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A negotiator stationed at a funeral home near Robb Elementary as the Uvalde school shooting was unfolding was trying “every number they could find” to reach gunman Salvador Ramos, the city’s mayor has revealed.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, in an interview with The Washington Post, said the negotiator ultimately was unable to make contact with the 18-year-old, who killed 19 students and two teachers in the attack.
“His main goal was to try to get this person on the phone,” McLaughlin said. “They tried every number they could find.”
The mayor told The Washington Post that he doesn’t believe the negotiator was aware that there were children calling 911 from inside the classroom that Ramos entered, asking police for help.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, second from left, speaks with Texas Department of Public Safety troopers outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Wednesday, May 25. (Jerry Lara/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)
McLaughlin reportedly encountered the negotiator at Hillcrest Funeral Home across the street from Robb Elementary.
A woman visits at a memorial at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Wednesday, June 1, to pay her respects to the victims killed in last week’s school shooting. (AP/Jae C. Hong)
He said he rushed to the facility about 15 minutes after receiving “the first call” about Ramos crashing his truck near the school.
McLaughlin also told the newspaper that he can’t imagine the school returning to the way it was.
Pallbearers carry the casket of Jose Flores Jr., 10, after a funeral service at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Wednesday, June 1, in Uvalde, Texas. Flores was killed in last week’s elementary school shooting. (AP/Eric Gay)
“I hope we tear it down to the ground,” he said. “I would never expect a teacher, a student, anyone to go walk back in that building.”