During the attack on a Texas elementary school this week, students trapped in a classroom with a gunman called 911 repeatedly, including one who asked, "Please send police now," while officers waited in the hallway for over 45 minutes. Authorities said that Friday was their last day.
At a contentious news conference, Steven McCraw, head of Texas Department of Public Safety, stated that the commander on the scene in Uvalde, the police chief for the school district, believed that Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old gunman, was barricaded within Robb Elementary School's adjoining classrooms.
He said, "It was a wrong decision."
After three days of providing inconsistent and incomplete information over the 90 minutes between Ramos' entry into the school and the moment U.S. Border Patrol agents opened the classroom door and shot Ramos, Friday's briefing was held.
McCraw stated that when the border agents entered the room, McCraw reported that there were 19 officers outside.
Ramos stabbed 19 children and two teachers in the room. Authorities said that his motives were not clear.
McCraw stated that there was a brief barrage of gunfire just after Ramos entered the classroom, where officers ultimately killed him. However, those shots were only "sporadic" for most of the 48 minutes officers waited in the hallway. McCraw said that investigators are not able to determine if any children were killed during this time.
Teachers and children called 911 repeatedly throughout the attack asking for help. McCraw also said that the little girl pleaded with the police.
Over the time it took for officers to enter the school and confront the gunman, questions have risen.
Ramos' Ford pickup crashed into a ditch behind the Texas school at 11:28 am Tuesday. The driver then jumped out of the truck carrying an AR-15-style rifle. Authorities said that Ramos entered the school five minutes later and made his way to the fourth-grade classroom, where he killed 21 of the victims.
However, it wasn't until 12:58 p.m. when law enforcement radio chatter claimed Ramos had been murdered and that the siege was over.
The events that took place in the 90-minute period in a working class neighborhood near Uvalde have sparked public anger and increased scrutiny of law enforcement's response Tuesday's rampage.
Javier Cazares said that they claimed to have rushed in after Jacklyn Cazares was killed in the attack. He raced to school as the tragedy unfolded. "We didn’t see that."
McCraw's new timeline shows that Ramos crashed his truck and fired on two people who were coming out of a funeral home nearby, according to officials.
Contrary to previous statements made by officials, Ramos was not met by a school district officer when he arrived at the school. McCraw stated that the officer responded and drove by Ramos who was sitting in a car outside firing at it.
McCraw stated that Ramos entered the school at 11:33 p.m. through a rear entrance that had been propped open. He fired more than 100 rounds into two classrooms. McCraw did not explain why the rear door had been propped open.