More details are emerging about the 911 calls made by children inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas as an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two adults at the primary school. On Friday, Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw held a press conference to discuss an updated timeline of the shooting, the police’s delayed response, and the harrowing calls made by students to 911.
“It’s better that I read it than you listen to it,” McCraw said before discussing the calls, taking a moment to collect himself.
Without naming the children, McCraw said that a student in room 112 made four emergency calls: first, at 12:03 pm for one minute and 23 seconds as she whispered her location to first responders. She called back at 12:10 and said multiple people were dead. She then called at 12:13 and 12:16 and said eight to nine students in her classroom were alive.
By 12:19, another female student had made a 911 call from room 111. “She hung up after another student told her to hang up,” explained McCraw. Two minutes later, three gunshots could be heard from a second call. At 12:36, that same student called again for 21 seconds, before making a final call and staying on the line.
“She told us that he shot the door at 12:43,” McCraw said. “At 12:47, she asked 911 to ‘Please send the police now.'”
Minutes later, the student said she could hear officers on the scene taking students out of the classrooms. Later in the conference, when answering questions from journalists, McCraw said that more than one of the 911 callers survived. He provided no further detail.
The 911 calls discussed by McCraw were made as students waited for more than 40 minutes for police officers to intervene with the school shooter, and enter the school building, despite 19 officers being on school premises. McCraw explained that instead of entering the building, officers waited to enter — after receiving a master key — since they believed the gunman was barricaded and children were no longer in danger.
“Of course, it was not the right decision,” McCraw said. “It was the wrong decision.”
“Go in there! Go in there!” women shouted, according to one witness.
Javier Cazares, whose daughter Jacklyn was killed, said police were congregated outside the building when he arrived, before he suggested that the parents barge into the building.
“Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,” he said. “More could have been done.”
One mother claimed to the Wall Street Journal that she was put in handcuffs while trying to urge law enforcement to enter the school.
“The police were doing nothing,” she said, according to the Journal. “They were just standing outside the fence. They weren’t going in there or running anywhere.”