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Texas officials said on Thursday afternoon that the alleged school shooter was inside Uvalde Elementary School for one hour before being taken down by a U.S. Border Patrol tactical team member and is believed to have entered the school unobstructed without confronting a school resource officer, as previous statements suggested.
Victor Escalon, Texas Department of Public Safety regional director for South Texas said Thursday that Salvador Ramos, the alleged school shooter, was inside for one hour before being shot and killed. Ramos allegedly killed 19 students and two teachers during the shooting on Tuesday.
Escalon also said that the officers who first arrived on the scene did not make entry initially because of the “gunfire they’re receiving,” adding that the U.S. Border Patrol tactical teams arrived one hour later.
“Approximately an hour later, U.S. Border Patrol tactical teams arrive. They make entry, shoot and kill the suspect,” Escalon said.
Stephanie and Michael Chavez of San Antonio pay their respects at a makeshift memorial outside Robb Elementary School, the site of a mass shooting, in Uvalde, Texas, U.S., May 25, 2022. (Reuters/Nuri Vallbona)
The Texas Department of Public Safety also said that Ramos entered the school “undisrupted” without being confronted by a school district police officer after crashing his vehicle, and also entered through a door that appears to have been unlocked.
“It was reported that a school district police officer confronted the suspect who was making entry, not accurate. He walked in undisrupted initially. So from the grandmother’s house to the party to the school into the school, he was not confronted by anybody,” Escalon said. “Right now it appears [the door] was unlocked.”
He added that there was not a school resource officer readily available on-campus that was armed.
Escalon said that the door appears to have been unlocked, but signaled that he isn’t certain of that yet.
A woman cries as she leave the Uvalde Civic Center following a shooting earlier in the day at Robb Elementary School, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)
Ramos also fired several shots at the school while he was in the parking lot walking toward the school, according to Escalon, who added that Ramos engaged in gunfire toward witnesses at a funeral home.
The alleged shooter then walked into the school at 11:40 a.m. and took a right after walking down a hallway, entering a classroom with doors open, Escalon said.
Local police officers were in the school four minutes later, according to Escalon, where they took rounds of gunfire and took cover.
Escalon said that the “majority of the gunfire” was in the beginning of the incident.
People leave the Uvalde Civic Center following a shooting earlier in the day at Robb Elementary School, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)
His comments come amid new video being released showing witnesses outside of the elementary school on Tuesday begging police officers to enter the school.
“Go in there! Go in there!” one woman yelled at police officers, according to Juan Carranza, 24.
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Billy Calzada/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)
Javier Cazares went to the school after learning of the shooting since his daughter attended school there, and said that the police officers were staying outside.
His daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, died in the shooting.
Cazares suggested at one point that a group of people “rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to. More could have been done. They were unprepared.”
Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report.