It took an hour for police to subdue the shooter involved in the shooting at a Texas elementary school. The police are now being massively criticized for their actions. Accordingly, most of the students were killed at the beginning. Only then did the US officials attempt to negotiate with the perpetrator.
Police are under pressure for their actions during the massacre following the bloodbath at a Texas elementary school. Parents accuse the emergency services of having been idle for too long and not intervening in time. Authorities confirmed Thursday that the gunman spent around an hour in the classroom shooting at the schoolchildren and teachers. Only then did the police enter the room and shoot the 18-year-old.
At a press conference in the community of Uvalde, Victor Escalon of the Texas Department of Public Safety gave further details on the course of the crime and spoke of a “complex situation”. The attacker Salvador Ramos entered the elementary school and eventually a classroom near an entrance around 11:40 a.m. (local time) Tuesday, he said. Police were on site within minutes because witnesses saw the armed shooter in front of the school.
When asked why the police didn’t try to enter the classroom directly, Escalon said the officers lacked special equipment. The door was “barricaded”. The police then called for reinforcements and brought school children and teachers to safety. Besides, she would have tried to negotiate with the shooter. He fired most of the shots at the very beginning. “During the negotiations, there wasn’t much shooting other than trying to keep the cops at bay,” Escalon said. After about an hour, special forces arrived and shot the 18-year-old.
There had been conflicting information from the police in the past few days about exactly how the crime took place. Initially, it was said that the shooter had already been confronted by a security guard in front of the school. Escalon did not confirm that. Instead, the 18-year-old was able to walk into the school unhindered through an unlocked door. At the press conference on Thursday, the authorities came under pressure to justify themselves. “Why don’t you clarify that and explain to us how it is possible that your officers were in there for an hour (…) but no one was able to get into this room?” asked a journalist.
Recently, more and more critical voices from parents in Uvalde have been raised. They accuse the police of acting too hesitantly. “I told one of the officers myself if they don’t want to go in, lend me his gun and a vest and I’ll go in and sort it out myself,” Victor Luna told CNN. His son Jayden survived the massacre. The police did their job, Luna said. But she could have done it faster. Other parents made similar comments in US media.
More on the Texas shooting:
Overview – perpetrators, process, motive: what we know about the US elementary school massacre and what we don’t