ULVADE, Texas – Officials said Friday that the Border Patrol tactical team that arrived at Rob Elementary School was kept from entering the school by local law enforcement.
The on-site commander believed the gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was barricaded in a classroom during the attack and that the children were not at risk, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said at a news conference Friday.
“He was convinced at the time that there was no more threat to the children and that the subject was barricaded and that they had time to organize” to get into the classroom, McCraw said.
McCraw later said it was “the wrong decision” to wait to breach the classrooms.
“Obviously, based on the information we have, there were children in that classroom that were still at risk. From the benefit of hindsight where I’m sitting now, of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. Period,” McCraw said.
According to the New York Times, the federal agents arrived at the school around noon but did not breach the classrooms until at least 30 minutes later.
The incident commander reportedly told Border Patrol agents to hold back from engaging Ramos believing that the children were not at risk.
Around 11:30 a.m. on May 24, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos slammed a Ford pickup into a ditch near Robb Elementary School. Twelve minutes later, authorities said he was in the hallways of the school. He then entered a fourth-grade classroom and killed 19 schoolchildren and two teachers.
At 12:58 p.m., law enforcement radio chatter said Ramos had been killed and the siege was over.
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