A Texas public safety officer has questioned the police response timeline to a mass shooting at Rob Elementary School that killed 19 children and two teachers.
Victor Escalon, regional director of the Department of Public Safety in South Texas, told reporters that they were still trying to determine why tactical teams took an hour to arrive at the scene and back up the local police who initially arrived at the school and met with them. Through gunfire.
Escalon added that a school resource officer, despite earlier reports, did not encounter the shooter outside the building and entered the school through an open door. The gunman “did not encounter anyone,” he said.
Escalon said that at 11:28 a.m. Tuesday, the gunman shot his grandmother in the face, smashed his car and then jumped off the side of the passenger in his truck.
According to eyewitnesses, he had a long-range rifle and a bag. We found out later that it was ammunition, “said Escalon.
He said the gunman then shot two eyewitnesses at a funeral home across the street from where he smashed the car. He then started walking towards the school, climbed a walk and shot at the school more than once.
At about 11:40 a.m., Escalon said, the gunman walked west of the school and fired multiple shots.
Four minutes later, he said, the police department and the Independent School District Police Department came in and went inside.
“They hear gunshots, they round up, they move back and get cover,” he said. He said the gunman entered a classroom whose door was “open in the middle.”
“Officers were unable to enter the classroom because of the gun shells they received, and they called for a backup,” Escalan said.
He said about an hour later the US border patrol strategic team arrived. They entered and shot the suspect.
Escalon acknowledged that the information was still incomplete, but said that they were still investigating.
“Can you explain how he was barricaded and why you [could not] Breaking that door? We’ve got a lot of bad information. So why aren’t you clearing this up now and explaining to us that your officers who have been there for over an hour are, yes, rescuing people, but no one has been able to get into that room? “
“We want to answer all your questions,” Escalon said. “Give us time.”
After the press conference, Matt Gutman of ABC News said in a broadcast that “the timeline remains unclear.”
Noting that the gunman had been at school for hours or more before the shooting, Gutman said, “This is a very long story, and it makes you understand why this investigation is so complicated at the moment.”