U.S.Relatives and witnesses of the shooting at Rob Elementary School said police at the scene did not act quickly to stop the shooter.
On May 24, Javier Cazares of Uvald, Texas, heard about the shooting at Rob Elementary School, where his 10-year-old daughter, Jackie Cazares, attended the primary school. Police were still gathering outside when Casares arrived.
Casares was impatient and worried that the police would not come in, so he wanted to break into the school with other citizens. “Have to get there because the police did nothing. They should have done more,” he told those around him.
“At least 40 police officers were fully armed but did nothing until it was too late,” Casares told reporters on May 25.
Juan Carranza, a 24-year-old witness who lives across the street from the school, said residents at the scene begged police standing outside the school to do something when the gunshots rang out.
Women nearby yelled at the police: “Get in! Get in!”, recalls Carranza.
Local police, state police and 80 Border Patrol agents were at the scene. Four Border Patrol agents entered the school and shot and killed suspect Salvador Ramos, according to Customs and Border Protection officials.
Carranza believes the police should have rushed into the school sooner. “There were a lot of police and there was only one gunman,” he said.
U.S. Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz said in a May 25 interview that when Border Patrol agents arrived, “they didn’t hesitate.” “They didn’t hesitate, quickly came up with a plan, rushed into the classroom and dealt with the situation as quickly as possible,” Ortiz said.
Carranza watched as Ramos rammed his pickup into a ditch outside the school, pulled out an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and fired at two people outside a nearby funeral home, but missed.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety said the suspect shot and killed a district security officer, then stormed the school and shot two Uvalde officers. All three of them were injured.
Ramos then burst into a classroom, locked the door, and opened fire on teachers and students in the class. The attack killed 19 students and 2 teachers.
Department of Public Safety chief Steve McGraw said it took “about 40 minutes” from the time the 18-year-old suspect opened fire on area security to when Border Patrol shot and killed him. The agents struggled to break through the classroom doors and had to get a school employee to open the door with a key, an official said on condition of anonymity.
According to Casares, the police were clearly unprepared and they needed better tactical training. “If they had had better tactical training, this could have ended sooner, and we’ve seen it with our own eyes,” he said, adding that 18-year-olds like the one who shot their daughter shouldn’t be allowed to buy guns .
“I have guns too and I’m not going to attribute this tragedy to owning guns. I’m angry they made it so easy for young people to buy guns.”
Xuanle (follow ABC, CNN, New York Post)