Uvalde, a small town in rural Texas, is reeling days after being subjected to the second-deadliest school shooting in American history, erecting memorials across the community and gathering for prayer. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Uvalde on Sunday to commemorate the victims.
The suspected gunman – identified by authorities as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a student at Uvalde High School – is said to have purchased two assault rifles just days after turning 18 and used them to carry out the attack – all within an eight-day span , the authorities said. Ramos is dead now.
MORE: Boy who survived Texas school shooting remembers gunman who said ‘you’re all going to die’
Before opening fire on the school, the suspect also allegedly shot and killed his grandmother, officials said.
The shooter entered unhindered through the unlocked door
The response from school officials and law enforcement is becoming a key focus of the ongoing investigation into the Uvalde school shooting, law enforcement sources told ABC News on Thursday.
Officials said around 11:28 a.m. the suspect crashed his grandmother’s car on the school parimeter, pulled out an AR-style rifle and a backpack filled with ammunition, and fired at two nearby witnesses as he made his way went to school.
MORE: What we know about 21 Texas school shooting victims; The teacher’s widower dies of a heart attack
Texas officials said Thursday that police did not confront the gunman before he entered the school, although it was previously reported that a school district police officer confronted the gunman.
Police believe the gunman got into the building through an unlocked door at the back of the school, said Victor Escalon, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s regional director for South Texas.
It’s unclear if students and teachers heard an official call for lockdown when the gunman entered the building, the sources said.
In addition, investigators are investigating whether officers at the scene may have made other attempts to enter the school in a bid to end the shooter’s killing spree more quickly, the sources said. The intervening police were met with gunfire and prompted tactical teams with proper equipment to enter the classroom and neutralize the gunman, the sources said.
MORE: Bystanders urged police to enter Texas school after shooting began, witnesses say
“They don’t come in at first because of the shots they’re receiving,” said Victor Escalon of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Parents want to know why it took more than an hour to take out the shooter.
TIMETABLE: A look at the movements of the Uvalde Rifleman on the day of the massacre
Survivors try to advance
As authorities piece together a motive for the killing spree, the survivors try to move forward.
The memorial is growing for all 21 victims, whose names are now engraved in white crosses outside the school.
SEE ALSO: Mass shootings in US have nearly tripled since 2013, data shows
The desperate families take on the difficult task of making arrangements for their loved ones.
The only two funeral directors in Uvalde both offer free funeral services for the victims of the shooting.
Copyright © 2022 ABC News Internet Ventures.
https://abc13.com/uvalde-texas-robb-elementary-school-active-shooter-district-lockdown/11899867/ Uvalde, Texas School Shooting: Parents Demand Answers to Police Response; President Biden plans visit to honor victims