Meghan Markle heads to Uvalde to lay white roses at Texas school shooting memorial

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Meghan Markle made a surprise visit to Texas on Thursday to pay tribute to the 21 victims killed at an elementary school in Uvalde.

The Duchess of Sussex, who lives in California with her husband Prince Harry and their two children, was spotted laying a bouquet of white roses in memory of the victims shot dead at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday.

The 40-year-old kept a low profile in jeans, a white T-shirt and a denim baseball cap.

The former American actress ignored reporters’ questions as she placed the roses tied with a purple ribbon for 10-year-old Uziyah Garcia, one of the victims of the attack. Markle was accompanied by a bodyguard believed to be Alberto Alvarez. Alvarez was with Michael Jackson the night Jackson died in June 2009 at the age of 50.

TIM MCGRAW, CHRIS PRATT AND SELENA GOMEZ MAJOR STARS SPEAK ABOUT SCHOOL SHOOTING IN TEXAS

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, places flowers as she mourns at a memorial outside the Uvalde County Courthouse in Uvalde, Texas on May 26, 2022.
(Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)

Law enforcement officials faced growing questions and anger over the time that passed before they stormed the school and ended the rampage that left 19 children and two dead teachers.

The shooter, identified as Salvador Ramos, safely entered the school through an unlocked door, a law enforcement official said Thursday. The 18-year-old was apparently inside the building for at least 45 minutes before Border Patrol agents stormed a classroom and killed him, according to the timeline given by regional manager Victor Escalon from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The school normally has an armed school security guard. But when Ramos arrived on Tuesday, “there was no officer, readily available, armed,” and the shooter entered the building “unmolested,” Escalon said.

Many other details of the case and the police response remained unclear. The motive for the massacre, the deadliest school shooting in the country since Newtown, Connecticut a decade ago, remains under investigation, with authorities saying Ramos had no criminal history or of known mental health.

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Meghan Markle lives in California with her husband Prince Harry and their two children.
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Meghan Markle lives in California with her husband Prince Harry and their two children.
(Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)

A department spokesperson said authorities are still working to clarify the timeline of the attack, unclear whether that 40-minute to one-hour period began when the shooter arrived at school or earlier. when he shot his grandmother at home.

Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz did not give a timeline but said repeatedly that his agency’s tactical officers who arrived at the school did not hesitate. He said they moved quickly to enter the building, lining up in a “stack” behind a shield-wielding officer.

“What we wanted to make sure was to act fast – to act fast – and that’s exactly what these officers did,” Ortiz told Fox News.

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Meghan Markle ignored questions from reporters during her visit to the memorial.

Meghan Markle ignored questions from reporters during her visit to the memorial.
(Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

But a law enforcement official said once inside the building, Border Patrol agents had difficulty breaking into the classroom door and had to ask a staff member to open the room with a key. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

Olivarez said investigators are trying to establish whether the classroom was locked or barricaded in some way.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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