illegal aliens.” And so on. (I know. That’s even harder than the thought of trying to educate them.)

        • Ronstill4Hills says:

          As a temporary measure can we take away there fake metal dicks?

          Today they were talking about all the recent protective measures taken for school shootings that did no good. Resource officers, closed campuses, swat teams, blah blah blah. Sort of rubbing it in that the problem has no solution.

          But that is the infuriating part. None of that other stuff is dumb per se, do that stuff if you want, but reinstate the goddamned assault weapons ban. We haven’t tried that yet.

          Don’t tell me it won’t work, you had your turn and your dumb shit didn’t work, it is our turn and we want to go back to the assault weapons ban.

          Why is it that white men are the one and only group that can never be told, “you’ve been out voted, you don’t get your way, this time you have to bend.

          Why can they throw tantrums with assault rifles at town halls, or threaten to take their toys and secede from the fucking country.

          Everybody else is supposed to accept this democracy and pay for B1 Bombers we don’t want, go along with the shitty capital gains tax unfairness, get used to it that police are terrified of dark skin so they are excused when they kill people who have it, what ever it is.

          But when you start talking about telling conservative white men that there are going to be changes they might not like but they just need to suck it up like good citizens, everyone starts shitting themselves in terror of the “backlash.”

          Again, back to the machine gun Christmas cards. The message is we can do the Holidays my way or we can fucking kill you all!

          • quixote says:

            Good God, yes. Of course. In my world it would go a lot further than the assault weapons ban, but, yes, that to start with. Yesterday. Years ago.

          • bostonboomer says:

            I’m with you Ron. I am so fucking angry. I’d like to see the Mass. gun laws nationwide. People here still hunt. You don’t need an assault rifle for that.

          • NW Luna says:

            Any reasonable hunter knows that an assault rifle would blast a deer into bits. Absolutely no use for hunting.

        • NW Luna says:

          “it’s not that guns are sexualized, it’s that sex is weaponized.
          Everything, in that mentality, is pressed into service of the desperate need to be dominant.”

          This. A thousand times over.

  2. bostonboomer says:

  3. dakinikat says:

    That child’s story has me crying.

  4. darthvelma says:

    It’s Uvalde with an “e” not an “i”.

    Pedantic Texan 🙂

  5. Enheduanna says:

    So after this law-enforcement fiasco all I’m seeing are calls to arm teachers and surround schools with armed guards. Can you even imagine being asked to double as an armed guard while teaching elementary school? How does that work? Do you keep your AK15 locked up in your desk or out? It’d have to be loaded, right? I’m amazed there is anyone still willing to go into education.

    And don’t get me started on blaming mental illness for all the gun massacres. They don’t seem to have a problem selling automatic weapons to angry young men.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Ted Cruz argued that there should be only one door into a school. I’m sure that would go over well with fire marshals.

    • NW Luna says:

      Even if you wear your gun in a holster on your hip, when an angry white 20-y.o. male walks in with his AR-15 out and ready, you’re done for. The thought of reaching for your gun would only be in your brain when splattered to bits of mush.

      • NW Luna says:

        ‘White.’ Just remembered the Uvalde shooter was Latino. No one should be able to buy an AR-15.

  6. Minkoff Minx says:

    I have no words. Now I see the husband of one of the teachers has died of a heart attack. Leaving four children…

  7. Minkoff Minx says:

    Just some sad news:

    And this:

    And then:

  8. Minkoff Minx says:

    • quixote says:

      Re Repubs and Herschel Walker and not sending their best. Scarier thought: maybe they are sending their best.

    • NW Luna says:

      “to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.” Rape.

    • Ronstill4Hills says:

      Back in the day I dearly loved Mel Profitt on Wiseguy, but I guess that is well and truly dead. I wondered if Spacey could clean up his act, keep his head down long enough and eventually get another chance. Looks like that’s a no.

  9. dakinikat says:

  10. dakinikat says:

  11. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:


    • quixote says:

      In SoCal, I used to drive past a field with an abandoned well in it. Driving at 40-50 mph with the windows closed, you could smell that thing for *minutes*. I hate to think how many toxic and greenhouse gases those things spew out for years.

      One of the several things about Biden that impresses me is how he keeps solving important issues even when they’re not in the news. It’s like he knows which end is up!