The father of one of the victims of the Texas school massacre wanted to rush into the building because the police were waiting outside and “not doing anything like they’re supposed to”.
Authorities admitted that 18-year-old Salvador Ramos stayed at school for an hour, during which he murdered 21 people, including 19 children and two teachers.
The revelation about how long it took to subdue Ramos came as the town of Uvalde gathered for a vigil to remember the victims of the Robb Elementary School massacre – the worst shooting in an American school in nearly a decade.
Seventeen people were also injured in the attack.
Live Updates: Gunman’s Mom Says She Didn’t See Attack Coming
Javier Cazares, whose fourth grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, said he rushed to school when he heard about the shooting, arriving as police were still massed outside the building.
He said he broached the idea of charging into the school with several other passers-by. “Let’s go fast because the cops aren’t doing anything like they’re supposed to,” he said. “More could have been done.”
“They weren’t prepared,” he added.
Juan Carranza, a witness who lives opposite the school, said women shouted at the police: “Go ahead! Go!” after the attack began, and said officers did not enter.
Mr. Carranza had seen the shooter crash his truck into a ditch outside the school and grab a gun.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw told a news conference the shooter was at the scene between 40 minutes and an hour before law enforcement forced their way in and don’t kill him.
He said, “It’ll be in, like 40 minutes or something, an hour.”
Authorities say the shooter locked the door to a classroom once inside and began shooting.
A law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation said Border Patrol agents had difficulty opening the door to the classroom and had to ask a staff member to open the room with a key.
Ramos had shot his grandmother in the face before going to Robb Primary School. She is still in critical condition in the hospital.
Tears and prayers
As darkness fell in Uvalde on Wednesday evening, families and individuals gathered to pay their respects to the victims, all of whom were in a classroom and included children under the age of 10.
Pastors led prayers as the crowd held up pictures of those who died.
Families of the victims hugged as community members sang hymns.
Shooter’s messages before attack revealed
Since the attack, it has emerged that Ramos had sent a series of private messages to a Facebook contact where he said he would ‘kill’ his grandmother and ‘kill an elementary school’.
Officials also said the shooter’s grandmother was the person who alerted the police.
A series of posts appeared on Instagram and TikTok in the days leading up to the shooting, including a selfie of the shooter in front of a mirror.
Instagram has confirmed that it is working with law enforcement to review an account that appears to belong to the shooter.
During the mass shooting, Ramos wore an armored vest and used a DDM4 rifle, a semi-automatic weapon inspired by the US Army carbine.
It can be purchased as part of a finance deal for less than $100 (£80) a month.
What we know so far about the Texas shooter
Why changes to US gun laws are doomed
Sorrow, love, kindness and anger over the latest massacre
Rekindle the rows on gun control
The violent attack has reignited fierce debates over US gun laws and the gun lobby.
The American President Joe Biden asked: “When will he stand up to the gun lobby?” and called for new gun restrictions.
In the wake of the shooting, Texas Governor Greg Abbott faced heavy criticism from rivals over his stance on guns, in a state that enforces some of the gun rules. the most relaxed in the United States.
The annual meeting of the National Rifle Association (NRA) begins Friday in the city of Houston, where Republicans including Mr. Abbott, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and former President Donald Trump are all scheduled to speak.
The NRA called the shooting “an act of a lone, deranged criminal” and confirmed it was continuing with its event despite the massacre.
At a press conference, where Mr Abott blamed the shooting on a ‘mental health crisis’ in the community, Democratic politician Beto O’Rourke, interrupted and shouted:
“You’re not doing anything to stop this.
“It’s totally predictable.”
You Can Read Also