Texas officials say school shooter walked in ‘unobstructed’

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Texas officials say school shooter walked in 'unobstructed'

Texas Department of Public Safety South Regional Director Victor Escalon gives an update on the investigation into a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Thursday. Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE

Texas law enforcement officials on Thursday walked back their initial reports that a school resource officer confronted a gunman who killed 21 people at a Uvalde elementary school, saying instead the shooter entered “unobstructed” through an unlocked door.

The new information about the timeline of the mass shooting Tuesday at Robb Elementary School came during a news conference by local officials. Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director for the Department of Public Safety, said the gunman, whom police have identified as Salvador Ramos, apparently entered through an unlocked door.

“It was reported that a school district police officer confronted the suspect that was making entry. Not accurate,” Escalon said.

“He walked in unobstructed initially. So, from the grandmother’s house to the bar ditch, to the school, into the school, he was not confronted by anybody. To clear the record on that. Four minutes later, law enforcement are coming in to solve this problem.”

Escalon said Ramos shot and injured his 66-year-old grandmother at her home before driving to the school and crashing his vehicle in a bar ditch at 11:28 a.m. He exited the truck with a rifle and a bag with ammunition in it.

“He walks around, he sees two witnesses at the funeral home across the street from where he wrecked. He engages and fires toward them. He continues walking toward the school. He climbs a fence. Now he’s in the parking lot, shooting at the school. Multiple times,” Escalon said.

The gunman entered the school at 11:40 a.m. and began shooting. Earlier in the week, DPS said the shooter was shot at as he entered the school, then they said he was confronted. Now they say he entered what they believe to be an unlocked door on the west side of the building.

Escalon said officers with the Uvalde Police Department and the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department entered the school 4 minutes later and moved back after taking fire.

The DPS official said U.S. Border Patrol officers arrived “approximately an hour” later and killed Ramos.

Escalon said investigators were still working to determine exactly what happened and the gunman’s motive.

“We’re going to find out. With all the different agencies that are involved, we’re working every angle that’s available. We won’t stop until we get all the answers that we possibly can,” he said.

As law enforcement officials shed more light on the timeline of the shooting, some observers, including some Robb Elementary parents, have grown critical of the police response.

The Washington Post reported that one parent shared a video on Facebook showing family members pushing police to enter the school and attempting to go inside.

“The cops ain’t doing [expletive] but standing outside,” the person recording the video can be heard saying at the 11:55 a.m. timestamp, 15 minutes after the shooter entered the building.

In addition to the 19 students and two teachers killed in the massacre, at least six others were injured — Ramos’ grandmother, two other adults and three students.

University Health in San Antonio tweeted that a 10-year-old girl and 66-year-old woman were in serious condition, and a 10-year-old girl and a 9-year-old girl were in good condition.

Two adults being treated at Brooke Army Medical Center were in serious condition, a spokesman for the facility told CNN.

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