One parent finally broke through and ran to the school to retrieve her children on her own when police would not do so. How many parents would have done the same if police had not stopped them?
“The police were doing nothing,” said Angeli Rose Gomez, who after learning about the shooting drove 40 miles to Robb Elementary School, where her children are in second and third grade. “They were just standing outside the fence. They weren’t going in there or running anywhere.”
State officials have said that local police were at the school within a few minutes of the gunman entering the building and exchanged gunfire with him, but they were unable to gain access to a classroom where he barricaded himself, firing on officers.
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.
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.
Videos circulated on social media Wednesday and Thursday of frantic family members trying to get access to Robb Elementary as the attack was unfolding, some of them yelling at police who blocked them from entering.
“Shoot him or something!” a woman’s voice can be heard yelling on a video, before a man is heard saying about the officers, “They’re all just [expletive] parked outside, dude. They need to go in there.”
Look, I get it. It’s scary to be a cop and think about your own family at home and what you would be willing to risk. But these were little kids we’re talking about. You’re supposed to be the folks “who run toward danger when everyone else is running away.”
I think what it best illustrates is how impotent even a department full of patrol officers and SWAT team members, along with assorted federal agents, can be in the face of even just one guy with automatic weapons in a school.
The answer is not more armed people in schools. It’s less guns available to every nut who wants one or many of them.