During Tuesday’s shooting, an Uvalde mother pleading for law enforcement to enter Robb Elementary School said she was handcuffed and nearly arrested, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Angelie Rose Gomez told the newspaper that she and several other parents waited outside the Texas school, encouraging law enforcement to act, as a gunman raged inside. As her calls became more urgent, she said, the US Marshal handcuffed her and said she was being arrested for interfering with an active investigation.
She explained to the local Uvalde police officers that she knew to free him, running inside to grab her two children and making out with them, before jumping the school fence.
“The police weren’t doing anything,” Gomez said. “They were standing outside the fence. They were not going there nor were they running anywhere.”
A spokeswoman for the US marshals told the WSJ that its marshals never handcuffed anyone while securing the school’s perimeter and that they “maintained order and peace among the grieving community gathering around the school.”
The US Marshals Office did not immediately return HuffPost’s request for comment.
Gomez said she watched as one father sprayed pepper and the other was shot to the ground by police in a frantic scene.
Once law enforcement shot and killed the gunman, Gomez watched police use a teaser on a father who was approaching a bus to pick up his child.
“He didn’t do it to the shooter, but he did it to us. That’s what it felt like,” she said.
An 18-year-old male shooter armed with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle killed 19 children and two teachers before he was taken down by a responding Border Patrol officer.
As more details and the timeline of the attack emerge, the police response has drawn increasing scrutiny. In several videos circulating on social media, the parents are seen pleading with the police to do something as they waited outside the building.
“There’s f**king shooting at school and these f**king cops are telling everyone to leave, man, while everyone’s here trying to pick up their f**king kids,” a The man can be heard saying in a livestream that was filmed on the scene. “They’re all f**king out parking, man – they need to go out there… not doing cops**t but standing outside.”
Another video shows a chaotic scene outside the school, in which some people are shouting at the police while others can be heard crying and shouting. Officers can be seen stopping a man on the sidewalk, while another is standing in front of them and a woman shouting “That’s the parent!”
Officers faced questions and backlash on Thursday about how much time had elapsed before law enforcement broke into the classroom to quell the stampede.
Texas Department of Public Security Director Steve McCraw said Wednesday that after the shooter opened fire on a school security officer, the US Border Patrol spent a full 40 minutes to an hour before fatally shooting the gunman. . Another spokesperson said they were still working to confirm the timeline.