‘It was the worst day of my life,’ Parent of Robb Elementary student wants answers on delayed police response

The mother is counting her blessings, but demands answers on why the gunman was in the school for nearly an hour and a half during the shooting

The Texas Department of Public Safety says a wrong decision lead to more lives being lost during the mass shooting at a Uvalde elementary school. Robb Elementary School parents tell KSAT's John Paul Barajas they now want answers as to how or why the on-scene commander delayed officers from jumping into action.

UVALDE, Texas – The Texas Department of Public Safety director admitted that a bad decision led to more lives being lost during a mass shooting at a Uvalde elementary school.

According to DPS Director Steven McCraw, the on-site commander believed it was a standoff with the 18-year-old gunman. He said the commander incorrectly assumed that more children were not at risk for casualties.

A Robb Elementary School parent now wants answers as to how or why the on-scene commander could think the gunman had gone from an active shooter to just a barricaded suspect.

“I was scared. It was the worst day of my life,” the Robb Elementary School parent tells us. The parent chose to remain anonymous during their interview with KSAT. Her daughter is one of the survivors.

The mother said she is counting her blessings, but demands answers on why the gunman was in the school for nearly an hour and a half before being stopped.

“These kids didn’t have nothing... They had nothing and nobody in there to protect them. It’s a shame. It’s sad...,” the parent said.

Below is the timeline of events, as described by McCraw on Friday:

  • Tuesday morning - Ramos shot his grandmother in the face at their Uvalde home. While she reached out for help, he got inside her Ford pickup truck and made his way toward the school.
  • 11:27 a.m. - A teacher at Robb elementary propped open an exterior door in order to retrieve a cell phone. The teacher who propped the door open walked back to the exit door, and the door remained propped open.
  • 11:28 a.m. - Ramos crashed the pickup into a ditch behind the campus. Authorities said Ramos, clad in body armor, shot at two male witnesses across the street at the funeral home. The witnesses were not injured.
  • 11:30 a.m. - A teacher who witnessed the shooting went inside the school and called 911.
  • 11:31 a.m. - The suspect reached the last row of vehicles in the school parking lot. At this time, a school police officer responded to the funeral home for a call about a man with a gun. The officer drove right past the suspect who was hunkered down behind a vehicle.
  • 11:32 a.m. - The suspect began shooting at the school’s exterior.
  • 11:33 a.m. - The suspect walked to the west side of the elementary school and made entry through the door. He then went to room 111 or 112 and began to shoot. “It’s not possible to determine (the room) from the video angle that we have at this point in time. We do know this: that he shot more than 100 rounds based on the audio evidence at that time, at least 100 rounds,” McCraw said.
  • Ramos locked the door and opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle. He was carrying multiple magazines. The shooter barricaded himself inside the room.
  • 11:35 a.m. - Three police officers with Uvalde police entered the school, followed by three volunteer officers, and a deputy entered the school. The three UPD officers went to the door, which was closed, and received grazing wounds.
  • 11:37 to 11:44 a.m. - There was gunfire from the shooter in the classroom.
  • 11:43 a.m. - The elementary announced on social media that the school was on lockdown.
  • 11:51 a.m. - FBI and a police sergeant arrived.
  • 12:03 p.m. - Officers continued to arrive in the hallway. At this point, there were 19 officers inside the hallway outside the classroom.
  • 12:03 p.m. - A girl called 911 from room 112 and was on the phone for one minute, 23 seconds.
  • 12:10 p.m. - She called 911 again and advised that there were multiple dead in room 112.
  • 12:13 p.m. and 12:16 p.m. - The girl called again.
  • 12:15 p.m. - Members of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit unit arrived with shields.
  • 12:17 p.m. - The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District confirmed that there was an active shooter situation taking place.
  • 12:19. p.m. - Someone in room 111 called and hung up when a student told her to do so.
  • 12:21 p.m. - The suspect fired again, believed to be at the door, and law enforcement moved down the hallway.
  • 12:36 p.m. - The initial female caller called 911 again and said “he shot the door.”
  • 12:43 p.m. and 12:47 p.m. - She asked dispatch to “please send the police now.”
  • 12:51 p.m. - Officers made entry by using a master key and fatally shot the suspect.
  • 12:58 p.m. - Law enforcement radio chatter said Ramos had been killed by the Border Patrol team and the siege was over.

What happened in those 90 minutes has fueled mounting public anger and scrutiny over law enforcement’s response to the rampage.

“It shouldn’t have taken that long. He should have not been in that school room in that school for that long,” the parent said to KSAT.

The mother said her daughter is alive but not okay. She said her daughter won’t be in a room by herself and won’t let any doors to the rooms she’s in close.

She added that her cousin’s child didn’t make it out of Tuesday’s mass shooting.

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About the Authors:

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.