Police on the Scene of the Uvalde Shooting Receive Sharp Criticism for Subduing Desperate Parents, Not the Gunman

As the story surrounding the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting continues to develop, we've learned that police didn't rush in to save the children inside the school. They did, however, reinforce a fence outside the school and held parents back as they figured out how to deal with the shooter inside. According to reports, the shooter was locked inside for one hour before police went in, and parents begged them to go in and take action. There appeared to be some effort to subdue the parents.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the shooter shot in front of the school for about 12 minutes prior to going inside. The shooter also did not encounter a resource officer, as was previously stated. The shooter began firing at people after crashing his grandmother's car near the school at around 11:28 A.M. An emergency call came in at around 11:30 A.M. reporting a shooting. The shooter then climbed over the fence into the school's grounds and began firing before going inside at 11:40. Security arrived by 11:44. However, the Border Patrol Tactical team didn't enter for another hour—at around 12:40. Local officials told reporters that the police were on the scene quickly, as soon as he reached the building, yet they could not get inside the classroom in which he had put up a barricade.

In the intervening time, parents were kept behind the fence and grew furious over the police's inability to enter. They pleaded with them to enter and promised that they'd be the first to go with them. One parent, Angeli Rose Gomez, who had two children at the school in the second and third grades, claimed that some, including Gomez, were arrested for interfering with an investigation after urging the police to take action. “The police were doing nothing,” she claimed. “They were just standing outside the fence. They weren't going in there or running anywhere.” The local police called other law-enforcement officers to help. She claimed it was chaos everywhere as police took one father down and tossed him to the ground, while another parent was pepper-sprayed. The desperation of the parents was harrowing and tragic.

After Gomez was released, she jumped over the fence and ran towards the school and took her children out. Gomez also claimed to have seen a police officer use an e-taser against one father who was trying to remove his child after the gunman was killed. “They didn't do that to the shooter, but they did that to us. That's how it felt,” Gomez explained.

A Texas DPS agent, Juan Maldonado, said that he and others fought their way in to free the children, showing the injuries to his forearms that resulted from smashing windows in the process. Also, in one video, a Texas DPS lieutenant at around 1:19 seems to claim police came in and escorted their children out. It's unclear who the officers were or whether they were able to get out other children. “Right. So what we do know, Vanessa, right now, that there was some police officers, families trying to get their children out of school because it was an active shooter situation right now.”

Many interpret that to mean that police officers just took their own kids out. The fact that other parents were crying out to be able to help their children while being beaten and pepper-sprayed has prompted more questions regarding the way the police responded. How can one go in and save your children and not do all you can to get the other kids out? The question regarding what happened here needs to be addressed.

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