The father of one of the victims of the Texas school massacre wanted to storm the building because police officers were waiting outside and not “doing anything like they were supposed to do”.
Officials have admitted that 18-year-old Salvador Ramos was at the school for up to an hour, during which time he murdered 21 people including 19 children and two teachers.
The revelation of how long it took to subdue Ramos comes as the town of Uvalde gathers to remember victim of the Robb elementary school massacre – America’s worst school shooting in nearly a decade.
17 people were also injured in the attack.
Javier Cazares, whose fourth grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, said he ran to the school when he heard about the shooting, arriving while police were still crowded outside the court. home.
He said he came up with the idea of charging the school with some outsiders. “Just rush in because the police don’t do anything like they’re supposed to,” he said. “More could have been done.”
“They were not prepared,” he added.
Juan Carranza, a witness who lives across the street from the school, said the women shouted at officers, “Get in there! Get in there!” after the attack began, and said officers did not enter.
Mr Carranza saw the gunman crash his truck into a ditch outside the school and take a rifle.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said at a news conference that the gunman was at the facility for 40 minutes to an hour before forcibly law enforcement arrived and killed him.
“It’s going to be within, like 40 minutes or something, within an hour,” he said.
Authorities say the gunman locked a classroom door when he entered and opened fire.
A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said Border Patrol agents had difficulty breaking into the classroom door and had to ask an officer to open the room with a key.
Ramos shot his grandmother in the face before going to Robb Elementary School. She remains in critical condition at the hospital.
Tears and prayers
As darkness fell in Uvalde on Wednesday night, families and individuals gathered to pay their respects to the victims, all in one classroom and including children under the age of 10.
Pastors lead prayers as crowds hold remains of those who have died.
Victims’ families hugged each other as members of the community sang hymns.
The gunman’s message before the attack was revealed
Since the attack, Ramos has sent a series of private messages to a Facebook contact where he said he would “kill” his grandmother and “shoot an elementary school”.
Officials also said the gunman’s grandmother was the one who alerted the police.
A series of posts appeared on Instagram and TikTok in the days leading up to the shooting including a selfie of the gunman in front of a mirror.
Instagram has confirmed that it is working with law enforcement to look into an account that appears to belong to the gunman.
During the mass shooting, Ramos wore body armor and wielded a DDM4 rifle, a semi-automatic weapon modeled after the US military carbine.
It can be purchased under a financing arrangement for under $100 (£80) per month.
Reigniting row on gun control
The violent attack has sparked fierce debates about US gun laws and lobbying.
Our President Joe Biden asked: “When to stand up in the gun corridor?” and called for new restrictions on firearms.
After the shooting, Texas Governor Greg Abbott faced fierce criticism from opponents for his stance on guns, in a state with some of the most relaxed firearm regulations. in U.S.A.
The annual meeting of the National Rifle Association (NRA) begins Friday in the state city of Houston, where Republicans including Mr Abbott, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and former President Donald Trump are all scheduled to speak.
The NRA called the shooting “the act of a lone, deranged criminal” and confirmed that it was continuing its event despite the massacre.
In a press conference where Mr Abbott blamed the shooting on a “mental health crisis”. In the community, Democratic politician Beto O’Rourke, interrupted and shouted:
“You did nothing to stop this.
“This was completely predictable.”