New photo captures heavily armed officers outside Uvalde’s classroom 46 minutes before shooting a gunman

New photo captures heavily armed officers outside Uvalde’s classroom 46 minutes before shooting a gunman

A newly released photo captured heavily armed law enforcement officers outside the classroom in Uvalde, a staggering 46 minutes before officers entered the room and shot the shooter dead.

The image, taken from surveillance video in the hallway of Robb Elementary School, shows at least four officers pointing long guns at the two adjacent classrooms where mass shooter Salvador Ramos was locked up with his victims.

The officers – who appear to be from multiple agencies – are outfitted in protective gear including helmets and body armor as they stand behind two ballistic shields.

The photo, obtained by the Texas Grandstandwas taken at 12:04 p.m. on May 24 – 46 minutes before officers from a Border Patrol unit finally entered the classroom at 12:50 p.m.

It is also 31 minutes after Ramos first entered the classroom at 11.33am and began unleashing a hail of gunfire on innocent students and staff.

And 28 minutes after the first officers arrived in the hallway of the school around 11:36 a.m. armed with rifles and pistols and wearing bulletproof vests.

The release of the photo comes as law enforcement continues to come under fire for their failed response to the mass shooting, with a state investigator describing their actions that day as a “dismal failure”.

In total, there was a 77-minute delay from when Ramos entered the school and began shooting victims and officers entering the classroom and shooting him dead.

Only nineteen students aged 9 to 11 and two heroic teachers were killed in the massacre.

This late response is said to have cost part of their lives, with a teacher dying in an ambulance on her way to hospital and three children succumbing to their injuries after arriving at hospital.

On Tuesday, Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS) Director Steve McCraw told a Texas Senate hearing that there were enough armed officers at the scene to arrest the shooter for just three minutes after the shooting started.

Image, taken from surveillance video in the hallway of Robb Elementary School, shows several officers pointing long guns at the two adjoining classrooms

(Texas Tribune)

But, instead, law enforcement waited another hour, 14 minutes and eight seconds as the on-scene commander, Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, did not respond. sent agents into the classroom.

“Three minutes after the subject entered the western corridor, there were a sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor, to isolate, distract and incapacitate the subject,” he said.

“The only thing stopping a corridor of dedicated officers from entering rooms 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander, who decided to put the lives of the officers before those of the children.

“The officers had weapons. The children had none. The officers had bulletproof vests. The children had none.

“The agents have undergone training. Subject had none.

Mr McCraw, who is leading a state investigation into the law enforcement response, said Chief Arredondo waited for radios, guns and keys rather than dispatching officers to the two adjoining classrooms where dying students and teachers waited to be rescued.

Chief Arredondo previously said much of the delay was due to him waiting for the keys to the classroom door.

This was disputed by Mr McCraw who said the investigation so far indicates the door was unlocked but surveillance footage reveals no officer tried the door handle to see if it was open.

Police officers stand outside a classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022, armed with rifles and a ballistic shield.

(Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, via Austin America-Statesman/KVUE Records Request)

Even though the door was locked, law enforcement had access within minutes to a crowbar tool that could have been used to pry the door open, he testified.

During a town council meeting on Tuesday evening, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin criticized Mr McCraw for his comments, pointing out that several DPS officers were also at the scene that day and that he was trying to divert the attention of his department.

He accused the TDPS chief of continuing to “lie, disclose, mislead or misrepresent information” in order to steer his own department away from the failed response.

Families and community members are increasingly frustrated by what they feel is obstruction by the authorities in the wake of the massacre, as official accounts and timelines increasingly change and demands disclosure of information have been blocked.

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