Overcast and breezy but still hot as heck this early-evening Thursday here in California’s Central Valley.
Away from the InterWebs for a good while today, I didn’t catch the initial reports of a law enforcement clusterfuck in the handling of the massacre Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tx, and then during my afternoon doomscroll, all shit had broken loose, cops even walking back some shit. Just for an instance, supposedly a school guard encountered the shooter before entry to the school, but that was a lie — the guard was in his car at the time.
Nineteen fourth-graders and two teachers were killed.
NBC News reporter Ken Dilanian and the hesitant, seeming incompetence of law enforcement:
“Where was that [Uvalde Police Department] S.W.A.T. team in the hour while they were waiting for the Border Patrol tactical team to come? … It’s really just unfathomable, and law enforcement officials who are watching this across the country, as Tom Winter said earlier on the air, are aghast at what happened here.”
Insult to tragedy:
how it started: how it's going: pic.twitter.com/HH7Jo8Z2OQ
— Greg (@waltisfrozen) May 26, 2022
A Uvalde local at the scene, Angeli Rose Gomez, was also aghast: ‘“The police were doing nothing … They were just standing outside the fence. They weren’t going in there or running anywhere.”‘
She wanted police to go after the asshole shooter, but instead was handcuffed for ‘“intervening in an active investigation.”‘
From The Wall Street Journal — behind a paywall, but this graph via Raw Story:
“Ms. Gomez, a farm supervisor, said that she was one of numerous parents who began encouraging—first politely, and then with more urgency—police and other law enforcement to enter the school. After a few minutes, she said, federal marshals approached her and put her in handcuffs, telling her she was being arrested for intervening in an active investigation,” the newspaper reported.
“Ms. Gomez convinced local Uvalde police officers whom she knew to persuade the marshals to set her free. Around her, the scene was frantic. She said she saw a father tackled and thrown to the ground by police and a third pepper-sprayed. Once freed from her cuffs, Ms. Gomez made her distance from the crowd, jumped the school fence, and ran inside to grab her two children. She sprinted out of the school with them.”
WTF! Also more serious shit: The Wall Street Journal also reported Gomez alleging she saw a police use a taser on a father who approached a school bus in an effort to get into contact with his child.
In-depth details from The Washington Post late this afternoon:
But even as police from local, state and federal agencies responded to the scene, an hour passed before a heavily armed tactical team entered a 4th grade classroom and killed 18-year-old Salvador Rolando Ramos, according to video and information provided for the first time Thursday by public officials.
By then, the gunman had fatally shot 19 students and two teachers and wounded 17 others — America’s deadliest school massacre in almost a decade.
At a chaotic news conference Thursday, Victor Escalon Jr., a regional director at the Texas Department of Public Safety, gave a starkly different account of the police response to the massacre than what officials had said earlier this week.
Some 12 minutes elapsed between Ramos crashing his pickup truck near the school and entering the building, Escalon said.
During that period, the gunman opened fire on witnesses, and a 911 caller reported a man carrying a gun. Police did not arrive until the gunman had entered the school, however, Escalon said. And when he shot at the officers, they retreated to await backup.
The new details were released as authorities faced growing questions over the response by law enforcement to the attack and the use of tactics that Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and other officials previously claimed helped to prevent more deaths at the school.
“It is a fact that because of their quick response getting on the scene, being able to respond to the gunman and eliminate the gunman, they were able to save lives,” Abbott said on Wednesday.
After two days in which officials had offered partial and contradictory details of the timeline of the shooting, Escalon offer another, equally confusing account on Thursday.
He said the gunman, who had shot his grandmother and fled in a pickup truck, crashed the vehicle at 11:28 a.m. Photographs from the scene show the gray Ford pickup stopped next to broken railings at a ditch-like concrete area beside the western perimeter of the school grounds.
At 11:30 a.m., police received the first 911 call reporting that a man who had crashed a vehicle was carrying a gun, according to Escalon.
Escalon said witnesses described the gunman exiting the passenger side of his truck carrying a rifle and a bag. He opened fire on two people who had walked out of a funeral home across the street, according to Escalon’s telling of the witness accounts.
The gunman then walked toward the school, climbed a fence, and shot at the school from a parking lot.
Officials had previously stated that the gunman was confronted by a school police officer who fired at him. Later, they said the officer had confronted him but did not open fire.
Escalon said on Thursday that both versions were inaccurate: No officer confronted the gunman before he entered the west side of the school at 11:40 a.m., Escalon said, adding that he walked through a door that appeared to have been unlocked.
Way more at the link — a horrible, screwed-up situation. And apparently, more will be coming from the ongoing investigation, and I think it won’t be pretty. Cops have a Republican mindset — they will deny shit, then whine if you press too hard.
Yet Republicans are the problem in everything! They need to be confronted at every moment.
Once again here we are…
(Illustration out front: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Agonizing Horse,’ found here)