City grieves as details of Texas school massacre emerge

Grief has engulfed the Texas city of Uvalde as shocking details emerged about the school shooting that saw 21 people killed. Nineteen children aged between eight and 11 and two teachers were shot dead by a teenager who had bought two AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles just days before, after his 18th birthday. All of the those who died were in the same classroom - but gunman Salvador Ramos had already shot his grandmother, and fired at a number of other people by this point.

He had also sent a number of messages stating his intention to kill. Onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas primary school where a gunman's rampage, witnesses said. It comes as as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old assailant was killed by a Border Patrol team.

"Go in there! Go in there!" nearby women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said 24-year-old Juan Carranza, who saw the scene from outside his house, across the street from Robb Elementary School in the close-knit town of Uvalde. Mr Carranza said the officers did not go in.

Javier Cazares, whose fourth grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, said he raced to the school when he heard about the shooting, arriving while police were still gathered outside the building.

Upset that police were not moving in, he raised the idea of charging into the school with several other bystanders. "Let's just rush in because the cops aren't doing anything like they are supposed to," he said. "More could have been done. They were unprepared," he added.

Minutes earlier, Mr Carranza had watched as Salvador Ramos crashed his truck into a ditch outside the school, grabbed his AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle and shot at two people outside a nearby funeral home who ran away uninjured. Officials say he "encountered" a school district security officer outside the school, though there were conflicting reports from authorities on whether the men exchanged gunfire. After running inside, he fired on two arriving Uvalde police officers who were outside the building, said Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Travis Considine.

The police officers were injured. After entering the school, Ramos charged into one classroom and began to kill.

A Texas State Trooper receives flowers for the victims of a mass shooting yesterday at Robb Elementary School where 21 people were killed, including 19 children, on May 25, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.

He "barricaded himself by locking the door and just started shooting children and teachers that were inside that classroom", Christopher Olivarez of the Department of Public Safety told CNN. "It just shows you the complete evil of the shooter." All those killed were in the same classroom, he said.

Department of Public Safety director Steve McCraw told reporters that 40 minutes to an hour elapsed from when Ramos opened fire on the school security officer to when the tactical team shot him, though a department spokesman said later that they could not give a solid estimate of how long the gunman was in the school or when he was killed.

"The bottom line is law enforcement was there," Mr McCraw said. "They did engage immediately. They did contain (Ramos) in the classroom." Meanwhile, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said the Border Patrol agents had trouble breaching the classroom door and had to get a staff member to open the room with a key.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation. Mr Carranza said the officers should have entered the school sooner. "There were more of them. There was just one of him," he said.

City grieves as details of Texas school massacre emergeJoseph Avila, left, prays while holding flowers honouring the victims killed in Tuesday's shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde