A Detailed Timeline of the Uvalde School Shooting at Robb Elementary School
Our team travelled to Uvalde, Texas on Friday afternoon upon confirmation that the massacre in Uvalde could have been prevented at multiple periods throughout the morning of May 24, 2022. There would not have been as much bloodshed had officers taken appropriate measures to stop the active shooter in his tracks.
Events That Led Up To The Shooting At Robb Elementary School
Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at approximately 11:00 a.m., Salvador Ramos went to his grandmother's home about half a mile from Robb Elementary School. He shot his grandmother in the head. His grandmother then went outside to find help from a neighbor. Ramos then fled the scene in a Ford pickup truck.
At 11:28 a.m., Ramos crashed the truck into an embankment and fence next to Robb Elementary School. At least two witnesses saw him emerge from the truck armed with an AR-15 and carrying a bag, which was later determined to be fully stocked with ammo. According to witnesses of the crash, two police officers saw Ramos crash into the fence and emerge armed with a weapon. Officers did not detain him at that time, nor question him.
Armed Shooter’s Entry Into Robb Elementary
Ramos then shot at two witnesses at the funeral home across the street from Robb Elementary. He continued shooting as he jumped a fence into Robb Elementary School and ran toward the building. Bystanders immediately dialed 911. Witnesses saw Ramos engage in shooting with an on-campus police officer -- although there are various accounts of this fact. Over the course of the next few minutes, the school was placed on lockdown.
Ramos entered the school through a door that was left unlocked. Further investigation is needed to determine why this door, usually locked, was not locked that morning.
Timeline of the Shootings and Activity Inside the School
At 11:33 a.m., Ramos charged into Rooms 111 and 112, adjoining classrooms. He instantly fired over one hundred rounds of ammunition.
At 11:35 a.m., police officers arrived at the school. Police officers engaged in gunfire with Ramos from the hallway in the school. Officers were grazed by the bullets.
Over the next half hour, more officers arrived at the scene. Parents also began to receive news that there was an emergency at the school, and had begun flocking to the school to see if their children were in danger. As many as 19 officers were confirmed to be standing in the hallways of the school. Some officers helped students and staff vacate the school. Witnesses also stated that some officers went in specifically to pull their own children out of school.
At 12:03 p.m., a student in the classrooms the shooter was in dialed 911. The same student called at least three times over the course of the incident, saying she was in the room with the gunman, there were still survivors, and estimated 8 or 9 deceased victims in the room.
At 12:10 p.m., U.S. Marshals arrived on scene.
At 12:17 p.m., Border Patrol's tactical team, BORTAC arrived at the school.
Over the next twenty minutes, more calls were made to 911 from inside the classrooms where the shooter was, and the callers were imploring that they send assistance.
At 12:43 p.m., the initial student who dialed 911 in the classrooms begged emergency personnel to, "Please send the police now."
At 12:47 p.m., the student called again, stating that she could hear officers outside the classroom. She reiterated her pleas for immediate assistance.
Officers, Parents, & Civilians Gathered Outside of the School
Meanwhile, parents and neighbors gathered outside of the school. They implored officers to go in and find the shooter. Parents' accounts state that they actively heard gunfire in the school, which added to their panic knowing their children were in danger. Unfortunately, several parents later confirmed they were on scene at the time that their child was shot and killed by the shooter--a parent's worst nightmare made even worse by the fact that they were on scene and could not do anything to help.
Parents and civilians continued to urge officers to enter the school and classroom where the gunman was. Sensing the urgency of the situation, many parents and neighbors even offered to enter themselves, either with their own firearms or with firearms borrowed from officers on the scene if officers were willing to loan them some. Rather than listen to their pleas, police officers handcuffed at least two parents for "obstructing the investigation". Witnesses also stated that some parents and civilians were pepper sprayed, although to date no victims have stepped forward to confirm this.
At 12:50 p.m., border patrol agents asked a janitor to unlock the door to the classroom where the gunman was . The janitor complied, and border patrol agents shot and killed Salvador Ramos. Surviving children were then escorted out of the classroom.
Subsequent Statement by the Texas State Director of Public Safety
On May 27, 2022, Texas State Director of Public Safety, Steven McGraw, made a statement regarding the massacre at Robb Elementary School. In that statement, McGraw confirmed that police officers did not follow proper protocol in response to an active shooter, saying, “It was the wrong decision, period. There is no excuse for that. But again, I wasn't there. I'm just telling you, from what we know, we believe there should have been an entry as soon as you can.” He also confirmed that active shooter training is common practice in Texas and in the Uvalde Police Department.
Out of respect to the families who lost their children in this tragic accident, we have omitted the names of the parents who were on the scene at the time of the shooting, and the names of the 19 children and 2 teachers who lost their lives in this massacre. We also omitted the names of witnesses and surviving victims who have made statements in the aftermath in the days that followed.
Our Visit to Uvalde
Members of our firm spent a few days in Uvalde to assist the community in any way they could. They spoke with community members, visited the scenes where chaos ensued in Uvalde, and paid their respects at the various memorials set up by the community for the victims. While in Uvalde, investigations confirmed that emergency personnel took one hour and seventeen minutes to enter the classrooms, despite the repetitive 911 calls made that confirmed there were surviving children in the classrooms actively being shot at.
After our visit to the scene of this tragedy, it is clear to us that there are questions that remain unanswered. Once Ramos shot his grandmother, fled, and caused an accident, why was he not apprehended? Did officers in fact observe Ramos emerge armed with a weapon? If so, why was he not stopped in his tracks? Where was the on-campus officer at the time Ramos entered school property? Why did officers fail to force entry sooner? Were 911 operators in communication with the police department to confirm there were still victims alive in the same room as the shooter? At Lawyers for the Injured, we are determined to find the answers to these questions.
Our law firm has a longstanding history of finding answers to unanswered questions and to bring justice to the victims and their families. While nothing will bring back the lives that were tragically lost; we firmly believe that parties must be held responsible for their negligence in letting this massacre go on for over one hour. It is inexcusable that agencies were ill-equipped to quickly respond to an active shooter on a school campus. Two teachers lost their lives protecting their students and demonstrated more bravery than officers trained to respond to emergencies like this.
Surviving victims, their families, and families of the deceased victims are encouraged to contact our office at their earliest convenience to discuss their legal rights in light of the missteps taken in preventing this massacre, or in at least minimizing the harm caused. At Lawyers for the Injured, we are here to help. Please give us a call at 909-55-HELP-U.