Gunman’s final 90 minutes fuel questions about police delays

Uvalde, Texas: It was 11:28 a.m. when the Ford pickup slammed into a ditch behind the low-slung Texas school and the driver jumped out carrying an AR-15-style rifle. After crashing his truck, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos fired on two people coming out of a nearby funeral home, Escalon said. He then entered the school “unobstructed” through an apparently unlocked door at about 11:40 a.m.

Twelve minutes after that, authorities say, Ramos was in the hallways of Robb Elementary School. Soon he entered a fourth-grade classroom. And there, he killed 19 schoolchildren and two teachers in a still-unexplained spasm of violence. At 12:58 p.m., law enforcement radio chatter said Ramos had been killed and the siege was over.

What happened in those 90 minutes, in a working-class neighborhood near the edge of the little town of Uvalde, has fueled mounting public anger and scrutiny over law enforcement’s response to Tuesday’s rampage.

“They say they rushed in,” said Javier Cazares, whose fourth-grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, and who raced to the school as the massacre unfolded. “We didn’t see that.”

On Thursday, authorities largely ignored questions about why officers had not been able to stop the shooter sooner, with Victor Escalon, regional director for the Texas Department of Public Safety, telling reporters he had “taken all those questions into consideration” and would offer updates later.

The media briefing called by Texas safety officials, to clarify the timeline of the attack, provided bits of previously unknown information. But by the time it ended, it had added to the troubling questions surrounding the attack, including about the time it took police to reach the scene and confront the gunman, and the apparent failure to lock a school door he entered.

After two days of providing often conflicting information, investigators said that a school district police officer was not inside the school when Ramos arrived, and, contrary to their previous reports, the officer had not confronted Ramos outside the building. Instead, they sketched out a timeline notable for unexplained delays by law enforcement.

Image courtesy of (Image Courtesy: LBC)

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