The Texas elementary school shooter also fired at witnesses across the street from his vehicle before heading to the Robb Elementary campus in Uvalde, Texas, according to Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director for the Department of Public Safety.
“At 11:28 a.m. [local time,] he’s sitting there at the ditch” where he crashed his vehicle, Escalon detailed at a news briefing Thursday as he provided a timeline of events. “He jumps out the passenger side of his truck. According to witnesses, he’s got a long arm rifle and a bag. Later we find out it’s ammunition.”
“He walks around, he sees two witnesses at the funeral home across the street from where he wrecked [his vehicle]. He engages and fires towards them. He continues walking towards the school. He climbs a fence. Now he’s in the parking lot, shooting at the school. Multiple times,” he added.
At 11:40 a.m. local time, the shooter walked into the west side of Robb Elementary School and shot multiple rounds, Escalon continued.
The Texas Department of Public Safety official said the gunman was not confronted by a school resource officer outside the school, and apparently entered an unlocked door. The same law enforcement agency previously said an officer had “engaged” him.
“Four minutes later, local police departments, Uvalde Police Department, the Independent School District Police Department are inside, making entry. They hear gunfire, they take rounds, they move back, get cover. And during that time, they approach where the suspect is at,” Escalon explained.
“According to the information I have, he went in at 11:40, he walks approximate 20 feet, 30 feet, he makes a right and walks into the hallway, he makes a right, walks another 20 feet, turns left into a schoolroom – into a classroom and that has doors opened in the middle,” Escalon says.
These officers were not able to make entry initially, Escalon said, “because of the gunfire they’re receiving.” They called for backup and additional resources, while the evacuation of children and teachers in other classrooms was underway, he added.
“Approximately an hour later, US Border patrol tactical teams arrive,” Escalon continued. “They make entry. Shoot and kill the suspect.”
A Zavala county deputy and members of the Uvalde Police Department also made entry into the classroom, Escalon said, and also shot the suspect.
The scene of the shooting then immediately turned into a “rescue operation,” Escalon said.
“How do we save these children? Some made it out — we don’t have a hard number yet but that was our goal,” he said.