CONFIRMED: No Order Given to Storm School During Uvalde Mass Shooting

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.


The New York Post’s Jorge Fitz-Gibbon contributed to the contents of this report.


Gutierrez told CNN that Border Patrol agents took it upon themselves to enter the school and confront the shooter.
Photo Courtesy: Facebook / Joe Paul Ortega

Texas Launches Audit of 2020 Election Results

AUSTIN (The Epoch Times) –The Texas Secretary of State’s office is carrying out a forensic audit of 2020 election results in four large counties, including Dallas and Harris counties.

The office announced the audit last week but declined to provide more details until Sept. 28.

Phase one of the review is underway, the office says. This phase involves verifying the accuracy of voting machines, assessing cybersecurity, and pinpointing and removing any people who cast votes illegally in 2020 from voter rolls.

State officials have received reports from the Electronic Registration Information Center regarding voters who may have voted twice or who illegally voted in Texas, despite living in another state. In addition, officials have identified votes they say were potentially cast by non-U.S. citizens and alerted counties to review each case. Once that’s done, any instances of possible illegal voting will be referred to the state Attorney General’s Office for investigation.

Phase two of the audit, estimated to take place in the spring of next year, is centered on examining election records from the counties, which also include Tarrant and Collins counties.

The Secretary of State’s office plans to examine include all chain-of-custody forms concerning equipment and all logic and accuracy testing records for voting machines.

Depending on the results of the examination, there could be a full manual recount in the affected precincts or polling locations.

“The purpose of this audit is to ensure all Texas voters can have confidence in the elections systems in our state, and to address any outstanding issues county election officials may face that undermines the integrity of our elections,” the office said in a statement.

A spokesman said in an email that the office won’t be hiring or contracting with any outside firms to conduct the audits. The position of Texas secretary of state is currently vacant.

Election offices in the four counties didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, a Democrat, told reporters last week that “the sensational announcement of an audit by the state is nothing more than a political ploy by a former president and someone who’s trying to curry favor.”

“I’m working to do everything in my power to stop this not only because complying with a sham audit will take us away from serious work we have to do but also, and most importantly, because it will take trust away from our election systems here in Harris County and here in Texas,” she added.

The review was announced shortly after former President Donald Trump called on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, to carry out a forensic audit of the 2020 election, and shortly before an audit in Arizona was announced to have uncovered multiple inconsistencies.

Trump won Texas in the 2020 election by about 630,000 votes but said in a letter to Abbott that he heard Texans want an audit.

“Your citizens don’t trust the election system,” he wrote, adding that “Texans know voting fraud occurred in some of their counties.”

Abbott defended the audit over the weekend.

“There are audits of every aspect of government. We have a state auditor. There’s a federal auditor for the way that government operations work. Businesses that are public companies are subject to an annual audit,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Why do we audit everything in this world, but people raised their hands in concern when we audit elections, which is fundamental to our democracy?”

He also said the audit was underway months ago, although that hadn’t been previously disclosed.


The Epoch Times’ Zachary Stieber contributed to the contents of this report.

TOPSHOT – (COMBO) This combination of pictures created on September 29, 2020 shows US President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden squaring off during the first presidential debate at the Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio on September 29, 2020. (Photos by JIM WATSON and SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON,SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

‘STAND WITH SOPHIE’: Story of Abused 9 Year Old Texas Girl Goes Viral

FRISCO, TX — The story of a 9-year-old Frisco, Texas girl, Sophie Long, has gone viral across the U.S. and is putting the spotlight on family court and child protective services.

A nearly 20-minute long video posted to social media shows the child pleading with adults to not send her back to her mother’s home despite a court order mandating that she do so.

In the video, the child can be seen pleading with her father to save her, claiming that she had been sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend as her mother watched. Despite the child’s pleas, representatives from child protective services can be seen ordering the child into the car and telling the girl’s father that if he refused to turn her over he would be arrested and sent to jail.

A GoFundMe campaign titled “Stand with Sophie,” was created by the child’s step mother and posted to the platform on August 21. The campaign, which had set an original goal of $25,000, has raised more than $145,000 as of September 2.

Response from members of the public outraged by the video prompted the Frisco Police Department to issue the following statement regarding the case:

“While the Frisco Police Department will not usually offer further comment on cases that are this sensitive in nature, we would like the public to know that the child in this case is safe and staying at a safe location. Due [to] the public nature of this case, we also feel the need to address false information circulating on social media. For example, posts claiming that the alleged offender is a police officer with our department are FALSE, as the individual has never had any professional affiliation with the Frisco Police Department.

The continued dissemination of patently false information and third-party speculation on various social media platforms related to this case serves no other purpose than to hinder investigative efforts and does nothing to help the child in the case. The case remains under active investigation, and we are restricted by law on providing specific information related to juvenile cases. The Frisco Police Department shares your concerns to partner with various agencies to assure the safety and well being of all involved.”

The Lacy Lakeview Police Department (LLPD) also issued statement regarding Sophie’s case:

“First and foremost, the Lacy Lakeview Police Department (LLPD) has confirmed that a female juvenile shown in numerous YouTube videos taken by her father and placed on a gofundme page is presently in a safe home,” Chief John Truehitt posted onto the department’s official Facebook page.

“The mother and father of the child in these videos are in a child custody dispute and we have been advised the court has awarded the custodial rights of the child to the mother. The mother lives about 100 miles north of Lacy Lakeview and the father lives about 100 miles south of Lacy Lakeview. In July, 2020, the father reported the sexual abuse of the child to the appropriate law enforcement agency where the offense(s) occurred,” the statement continued.

“There has been one and only one incident that occurred in Lacy Lakeview as follows: On 08/18/2020, LLPD received a call requesting officer assistance regarding a disturbance involving a child custody exchange wherein the child did not want to go with the grandmother. Two LLPD Officers responded and I have reviewed their body camera video. The video shows that upon their arrival the disturbance had already stopped. The officers spoke will all parties at the location. The father told the officers his daughter did not want to go with the grandmother because she was being sexually abused in his ex-wife’s home (in another city). The father told LLPD officers the sexual abuse occurred in the city where his ex-wife lived – NOT in Lacy Lakeview. The father told the officers that he had reported the allegations to law enforcement in that area and CPS had also been involved.”

The Frisco Police Department says it has received a high volume of requests for information about Sophie’s case. Concerned citizens have taken to social media to say they are contacting Texas Governor Greg Abbott to demand a review of the case. A White House petition regarding Sophie’s case has also been created.

TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTER IDENTIFIED: Here’s what we know

Santa Fe, Tx — The suspect police say opened fire inside a Texas high school on Friday has been identified as 17 year old Dimitrios Pagourtzis.

Authorities say Pagourtzis is responsible for the deaths of at least 10 victims – nine students and one teacher.

According to information obtained about Pagourtzis thus far, here’s what we know :

– He was wearing “trenchcoat and big boots,” according to a student who said he saw the shooter. Police have not confirmed what he was wearing.

– He is in the 11th grade at Santa Fe High School.

– He threw pipe bombs into some classrooms, witnesses say. Devices were also found in and around the school.

– The weapon Pagourtzis used was a shotgun, according to eyewitnesses.

– Law enforcement says a pressure cooker with an explosive device was found at the scene.

– A Facebook page under the same name as Pagourtzis, has been taken down.

– A witness said students and coaches at the school would bully Pagourtzis and “call him names.”

Pagourtzis has been taken into police custody and a second suspect, who has not yet been identified, has been detained for questioning. Both suspects were students at the school.

A parent who arrived at the school shortly after news of the shooting broke told reporters that the entire Santa Fe community is in shock.

“If it can happen in Santa Fe, Texas, it can happen anywhere,” the parent said. “I mean, it’s just unbelievable.”

txshooter

HORROR IN TEXAS: 8 dead as gunman opens fire at Texas highschool; Suspect now in custody

Santa Fe, Tx (Fox News) — At least eight people have been killed in a Texas high school shooting Friday, FOX 26 reported. The suspected shooter was taken into custody and the active shooter situation was said to be over.

Police officers responded to Santa Fe High School around 8 a.m. CDT after reports that a shooter opened fire inside. The gunman appears to be a student, KTRK reports, citing a law enforcement official. Further details of the incident were not immediately available.

“Details will be released as we receive updated information. Law enforcement will continue to secure the building and initiate all emergency management protocols to release and move students to another location,” the school district said in a statement.

Galveston County Sheriff’s Maj. Douglas Hudson said units responded to reports of shots fired. Witnesses say a gunman opened fire inside an art class during first period. A student in the class told KTRK she witnessed at least one girl being shot.

“We thought it was a fire drill at first but really, the teacher said, ‘Start running,'” the student told the news station.

Two seniors at the school told KHOU 11 their friend pulled the fire alarm after spotting the shooter and urged other students to run. They also said they saw an injured female student.

“Now I am worried about everyone else,” one student commented. “ I don’t even want to go to graduation now.”

Authorities have not yet confirmed these accounts.

President Trump tweeted Friday regarding the shooting stating, “School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also tweeted regarding the shooting.

“Heidi and I are keeping all the students and faculty at Santa Fe High School in our prayers this morning, along with all first responders on the scene. Please be safe and heed warnings from local officials,” he said.

Aerial footage from the scene showed students standing in a grassy field while officers inspected their backpacks. At least three life-flight helicopters landed at the school.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said it was also on the scene. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted early Friday that he arrived at the school to assist officers with the Galveston County Sheriff Office.

Santa Fe is a city of about 13,000 residents, located 30 miles southeast of Houston.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

santafetxshooting

HUNTING A MONSTER: Austin police search for ‘serial bomber’ after 4th blast rocks Texas town

AUSTIN, TX — Police officials in Austin, Texas say they now suspect they are dealing with the work of a serial bomber after a fourth device injured two people Sunday night.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said during a Monday news conference that Sunday night’s device was linked to the three previous blasts, although the most recent bomb involved use of a trip wire. Three previous explosions resulted after packaged bombs were left on victim’s doorsteps.

“We’ve seen a change in the method this suspect is using,” Manley said.

Sunday night’s blast occurred just after 8:30 p.m. local time, when two bicyclists unknowingly setting off a tripwire in the southwest corner of the city. The pair sustained non-life threatening injuries and are expected to make a full recovery.

The unsolved package bombings earlier this month killed two and injured two others.

Authorities on Monday said the devices appear to be getting more sophisticated in design and asked residents of one neighborhood to stay indoors until 2 p.m. local time as they looked for clues as to the bomber’s identity.

“With this tripwire, this changes things,” Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio division, said during Monday’s press conference. “It’s more sophisticated, it’s not targeted to individuals … a child could be walking down a sidewalk and hit something.”

“We are clearly dealing with a serial bomber,” Manley told reporters. “We will have to determine if we see a specific ideology behind this.”

Thad Holt, 76, who lives in the neighborhood in which the fourth explosion occurred, told Fox News the neighborhood is “very quiet,” and filled with families.

“We were surprised because it all had been concentrated on that side of town, in lower income neighborhoods but this is a real, nice neighborhood, nice homes, everything from retired people to professional people,” said Holt. “It’s a pretty crime-free neighborhood.”

Eliza May told CNN that although she had heard of the bombings earlier in the month, she didn’t pay too much attention until a device went off in her own neighborhood.

“We feel safe. This isn’t something that you’d expect around here,” she said. “It’s obvious that you have to be alert.”

“This was a random bomb,” May added. “This could have been any one of us.”

Authorities on Sunday said the reward for information leading to an arrest in the deadly explosions has risen to $115,000. Manley said more than 500 officers, including federal agents, have conducted 236 interviews and have followed up on more than 435 leads.

Anyone with information on the bomber’s possible identity are urged to contact the Austin Police Department, their local law enforcement agencies or the FBI.

austin bombings

 

SHOWED THE DOOR: Man wearing ‘F**k Trump’ shirt booted from Texas restaurant to cheers of staff, fellow customers

GARLAND, TX — A man wearing an anti-Trump shirt was kicked out of a Texas restaurant Sunday much to the pleasure of fellow patrons (https://tinyurl.com/yagnwqln).

In a Facebook post that has since gone viral, Andy Ternay says he and his wife were escorted out of the First Watch Café on February 11 for wearing a shirt that read “FUCK TRUMP AND FUCK YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM” on the front and “FUCK THE RACIST ALT-RIGHT” on the back after first being scolded by the restaurant’s manager.

“First, we were approached by a manager who let us know that customers were very distressed by my shirt and that children might see it,” Ternay recalled in the post. “I expressed deep sympathies and let her know that explaining ‘grab ‘em by the pussy’ and golden showers to my daughter was equally unpleasant.”

As Ternay and his wife were being seated, the manager again told him that a group nearby “was suffering due to my indescribable poor taste.”

Ternay says after initially placing their order and being served their drinks, the restaurant’s cook, who refused to serve him, approached his table and told him to leave.

Ternay went on to say that customers sitting at a nearby table, and many of the restaurant staffers, applauded as he exited the establishment.

Ternay remains unapologetic over his attire and wrote in his Facebook post that children should be able to handle reading the f-word.

“If your kids can’t handle the word ‘Fuck’ they are going to have a really tough time in this world,” he wrote.

The restaurant in question says they’ve received mostly positive responses to the controversy.

As for Ternay, he has since deleted the post (https://www.facebook.com/andy.ternay/posts/10156008781013898) citing a wealth of backlash.

fucktrumpshirt

‘A MONSTER’: Texas shooter purchased guns illegally after conviction for assaulting wife, infant child

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TX — The man who authorities say is responsible for the murder of at least 26 people during a church service on Sunday illegally purchased the firearms used to carry out the attack, say published reports.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday that Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, was denied a gun permit due to a 2012 conviction in which Kelley was charged with beating his then wife and infant stepson.

According to official records, Kelley was charged with “assault on his spouse and assault on their child,” while stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

“He assaulted his stepson severely enough that he fractured his skull, and he also assaulted his wife,” retired colonel Don Christensen, then chief prosecutor for the Air Force, said of Kelley’s history of violence. “He pled to intentionally doing it.”

One person who knew Kelley at that time had referred to him as “a monster” after the attack.

Kelley was ultimately sentenced in November of 2012 to 12 months’ confinement and reduction to lowest rank. After his confinement, he was discharged from the military with a dishonorable discharge.

Kelley reportedly purchased a Ruger-AR556 rifle in April 2016 from a gun store in San Antonio. On the required background forms in which he was asked if he had a “disqualifying criminal history,” Kelley answered, “no” (https://twitter.com/DianneG/status/927367172699164672).

Victims of Sunday morning’s attack at First Baptist Church, just outside San Antonio, range in age from 18 months to 77 years, Freeman Martin of the Texas Department of Public Safety said at a news briefing on Monday.

Although a wealth of potential motives have been reported in regard to the case, law enforcement agents say they are not investigating the incident as terrorism.

“This was not racially motivated, it wasn’t over religious beliefs,” Martin said. “There was a domestic situation going on within the family and the in-laws.”

Joe D. Tackitt Jr., the Wilson County sheriff, confirmed on Monday that Kelley’s in-laws had attended the church but were not there when the shooting occurred. It is not yet clear as to whether or not Kelly was aware of his in-laws’ absence.

Officials say that after opening fire inside the church, Kelley was chased in his vehicle by two good Samaritans who had witnessed the slaughter. One of the two men, now identified as Johnnie Langendorff, says he didn’t think about the consequences when he tried to apprehend Kelley. He just wanted the killings to stop.

It was “act now, ask questions later,” Langendorff told NBC News (https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/texas-church-shooting/texas-church-shooting-good-samaritan-says-stepping-was-right-thing-n817871. “He just hurt so many people, and he just affected so many people’s lives. Why wouldn’t you want to take him down?”

Langendorff says he fired upon Kelly in an effort to stop him and Kelley “eventually lost control on his own and went off in a ditch.”

Martin said that during the chase, Kelley called his father on his cellphone to say “he had been shot and didn’t think he was going to make it,” Martin said.

Kelley was later found dead inside his vehicle. An official cause of death is pending autopsy results.

 

kelley