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Police accused of delay in school shooting

AmericaRelatives and witnesses to the Robb Elementary School shooting say police at the scene did not act soon to stop the gunman.

Javier Cazares of Uvalde City, Texas, on May 24, heard the news of a shooting at Robb Elementary School, where his daughter, Jackie Cazares, 10, attends. When Cazares arrived, the police were still gathered outside.

Cazares was impatient, worried when the police did not come in, so he wanted to join the other citizens to break into the school. “Have to rush in there because the police didn’t do anything. They should have done more,” he told those around him.

“There are at least 40 policemen armed to the teeth but do nothing until it’s too late,” Cazares told reporters on May 25.

Police at the scene of the shooting at Robb Elementary School, Uvalde City, Texas, USA on May 24.  Photo: AP.

Police at the scene of the shooting at Robb Elementary School, Uvalde City, Texas, USA on May 24. Image: AP.

Juan Carranza, 24, a witness who lives across the street from the school, said residents at the scene begged police officers standing outside the school to do something when gunshots rang out inside the building.

Nearby women shouted to the police, “Get in there! Get in there!”, Carranza recalls.

Local police, state police and 80 Border Patrol agents were at the scene. Four Border Patrol agents entered the school and shot and killed the suspect, Salvador Ramos, according to a Customs and Border Protection official.

Carranza thinks the police should rush into the school faster. “There are many policemen, while the gunman only has one,” he said.

The head of the US Border Patrol, Raul Ortiz, said in an interview on May 25 that as soon as the Border Patrol agent arrived, “they didn’t hesitate.” “They didn’t hesitate, quickly came up with a plan, burst into the classroom and handled the situation as quickly as they could,” Ortiz said.

Carranza watched as Ramos crashed his pickup truck into a ditch outside the school, pulled out an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle and opened fire on two people outside a nearby funeral home, but missed.

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety said the suspect shot a school district security officer, ran into the school and shot two Uvalde officers. All three of them were injured.

Ramos then burst into a classroom, locked the door, and opened fire on the teacher and students in the class. The attack killed 19 students and two teachers.

Department of Public Safety Superintendent Steve McCraw said it took “40 minutes or so” from when the 18-year-old suspect opened fire on district security until Border Patrol shot him dead. An official, who asked not to be named, said agents struggled to break down the classroom door and had to ask a school employee to open the door with a key.

According to Cazares, the police are clearly unprepared and they need better tactical training. “The situation could have ended quickly if they had had better tactical training, we’ve seen this firsthand,” he said, adding that 18-year-olds like the one who shot his daughter dead. Shouldn’t have been allowed to buy guns.

“I have a gun too and I don’t blame gun ownership for this tragedy. I am angry that they are letting young people buy guns so easily.”

Huyen Le (According to ABC, CNN, NY Post)

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