I said this morning that the only innocuous explanation for the cops hanging around outside the building, keeping parents from entering instead of storming the school, would be if they already had reason to know that the shooter was dead. The videos I posted here could have been recorded after everything was over, with police focused at that point on stopping moms and dads from coming face to face with the horror inside.
Not so, says WaPo. They’ve been constructing a timeline of the day’s events and claim to have confirmed down to the minute when the footage from this clip, which I featured earlier, was recorded. The shooter entered the school at 11:40 a.m. By 11:54, parents were already arriving.
If that’s accurate it would mean they were held at bay outside for more than an hour, as police apparently didn’t kill the shooter until 12:51 p.m. and didn’t declare him dead until 1:06 p.m. That also lines up with the general timeline provided to the WSJ by Angeli Rose Gomez, who heard the news of the shooting and somehow had time to drive 40 miles to the school, engage in a back-and-forth with police at the scene about their passivity that led to her being briefly handcuffed, and then sneak into the building to free her two children.
Imagine standing there having this argument with the cops, not knowing whether your kids are dead or alive, for an hour:
— Greg Pollowitz (@GPollowitz) May 26, 2022
But wait. The timeline gets crazier. The shooter might not have entered the school until 11:40 but he was already firing before then:
Ramos crashed his grandmother’s gray Ford truck near Robb Elementary at 11:28 a.m., Escalon said. Travis Considine, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Ramos rammed into a railing, prompting a resident to call 911 and report that the driver seemed to have a rifle.
Derek Sotelo, who runs a family-owned auto repair shop, said he heard about six gunshots coming from the elementary school and ran into women who recounted trying to help the gunman after his crash. The women said Ramos shot at them, according to Sotelo.
Escalon confirmed Thursday that Ramos shot at two “witnesses” and continued walking toward the school.
“Now he’s in the parking lot, shooting at the school,” Escalon said. “Multiple times.”
The first officers reportedly arrived at 11:44 and tried to enter the school. “They hear gunfire. They take rounds. They move back, get cover,” said the police spokesman at this afternoon’s presser. How did it take 16 minutes to respond to reports of an automobile crash and a guy *firing a rifle repeatedly* in a school parking lot?
This isn’t Manhattan at rush hour. How bad can the traffic be in a town of 16,000 people in mid-day?
A cop with the Department of Public Safety was asked today how his agency screwed up the narrative of what happened so badly. DPS claimed yesterday that the shooter had encountered a security officer upon entering the school; that was debunked at today’s press conference, when police admitted that he entered unhindered. It’s weird for a detail as important as that to somehow end up garbled. The explanation:
Responding to claims that the officer’s account of events has shifted, Olivarez said an officer “may say something at that particular instance but the next day, when they’re able to have time to reflect and gather their thoughts, that’s when we can interview them and establish what actually took place.”
I could accept “there was a miscommunication,” however grudgingly. But that answer sounds more like “we needed a day to get our story straight.” Or “we lied initially in the heat of the moment because we were embarrassed by our response.”
I’ll leave you with this story, which is as depressing as it is remarkable. One 10-year-old girl inside the school heard popping noises inside the building and guessed what it was. Calmly, she shushed her classmates, turned off the lights, and crawled underneath a big table in the room the rest of the kids hid. Asked how she managed to keep her composure and respond so smartly to the prospect of being violently killed, she told the Times it was easy: “We practice like a lot, since pre-K or kindergarten.”