A teacher did not, as previously reported, leave a door open with a stone during the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas, last week, but closed it before the attacks began – only for the door does not lock automatically, Texas state investigators said.
The shooter used the door to enter, where he killed 19 students and two teachers.
The discovery, released by the Texas Department of Public Safety on Tuesday, contradicts an earlier account in which they said a teacher held the door open shortly before 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the building. . Law enforcement did not intervene in the attack for about an hour and 20 minutes.
Travis Considine, the department’s communications manager, said investigators determined the teacher, who has not been identified, held the door open with a rock but pulled it back, closing the door, when she came back inside to pick up her phone and call. 911 after the shooter crashed his truck on the elementary school campus.
The door, he said, was designed to lock when closed, but it didn’t. “We checked that she had closed the door. The door didn’t lock. We know a lot about it and now investigators are looking into why it didn’t lock,” Considine said.
“She came out while she was on the phone, she heard someone yelling, ‘He’s got a gun! Considine added.
San Antonio attorney Don Flanary told the San Antonio Express-News that the teacher “pushed the rock back when she came in. She remembers closing the door and telling 911 he was shooting.”
The account is presented as official accounts of the timeline of the staggered mass shooting in the days following the May 24 shooting. Investigators are still trying to interview Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, who took over the law enforcement response. He was sworn in to his post on Tuesday.
Steven McCraw, director of the security department, said Arredondo treated the scene as a hostage situation and not an active shooter situation. McCraw called it a “bad decision”.
The response to the mass shooting, the deadliest in more than a decade in the United States, is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice. The Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas (Cleat), which advocates for law enforcement in the state, urged officers to cooperate with “all government investigations.”
“There has been a lot of false and misleading information in the wake of this tragedy. Some of the information came from the highest levels of government and law enforcement,” Cleat said. “Sources that Texans once considered as foolproof and totally reliable have now been proven wrong.”
A timeline compiled by CNN shows 19 law enforcement officers were in the hallway outside the classroom where Ramos was locked up at 12:03 p.m. At 12:15 p.m., U.S. Marshals and the Border Patrol Tactical Unit, Bortac, were also outside the classroom.
Several students called 911 for help when gunshots were heard. It wasn’t until 12:50 p.m. that the Border Patrol broke in and killed Ramos. Investigators said they found 142 spent cartridges in the classroom.