An 18-year-old gunman shot and killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday, the deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in which 20 children and six adults were killed in Newtown, Connecticut.
The shooting took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, about 85 miles west of San Antonio. The gunman, who barricaded himself in a fourth grade classroom, was killed by police. Seventeen people were injured.
Details continue to emerge about the day of the shooting, including new accounts of how long the gunman was in the building, the time it took police to respond, and how the gunman was killed.
The gunman entered the school at 11:33 a.m. Police had about 19 officers in the school at about 12:03 p.m. but did not enter the classroom where the shooter was located and kill him until 12:50 p.m., said Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, in a news conference Friday.
Law enforcement practice is to stop active shooters as soon as possible, to prevent loss of life. Texas officials are reviewing the delay.
McCraw said the on-scene commander "at the time believed the situation had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject."
Barricaded individuals are considered less of a threat than an active shooter, which is someone "actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people," according to the FBI.
A barricaded individual "has taken a position in a physical location that does not allow immediate law enforcement access, and is refusing law enforcement orders to exit," says the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
McCraw said the commander believed that children were not at risk and there was time to "wait for a tactical team with the equipment to breach the door."
Though he wasn't on the scene, McCraw said, "Of course it was not the right decision."
The Texas gunman was identified as Salvador Rolando Ramos, who attended high school in Uvalde. It's believed he acted alone, said Pete Arredondo, police chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. Officials have not revealed a motive.
- Read more: What we know about the shooter.
- Past school shootings: Uvalde is one of many.
- Town in mourning: A list of victims.
Uvalde is a Latino community with a population of about 16,000. The elementary school has 535 students in the second, third and fourth grades.
Here is what we know about the events leading to the shooting and the incident (all times local):
A day after his 18th birthday, the gunman legally buys an AR-style rifle from Oasis Outback, a federally-licensed gun dealer in Uvalde, according to a state police briefing given to state Sen. John Whitmire, D-District 15.
The gunman buys 375 rounds of ammunition, the Associated Press reports.
The gunman buys a second rifle.
The gunman posts a photo of two AR-style rifles on Instagram, CNN reports. The image is later taken down.
"We do know that the shooter was involved in a domestic disturbance with his grandmother prior to the shooting at the school," Lt. Chris Olivarez, with the Texas Department of Public Safety, told NBC's Today show. "He did shoot his grandmother at that point."
A neighbor, Gilbert Gallegos, 82, said he was in his yard across the street and heard the shots, AP reported. The gunman got into a truck and sped away and the grandmother, 66, came out of the house covered in blood. She had been shot in the face.
The grandmother was airlifted to a San Antonio hospital, said Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Erick Estrada.
- 11 a.m. "I'm going to shoot my grandmother."
- "I shot my grandmother."
- 11:15 a.m. "I'm going to shoot an elementary school."
The last message is sent about 15 minutes before the gunman arrives at the school.
Abbott described the messages as posts, but a spokesperson for Meta, parent company of Facebook, said they were “private one-to-one text messages,” not posts on Facebook. It was later reported the gunman sent the messages to a 15-year-old girl in Germany, someone he'd met on Yubo, a social video live-streaming app.
After the gunman drives away from his grandmother's home, Uvalde police are alerted to a vehicle crash near the school. The caller says an armed individual is making his way into the building after jumping a fence.
Juan Carranza, 24, who lives across the street from the school, said he saw the gunman crash his truck into a culvert and use an AR-15-style rifle to shoot at two workers outside a nearby funeral home. The two escaped uninjured.
McCraw described the gunman's movements and police response in a news conference Friday:
The gunman fires multiple shots at the school building while approaching an entrance.
The gunman enters the school through an unlocked door, believed to have been left open by a teacher, on the west side and begins shooting into classroom 111 or 112, McCraw says. The two classrooms are connected.
"We know he shot more than 100 rounds, based on audio evidence," McCraw says.
Three Uvalde police officers enter the building using the same door as the gunman. They are followed by three more Uvalde officers and a county sheriff's deputy for a total of seven officers on the scene.
The first three officers approach the classroom door. The gunman fires through the closed door, grazing two officers. They are forced to withdraw.
Within the space of a few minutes, the gunman fires an estimated 16 rounds.
As the shooter opens fire, the Washington Post reports, children crawl through windows and hide in a nearby funeral home to escape.
A police sergeant and other officers begin to arrive.
The first 911 call from inside the school is received from a female child in Room 112. The call lasts 1 minute, 23 seconds.
As many as 19 officers are in the school hallway.
The child calls 911 again from Room 112 and says there are multiple dead.
The child calls 911 again from Room 112.
Members of a special Border Patrol Tactical Unit known as BORTAC who have heard about the shootings on police radio, arrive at the school. They carry ballistic shields as protection.
The child calls 911 again from Room 112 and says there are 8 to 9 students alive.
The Uvalde school district reports on Twitter: "There is an active shooter at Robb Elementary. Law enforcement is on site. Your cooperation is needed at this time by not visiting the campus. As soon as more information is gathered it will be shared. The rest of the district is under a Secure Status."
A child calls 911 from Room 111. Another student tells her to hang up and she does.
The gunman fires again and is believed to be at the door.
Law enforcement officers begin moving down the hallway.
The child from Room 112 calls 911 back; she is told to stay on the line and to stay quiet. She says the gunman shot the door.
A reunification site is set up at Willie DeLeon Civic Center in Uvalde to let parents pick up their children.
The child from Room 112 asks 911 "to please send police now."
Javier Cazares, whose daughter Jacklyn was killed in the attack, said he arrived while other police were outside the building. Upset that police were not moving in, he suggested charging into the school with several other bystanders, USA TODAY said.
Parents shouted at police to enter the school. One video showed a man breaking through police tape and yelling at officers.
Another posted on YouTube showed officers restraining at least one adult, Reuters said.
The child from Room 112 says she can hear police next door.
The child from Room 112 again asks 911 "to send police now."
Officers open the door using keys obtained from a janitor. It's believed the gunman locked the door. Officers enter and kill the gunman.
Shots are heard in the 911 call.
The child in Room 112 is still on the 911 call. Police are moving children out of the room. The student who called is outside the building when the call cuts off.
The Uvalde Police Department says on Facebook that the gunman is "in custody." Police recover 60 magazines of ammunition belonging to the gunman.
University Health, a San Antonio hospital, tweets: "We have received two patients from the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, one child and one adult. They are currently being evaluated so we don’t have a condition to release at this time."
Uvalde Memorial Hospital says on Facebook that said it had "received 13 children via ambulance or buses for treatment. Two children have been transferred to San Antonio and one child is pending transfer."
In a news conference, Abbott identifies the gunman.
University Health tweets: "Update on the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde: at University Hospital, one patient, a 66-year-old woman, is in critical condition. The other patient is a 10-year-old girl, also in critical condition."
Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio is treating two adult victims of the shooting, according to a tweet by an Army official. Their conditions were not available.
Abbott tweets: "Cecilia & I mourn this horrific loss & urge all Texans to come together. I've instructed the Texas Department of Public Safety & Texas Rangers to work with local law enforcement to fully investigate this crime.
In response to the shooting, President Joe Biden calls on lawmakers to “stand up to the gun lobby” and take action.
4:10 a.m. Wednesday
Parents tell CNN they had to give DNA samples to assist authorities in identifying children.
Texas officials are examining law enforcement's response to the shooting.
CONTRIBUTING Jim Sergent, USA TODAY
SOURCE USA TODAY Network reporting and research; Associated Press
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