9-year-old Danielle, along with his mother, Briana Ruiz, told CNN that the gunman fired several shots into his classroom at Robb Elementary School after he was unable to enter. His teacher had locked the door, and the shots fired hit the teacher and his classmate.
Daniel began to “hide under a table by the wall,” and said he could see the gunman through the door window.
“I can still see his face,” he said. “I could see him staring at the people in front of me.”
“The aim of the review is to provide an independent report on law enforcement actions and reactions that day, and to identify lessons learned and best practices to assist first responders in preparing for and responding to active shooting events,” the Department of Justice said in a statement Sunday. .
Alfred Garcia, whose daughter was killed in the shooting, told CNN he was “in disbelief” about how long it took during the shooting before it ended, and shared his frustration with the authorities’ response.
“It doesn’t take a genius to know that it took so long to get there, and you know, if they got there early, and someone had taken immediate action, we might have more of these kids here today, including my daughter.”
Funerals are scheduled to begin on Monday, and Ovaldi’s funeral homes have committed to covering the families’ costs.
Law enforcement questioning question
The actions—or lack thereof—taken by first responders during the shooting have been a focal point for those who say more should have been done sooner.
Texas law enforcement officers are trained in rapid response, according to active shooting guidelines in the state’s 2020 Law Enforcement Committee Training Manual obtained by CNN, which states that “an officer’s first priority is to move and confront the attacker.”
“As first responders, we must recognize that innocent lives must be defended,” she says. “A first responder who does not wish to put the lives of innocent people above their safety should consider another career field.”
Seven officers arrived on the scene within two minutes of the class shooting. Three officers approached the closed classroom where the gunman was and two officers were wounded by bullets fired from behind the door, DPS said. Then the officers stationed in the hallway.
After that, the team did not breach the classroom for at least another 30 minutes, according to the schedule provided by DPS. According to the source, since the Border Patrol often plays a supporting role, it will be subordinate to the agency when driving.
A 911 call was made at 12:16 p.m., according to DPS, from a girl in one of the classrooms where the students were shot and who told the operator that eight or nine students were still alive.
When asked on Friday why the officers didn’t act early, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Stephen Macro said he “thought at the time the topic was consistent and immune,” adding that they believed “there was no danger to other children.”
“Going back in time, from where I’m sitting now – there were obviously kids in the room, and they’re clearly vulnerable,” McCroe said. “There may be children who have been injured, they may have been shot but they have been shot, and it is important for life-saving purposes to get there right away and provide assistance.”
The community comes together
In the aftermath of the shooting, a large influx of support was provided to those in the community.
Carlos Hernandez, whose restaurant is located a mile from Robb Elementary School, wrote on Facebook hours after the shooting, “There is no possible way I can open my kitchen with a broken heart and enjoy doing it.”
On Thursday — his 33rd birthday — Hernandez decided to cook for the community, preparing favorites, including wings, mac and cheese, and fried fish tacos.
Within two hours, Hernandez served more than 60 family dishes to feed mourning families and neighbors who were still learning how to deal with the tragedy of their tight-knit community.
“It’s a real tough situation, I’m just trying to show the kids that they make up our backbone and support system,” Hernandez told CNN. “We always deliver, whether there is an accident or not.”
Elsewhere in Ovaldi, the El Progreso Memorial Library has become a place of healing.
On Wednesday, the day after the shooting, children’s librarian Martha Carrion sat in front of rows of little faces reading, singing and laughing with the children, and took them away to a safe place away from school where many of them became witnesses. for horror.
“We want the building to be a safe place, a quiet, peaceful and wonderful refuge,” Mindel Morgan, director of El Progreso Memorial Library told CNN.
Besides the psychologists who will be available every day of the week for children and adults to talk to, there will also be massage therapists, volunteers for arts and crafts activities, pianists to play soft music, and even magicians to perform professional magic shows.
“This is a strong community where we have real care and concern for each other,” Morgan said. “Many, if not most here, hold fast to their belief in God, that good is stronger than evil and light is stronger than darkness.”
Alaa Al-Assar, Ed Lavandera, Amanda Watts, Hana Sarrison, Virginia Langmid, Paula Reed, Priscilla Alvarez, Christina Maxuris, Holly Yan and Aya Al-Amrousy contributed to this report.