Anger Over Police Response: 'There Are Kids!'

Video emerges of parents angrily confronting officers outside Robb Elementary in Uvalde
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2022 1:32 PM CDT
Police Response in Uvalde Becomes Flashpoint
A law enforcement officer speaks with people outside Uvalde High School after a shooting was reported at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday, May 24. It's not clear at what point in the siege this photo was taken.   (William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

One of the stories emerging as a flashpoint Thursday in the wake of the mass shooting in Texas is anger over the police response in Uvalde. However, many details about the timeline remain unclear, and the New York Times reports that two officers from the Uvalde Police Department did immediately enter the school after the first calls about a gunman came in at 11:30am Tuesday. The officers reportedly were shot trying to enter the classroom where the gunman had holed up, and they fell back after being wounded. The gunman is believed to have shot all his victims within the first minutes of arriving at the school, per the Times. More:

  • Video: The Washington Post has video from a parent's Facebook feed showing angry parents confronting officers outside Robb Elementary School. "You know that there are kids, right?" the man filming says at one point as an officer orders bystanders to get across the street. "Little kids—they don’t know how to defend themselves.”
  • More: NBC News also has video in which multiple people are heard yelling at officers. One woman shouts, “Get in! Get in! What is the f------ deal?” The AP quotes Javier Cazares, whose daughter was killed in the attack, as saying he suggested to other parents that they charge the school. “Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,” he said. “More could have been done.”
  • Witness: “They were just angry, especially the dads,” Derek Sotelo, who heard the gunfire from his job at a nearby tire shop and went to the school, tells the Times. “We were wondering, ‘What the heck is going on? Are they going in?’ The dads were saying, ‘Give me the vest, I’ll go in there!’” The shooter was believed to have been killed shortly after 1pm.

  • Timeline: Just how long police and Border Patrol agents waited outside the school before entering en masse is unclear. Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw has said 40 minutes to an hour elapsed from when Ramos opened fire on a school security officer to when he was killed. But the AP notes authorities are still trying to clarify. In fact, it's no longer clear the gunman exchanged fire with a security officer at all. It's also possible the 40 minutes began when the gunman shot his grandmother before leaving home.
  • In defense: “The bottom line is law enforcement was there,” McCraw says. “They did engage immediately. They did contain (Ramos) in the classroom.” Says Border Patrol leader Raul Ortiz: “What we wanted to make sure is to act quickly, act swiftly, and that's exactly what those agents did." (Agents reportedly had difficulty entering the barricaded door, and may have needed a key.)
  • Protocol: The Post notes that police protocol in school shootings now typically calls for officers to immediately enter the building. The newspaper quotes security expert Kenneth Trump as saying that any delay will be hard to justify.
(Read more Uvalde mass shooting stories.)

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