UVALDE, TX — A Texas state legislator said Tuesday that no one gave the order for cops to storm a local elementary school classroom while a gunman remained barricaded inside for more than an hour.
State Sen. Roland Gutierrez told CNN’s “At This Hour” that no order was ever given to rush gunman Salvador Ramos at Robb Elementary School where 21 people were killed — before a group of agents decided on their own to go in and take out the killer.
“Is it your understanding that no command decision was ever made to breach the classroom?” host Kate Bolduan asked.
“That is my understanding,” Gutierrez answered. “What I have been told from law enforcement is that [the US Border Patrol] finally took it upon themselves and said, ‘We’re going in.’
“There’s a lot going on and I understand, and they’re still unpacking a lot of these things,” Gutierrez added, according to a rebroadcast of the interview by Mediaite. “These families deserve all the answers.”
Police said 19 fourth-graders and two teachers were shot dead after the 18-year-old stormed the school and opened fire with an AR-15-style assault rifle.
Ramos remained barricaded inside two adjoining classrooms for more than an hour before the border agents stormed in and shot him dead.
But Gutierrez said the inquiry has to go beyond the actions of Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, who waited all that time without giving an order to attack Ramos.
“To blame one cop on the scene with the six other cops that work for him isn’t good enough,” he said. “I don’t know Mr. Arredondo. Certainly, there was an error there.
“But I think at every point along the way you have superior forces coming in that should’ve said, ‘Let’s go in now,’ just like the CBP cop at one point said, ‘I’m done with this. I’m going in,’” Gutierrez said.
“And so, at what point do people not use some common sense here, listen to 911 calls that are coming in, understand that kids are still alive inside and know that they have to go in there, do their jobs under the active shooter protocol,” he said. “Just ’cause one person makes a mistake doesn’t mean that others have to compound on that.”
The senator’s comments come as the first two funerals for the young victims of the mass shooting are being held in Uvalde.
Grieving families are also holding wakes for two other youngsters and one of the two teachers who were killed at the school.