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Gunman was inside Uvalde, Texas elementary school for an hour, police say

Nineteen students and two adults were killed when a gunman opened fire inside a Uvalde elementary classroom Tuesday. The motive for the shooting is still unknown.

UVALDE, Texas — Law enforcement officials are still scrambling to piece together details surrounding the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.

On Thursday, Victor Escalon, a regional director at the Texas Department of Public Safety, spoke to the media to outline a timeline of events that occurred on Tuesday, May 24 at Robb Elementary School.

Key takeaways

  • The suspect, identified as Salvador Ramos, shot his grandmother in the face before heading to Robb Elementary School. The grandmother is still alive and is currently stable, police confirmed.
  • Ramos was never confronted by any school officers or employees upon entering the school building. He walked inside the building from the westside through an unlocked door, officials said.
  • The first 911 call was received at 11:30 a.m. It took police about four minutes to respond to the scene and make entry inside the school, police said. Police said the suspect shot at the officers who retreated back, took cover and called for additional resources.
  • It took border patrol agents and a tactical team an hour to arrive at the school and make entry, police said. Once they arrived, the suspect was shot and killed.

RELATED: Uvalde school mass shooting: What we know about the victims

Gunman inside school for over an hour

The amount of time the suspect was inside the school has stirred anger and questions among family members, who demanded to know why police did not storm the place and put a stop to the rampage more quickly.

Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Travis Considine said 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered Robb Elementary School and began his rampage at 11:40 a.m. Tuesday.

A Border Patrol tactical unit began trying to get inside an hour later, and at 12:58 p.m., radio chatter noted he was dead.

RELATED: Who was the gunman in the deadly Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde?

Gunman walked through unlocked door

Escalon said Ramos walked inside the school through a door that was apparently unlocked.

The school normally has an armed school safety officer. But when Ramos arrived on Tuesday, “there was not an officer, readily available, armed,” and the gunman entered the building ”unobstructed," Escalon said.

Ramos reportedly shot his grandmother before going to Robb Elementary School He wrecked his pickup truck near the school at about 11:28 a.m. Officials said he got out of the truck from the passenger side and according to witnesses, he had a rifle and a bag. Authorities later found out it was ammo inside the bag.

Officials said Ramos spotted the witnesses and fired toward them before walking to the school where he killed 19 students and two adults. Officials said according to reports and a video obtained from inside the school, Ramos fired multiple rounds inside the school before he made his way inside a fourth-grade classroom and barricaded himself.

School officer not on scene

Many families of the children who attended Robb Elementary wanted to know where the school officer was when the suspect freely walked inside the building.

Officials said the school officer was driving nearby but was not on campus when Ramos crashed his truck into a nearby ditch.

Investigators have concluded that the school officer was not positioned between the school and Ramos, leaving him unable to confront the shooter before he entered the building.

 

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