In a news conference on Thursday, Regional Director Victor Escalon of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) corrected earlier statements that an armed security officer at the school had confronted the gunman. Escalon said the gunman “walked in unobstructed initially.” The perpetrator, Escalon explained, entered through a possibly unlocked door on the west side of the campus.
Escalon also stated that DPS has “not verified” reports that officers stood outside the school as witnesses urged them to enter the building.
The timeline of events is still vague and authorities including Escalon and Uvalde police have said there will be more forthcoming.
However, DPS indicated that it was not until about an hour after the suspect breached the school that a tactical team of U.S. Border Patrol officers entered the school and killed the perpetrator.
Uvalde Police Department Chief Daniel Rodriguez released a statement on Thursday asking the public for patience as the full investigation is completed.
“It is important for our community to know that our Officers responded within minutes alongside Uvalde CISD Officers,” Rodriguez said. “Responding UPD Officers sustained gun-shot wounds from the suspect. Our entire department is thankful that the officers did not sustain any life threatening injuries.”
The suspect in the Uvalde murders was 18 years old and committed the massacre with an AR-15 style rifle, according to Gov. Greg Abbott.
Irma Garcia was one of the teachers killed in Tuesday’s shooting. Her husband, Joe Garcia, reportedly died after a heart attack he suffered in the aftermath of his wife’s death.
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Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan. He has coached high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.