The American leader and his wife plan to stay for several hours in the small southwest town most affected by the massacre at Robb Elementary School after an 18-year-old gunman broke into a fourth-grade classroom and opened fire talking with people. , Biden is expected to attend Catholic Mass and meet with first responders.
This is the second time this month that there has been a mass murder between Biden and the US. He had previously visited Buffalo, New York in the northeastern United States, where a white supremacist opened fire targeting 10 black people in a grocery store.
In the Texas shootings, law enforcement officers are being vexed with questions about why it took more than an hour to confront the gunman.
Even as the children trapped in the classroom with the shooter made immediate emergency calls, pleading with police to rescue them, the incident commander at the scene, the police chief of Uvalde Schools, assessed – incorrectly, As it turned out – that this was no longer an active shooter incident but rather that attacker Salvador Ramos had barricaded himself in orbit.
As a result, the incident commander, Pete Arredondo, did not immediately order the police officers in the classroom to confront the shooter.
Eventually, US Border Patrol agents arrived at the school, broke into the classroom and killed high school dropout Ramos, who earlier this month bought two assault rifles a few days after turning 18. Officials say he had no criminal record and neither did he. Mental health is under treatment.
Texas Department of Public Safety Chief Steven McCraw said Friday that “it was the wrong decision” to wait to face the shooter, even with the benefit of sight.
Lawmakers in Washington have long been stymied for tightening gun purchase laws, with Democrats mostly supporting for stricter measures and background checks on gun buyers and Republicans almost universally opposing it. Following the Uvalde killings, a bipartisan group of Republican and Democratic senators is meeting to determine which new law could win Congressional approval.
“We need federal legislation,” Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, a longtime gun control proponent, said on ABC’s “This Week” show on Sunday. More Republican interest in talking it out this time than after the last mass shooting. keep.
Increasing the age limit for the purchase of assault weapons or banning their sale altogether – as was done in the US from 1994 to 2004 – is unlikely to be part of any new legislation. Whether any possible change could have prevented the Texas massacre is questionable as Ramos had no criminal record and was not flagged for treatment.
Dozens of people gathered in Uvalde on Saturday to pay tribute and mourn the 21 people killed last week.
Twenty-one crosses are placed around a fountain in the city’s Courthouse Square, one die for each of the 19 fourth graders and their two teachers, Irma García and Eva Mirelles. A growing pile of flowers, stuffed animals and messages — “Love you,” “You missed you” — surrounded the cross. Dozens of candles lit up like small everlasting flames.
Humberto Renovato, a 33-year-old pastor living in Uvalde, asked everyone to join hands and pray.
The investigation continued on Saturday in the time it took police to confront the gunman.
About 90 minutes elapsed between the start and end of the fatal shooting. Ramos crashed a pickup into a ditch near the school, entered the building carrying an AR-15-style rifle and a bag of ammunition, and was inside the school for 40 minutes to an hour, when Border Patrol agents attacked and killed him.
10 year old Samuel Salinas said Ramos broke into his fourth grade class and said, “You’re all going to die.”
Then “he just started shooting,” Salinas told ABC News.
Another student, Danielle, whose mother allowed her to talk Washington Post, was in a classroom down the hall. He said his teacher, who quickly closed the door and turned off the lights, saved his life. Daniels said he was shot twice when the gunman opened fire through the glass window of the door.
The students hid in the dark for an hour, he said. Only one voice in the room was quiet and his teacher was urging the students to keep quiet.
“‘Keep calm. Stay where you are. Don’t move,'” Daniel recalled telling him.
Daniels told the newspaper that he and his classmates were rescued when police broke the windows of the room and they crawled out to safety.
Colonel Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said earlier this week that the city’s 911 call center received cries for help from at least two students in nearby classrooms where Ramos found his victim.
“That’s in room 112,” a girl whispered to the 911 operator last Tuesday at 12:03 p.m. local time.
He called again at 12:43 p.m., begging the operator to “please send the police now,” and again four minutes later.
At 12:51 pm, the Border Patrol-led tactical team stormed in and ended the siege.
Police are yet to ascertain the motive behind the shooting.
Ramos’s mother has apologized to the parents of the school children. In an interview with Televisa, a Nation World News affiliate, a soft-spoken Adriana Martinez said in Spanish, “I don’t know what he was thinking. … I’m sorry. Forgive my son.”
With Uvalde police sharply criticized for their response to the shooting, police officers from other cities, including Houston and Dallas, have come to Uvalde for support and in some cases to protect police department officers, the mayor, and the owner. The gun shop where the attacker bought his rifles and ammunition.
Arredondo has not commented publicly about his order of police response to the infiltration of Ramos’ school. Uvalde’s officers are stationed outside his house, but would not explain why.
New York City defense attorney Paul Martin and Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum in Washington, both told The Associated Press on Saturday that criminal charges are rarely filed against officers who acted in mass shootings. fail. This, Martin said, is a “very high bar” because police officers are given wide latitude to make tactical decisions, but can be held civilly liable.
On Saturday at the University of Delaware, Biden said there has been “too much violence. Too much fear. Too much grief.”
Some information for this report has been received from The Associated Press and Reuters.