Conflicting stories abound in Texas school shooting

Tess Owen from Vice has the best article about the conflicting stories law enforcement officials are giving about the Uvalde school shooting timeline:

At 1:06 p.m., more than an hour and a half after those first 911 calls were made, the Uvalde Police Department said that the shooter “was in police custody.” 

It isn’t necessarily unusual for timelines to shift in the immediate aftermath of a chaotic shooting like the one that happened in Uvalde. But the difference between some of the official accounts were striking. 

Consistent with what McCraw said, Texas DPS Sgt. Erick Estrada indicated in several media interviews that the gunman encountered law enforcement before he entered the school building. Estrada said a school resource officer assigned to Robb Elementary first tried and failed to stop him. The gunman then encountered two more officers from the Uvalde Police Department. 

“They weren’t able to stop him there, so they did ask for assistance,” Estrada told CNN. A tactical unit arrived “and eliminated the threat,” Estrada said. “Unfortunately, before that happened, the shooter did manage to make entry into the school.” 

Another spokesperson for DPS offered a different version of events. Lt. Chris Olivarez said that when law enforcement, including the school resource officer, responded to the scene, they could already hear gunshots coming from inside the school, according to multiple news outlets. 

The worst part was, as all the heavily armed SWAT team members — the heavily armed “good guys with guns” — were waiting around to stop one 18-year-old from his massacre of tiny children, frantic parents were prevented from entering the school. They were going to go try to save their children if an entire police force, tactical response team, and assorted other law enforcement officials were unable to stop one armed person, those parents were willing to risk their lives for their own children.

Or, as the Vice article notes:

While some details from officials remain murky, one takeaway has become very clear: They still believe a “good guy with a gun” is the solution to ending a mass shooting. Law enforcement, Gov. Abbott, and other members of the GOP have repeatedly stated that more guns, not less guns, make the public safer.  

The myth of an armed good Samaritan who could intervene and save lives during a mass shooting is typically invoked by Republicans and gun rights activists in the wake of such tragedies. But the fact that numerous armed officers failed to prevent one person from slaughtering 19 children and two teachers shows just how hollow that rhetoric is. 

And let’s not forget that it was finally a Border Patrol agent, and not a cop from the Uvalde police force, who finally stopped the carnage — a police force which takes up 40% of the small town’s budget.

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