A timeline of the Texas elementary school shooting (2023)

WARNING:Thispiececontainsdepictionsofgunviolence.

On May 24, a gunman fatally shot19 children and two teachersin two adjoining classrooms atRobb Elementary SchoolinUvalde, Texas.Over an hour passed from the time officers followed the 18-year-old gunman into the school and when they finally entered the fourth-grade classroom where he was holed up and killed him.

Meanwhile, studentstrapped inside repeatedly called 911andparents outside the school begged officers to go in.

Weeks after the shooting, questions remain about how and why police armed with rifles and bulletproof shields waited so long. Authorities have given shifting and at times contradictory information of what happened and how they responded, and the fallout has driven recriminations and rifts between local and state authorities.

WATCH: New video shows inaction by Uvalde officers during school shooting

Duringa May 27 news conference, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steve McCraw said the commander on the scene —school district police Chief Pete Arredondo— made the “wrong decision” not to send officers in sooner.

McCraw gave a detailed timelineduring a state Senate hearing on June 21, calling law enforcement’s response an “abject failure.” He said that three minutes after the gunman, Salvador Ramos, entered the school, police had enough officers and firepower on the scene to stop him. McCraw also noted that though officers spent time searching for a key to the classroom door, they would have found it unlocked if they had bothered to check.

Arredondotold the Texas Tribunethat he didn’t consider himself in charge and assumed someone else had taken command. The roles of the ranking on-scene officers from other agencies, including DPS, remain unclear.

Sometime after 11 a.m.

Ramos shoots his grandmother in the face, officials said. Gilbert Gallegos, 82, who was in his backyard across the street from Ramos and his grandmother, heard a shot. He runs to the front and sees Ramos speed away in a pickup truck and Ramos’ grandmother coming toward him pleading for help. Covered in blood, “She says: ‘Berto, this is what he did. He shot me,’” according to Gallegos, whose wife calls the police to report the shooting.

11:21 a.m.

Ramos says in a message to a teen in Germany that he just shot his grandmother and is going to go “shoot up” an elementary school, McCraw said on June 21.

11:27 a.m.

Video shows a teacher, whom authorities haven’t publicly identified, propping openan exterior doorof the school, McCraw said on May 27.

11:28 a.m.

Ramos crashes the pickup into a drainage ditch near the school, state police said in a timeline they released June 21, citing footage from a funeral home opposite the school.

11:29 a.m.

Two men at the funeral homerun out to see what happened, the footage shows. They see Ramos jump out of the passenger side carrying an AR-15-style rifle and a bag, which is full of ammunition. Ramos shoots at the men three times but misses them, McCraw said on June 21. One of the men falls but both make it back to the funeral home, McCraw said on May 27. The teacher calls 911 and reports that there is a man with a gun, state police said in the timeline they released June 21, citing phone recordings.DPS spokesman Travis Considine said on May 31that after propping open the door, the teacher ran back inside to grab her phone to call 911 but as she comes back out while on her phone, she realizes Ramos has a gun. She removes the rock that had propped open the door and it closes behind her, but the door does not lock, Considine said.

11:31 a.m.

Ramos shoots at the school and a patrol car accelerates into the school parking lot and drives by Ramos, the funeral home video shows. The Uvalde school district police officer who was working that day wasn’t on campus around this time, contrary to previous reports, McCraw said on May 27. The school district officer drives to the school “immediately” after getting the 911 call and approaches someone at the back of the school who he thought was the gunman. As the officer “sped” toward the man, who turned out to be a teacher, McCraw said the officer “drove right by the suspect who was hunkered down behind” a vehicle.

11:32 a.m.

Ramos fires multiple shots outside the school, said state police, who cited school surveillance footage in the timeline they released June 21. In audio of the 911 call from the teacher obtained by theAustin American-Statesman,she can be heard saying: “Get down! Get in your rooms! Get in your rooms!”

READ MORE: Arizona bans filming within 8 feet of police officers

Unspecified time before the gunman enters the school —A report released July 6by a training center at Texas State University for active shooter situations said that before Ramos entered the building, a Uvalde city police officer armed with a rifle watched him walk toward campus but didn’t fire while waiting for permission from a supervisor to shoot. The report said the supervisor “either did not hear or responded too late,” and when the officer turned back toward the gunman, he was inside the school. But on July 8,Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin disputed that report,saying no Uvalde police officer saw the gunman outside the school and none had an opportunity to fire on the shooter. He said that while an officer did see someone outside, the officer could not tell who it was.

11:33 a.m.

Ramos enters the school through the unlocked door on the school’s west side and begins shooting into adjoining classrooms 111 and 112 from the hallway, school surveillance footage shows. Ramos then enters, exits and re-enters classrooms 111 and 112. He fires more than 100 rounds over about 4 minutes, McCraw said on May 27.

11:35 a.m.

Three city police officers, who have two rifles, enter the school through the same door Ramos entered, according to school surveillance footage.

11:36 a.m.

Arredondo, another school district officer and two more city police officers enter through the building’s south door, according to school surveillance footage. Then three more city police officers and another officer from the school district enter through the west door.

11:37 a.m.

Ramos fires 11 rounds as officers approach the classroom doors, according to school surveillance footage. McCraw said two officers received “grazing wounds” from Ramos.

11:38 a.m.

An unknown officer says, “He’s contained in this office,” said state police, who cited body camera footage in the timeline they released June 21. McCraw testified on June 21 that the school floor plan shows no office in the classroom.

11:40 a.m.

Arredondo calls a Uvalde police landline, state police said, citing phone records. Thirty-five seconds later, Ramos fires one round, according to school surveillance footage. According to a transcript of Arredondo’s call released by state police, he says he’s in the building and a man “has an AR-15, he shot a whole bunch of times.” He says they’re inside the building and the shooter is in a room, adding: “I need a lot of firepower, so I need this building surrounded. Surrounded with as many AR-15s as possible.”

READ MORE: Anguish in Uvalde over surveillance video of police response to shooting

He tells the dispatcher thathe doesn’t have a radio with him.Arredondo says he’s in the hallway and that the shooter is in rooms 111 and 112. Arredondo says, “we need this place surrounded and if you have SWAT I need them set up.” Arredondo tells the dispatcher, “We don’t have enough firepower right now it’s all pistol and he has an AR-15.” He says he needs a radio and a rifle.

11:41 a.m.

A city police officer says, “We believe that he is barricaded in one of the offices, there’s still shooting,” according to body camera footage. When dispatch asks if the door is locked, a city police officer replies by referring to a specialized crow bar, saying, “I am not sure but we have a hooligan to break it,” according to body camera footage. School surveillance footage shows four first responders entering from the east hallway: two constables, a fire marshal and a Uvalde city police officer.

11:42 a.m.

A state trooper and two city police officers enter from the east hallway, according to school surveillance footage.

11:44 a.m.

Ramos fires one round, according to school surveillance footage. A city police officer says, “Have some officers that are available (to) get everybody back,” according to body camera footage.

11:48 a.m.

Body camera footage shows school district Officer Ruben Ruiz, the husband of one of the teachers in the classrooms where Ramos was holed up, enters the building through the west door and tells officers, “She says she is shot.” His wife,Eva Mireles, later dies. McCraw said on June 21: “What happened to (Ruiz) is he tried to move forward into the hallway, he was detained and they took his gun away from him and they escorted him from the scene.” He did not say exactly when Ruiz was escorted from the scene.

11:50 a.m.

Body camera footage shows an unknown officer saying, “They need to get out of the hallway.” A city police officer responds: “Chief is in there. Chief is in charge right now — hold on.” It’s unclear who the officer is referring to. The city police chief was on vacation that day, according to McLaughlin.

11:51 a.m.

Seven Border Patrol agents enter through the west door, according to school surveillance footage.

11:52 a.m.

The first ballistic shield is bought into the building through the west door, according to school surveillance footage. Body worn camera footage captures a city police officer saying, “Units just showing up, can you help with crowd control?” McCraw said on June 21, “So, officers after 11:52 were being diverted to crowd control activities.”

11:53 a.m.

Body camera footage shows an unknown officer telling a DPS special agent that all they currently need is perimeter. Someone comments about whether there are still kids inside, and the DPS special agent responds: “If there is then they just need to go in.”

11:54 a.m.

According to body camera footage, a DPS special agent asks an unknown officer, “Are kids still in there?” The unknown officer responds, “It’s unknown at this time.” A city police officer says: “He’s in classroom 111 or 112. But chief is making contact with him. No one has made contact with him.”

11:56 a.m.

According to body camera footage, an unknown officer says, “Y’all don’t know if there’s kids in there?” A DPS special agent replies, “If there’s kids in there, we need to go in there.” The unknown officer says: “What’s that?” The DPS special agent says, “If there’s kids in there, we need to go in there.” The unknown officer says, “Whoever is in charge will determine that.”

11:58 a.m.

According to a phone recording, when an unknown officer asks where the shooter is, another unknown officer replies, “The school chief of police is in there with him.” According to body camera footage, a DPS special agent says: “It sounds like a hostage rescue situation. Sounds like a (undercover) rescue, they should probably go in.”

A timeline of the Texas elementary school shooting (1)

A view of classroom doors at the Robb Elementary School, where the deadliest U.S. school mass shooting in nearly a decade took place, in Uvalde, Texas, U.S., in this undated handout photo. Photo provided by Texas Department of Public Safety/Handout via REUTERS

12:01 a.m.

According to body worn camera, when a DPS special agent says he wants to clear more rooms, an unknown officer says, “Don’t you think we should have a supervisor approve that?” The DPS special agent replies, “He’s not my supervisor.”

12:03 p.m.

A 911 call from a student inside the classroom comes in, according to a phone recording. School surveillance shows a second ballistic shield being carried into the building through the west door, and McCraw said on May 27 that at this time, as many as 19 officers were in the hallway near the room where Ramos was holed up. McCraw said on June 21 that the girl who called at this time, who said she was in room 112, was the only uninjured child in that room. In that room, eight children and two teachers were killed and nine children were injured, he said.

12:04 p.m.

School surveillance shows a third ballistic shield being carried into the building.

12:06 p.m.

Anne Marie Espinoza, a spokeswoman for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, posts on the district’s Facebook page: “All campuses are under a Lockdown Status. Uvalde CISD Parents: Please know at this time all campuses are under a Lockdown Status due to gunshots in the area. The students and staff are safe in the buildings. The buildings are secure in a Lockdown Status. Your cooperation is needed at this time by not visiting the campus. As soon as the Lockdown Status is lifted you will be notified. Thank you for your cooperation!”

12:09 p.m.

According to body camera footage, a city police officer says, “Go around and get the master key to the rooms.”

12:10 p.m.

Members of a U.S. Border Patrol tactical team begin arriving, according to body camera footage. The first group of deputy U.S. marshals from Del Rio arrive from nearly 70 miles (115 kilometers) away to assist the various law enforcement officers already on scene, according to the Marshals Service. The female student who called 911 at 12:03 p.m. calls 911 again and says there are multiple dead, McCraw said on May 27.

12:11 p.m.

Arredondo requests the master key, according to body camera footage.

12:13 p.m.

The female student who called 911 earlier calls 911 again, McCraw said on May 27.

12:14 p.m.

Arredondo tells officers to have a sniper on the east roof, according to body camera footage.

12:15 p.m.

A Border Patrol tactical team member enters the building, according to school surveillance footage.

12:16 p.m.

According to body camera footage, Arredondo says, “I just need a key.” The female student who called 911 earlier calls again and says there are eight to nine students alive, McCraw said on May 27.

12:17 p.m.

According to body camera footage, Arredondo says: “Tell them to (obscenity) wait. No one comes in.”

12:19 p.m.

A girl in room 111 calls 911 and ends the call when a fellow student tells her to hang up, McCraw said May 27.

12:20 p.m.

A fourth ballistic shield is brought into the building through the west door, according to school surveillance footage.

12:21 p.m.

Ramos fires four rounds, according to school surveillance footage. According to body camera footage, Arredondo says: “Can you go get a breaching tool? Like for a trailer house?”

READ MORE: Uvalde schools’ police Chief Pete Arredondo resigns from City Council

McCraw said during his June 21 testimony, “So if this is a barricaded subject, why is he still firing?” McCraw said on May 27 that at this time, officers moved down the hall.

12:23 p.m.

According to body camera footage, Arredondo says: “We’ve lost two kids. These walls are thin. If he starts shooting we’re going to lose more kids. I hate to say we have to put those to the side right now.”

12:24 p.m.

According to body camera footage, Arredondo tries to communicate with Ramos in English and Spanish. “The entire communications was always one way. The suspect never communicated. So it wasn’t communication, we’re talking at,” McCraw said on June 21.

12:26 p.m.

According to body camera footage, an unknown officer says, “There’s a teacher shot in there.” A city police officer replies, “I know.”

12:27 p.m.

According to body camera footage, Arredondo says: “People are going to ask why we’re taking so long. We’re trying to preserve the rest of the life.” He then said: “Do we have a team ready to go? Do we have a team ready to go? Have at it.”

12:28 p.m.

According to body camera footage, Arredondo says: “There is a window over there obviously. The door is probably going to be locked. That is the nature of this place. I am going to get some more keys to test.” He then says: “These master keys aren’t working here, bro. We have master keys and they’re not working.”

12:30 p.m.

According to body camera footage, Arredondo says: “OK. We’ve cleared out everything except for that room. We still have people down there just past the flag to the right. But, uh, we’re ready to breach but that door is locked.”

12:33 p.m.

According to body camera footage, Arredondo says, “I say we breach through those windows and shoot his (obscenity) head off through the windows.”

12:35 p.m.

The hooligan breaching tool is brought into the building through the west door, according to school surveillance footage.

12:36 p.m.

A 911 call that lasts for about 21 seconds comes in. Around this time a student calls 911 and is told to stay on the line and stay very quiet, McCraw said on May 27. The girl says, “He shot the door.”

12:38 p.m.

According to body camera footage, Arredondo tries again to communicate with Ramos in English and Spanish.

12:41 p.m.

According to body camera footage, Arredondo says: “Just so you understand, we think there are some injuries in there. And so you know what we did, we cleared off the rest of the building so we wouldn’t have anymore besides what’s already in there, obviously.”

12:42 p.m.

According to body camera footage, Arredondo says: “We’re having a (obscenity) problem getting into the room because it is locked. He’s got an AR-15 and he’s shooting everywhere like crazy. So, he’s stopped.”

12:43 p.m.

The girl who called 911 and was told to stay on the line urges the dispatcher to “please send the police now,” McCraw said on May 27. According to body camera footage, Arredondo says: “They gotta get that (obscenity) door open, bro. They can’t get that door open. We need more keys or something.”

12:46 p.m.

According to body camera footage, Arredondo says, “If y’all are ready to do it, you do it but you should distract him out that window.” McCraw said on May 27 that at this time, the girl who called 911 and was told to stay on the line says she can “hear the police next door.”

12:47 p.m.

A sledgehammer is brought into the building through the east hallway, according to school surveillance footage. McCraw said on May 27 that the girl still on the line with the 911 dispatcher says, “Please send the police now.”

12:50 p.m.

Officers breach the classroom and fatally shoot Ramos, according to surveillance footage. McCraw said on May 27 that they breached the door using keys they got from the janitor because the door was locked. He said June 21 that it turned out that the classroom door could not be locked from the inside by design and there was no indication officers tried to open it during the standoff. He also said a teacher had reported before the shooting that the lock was broken.

State police say an hour and 14 minutes went by from the time police entered the school to when Ramos was killed.

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