At least two children called 911, one of whom called for help during a mass shooting at Uvalde Elementary School in Texas on Tuesday.
One girl called 911 more than five times, said Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven K. McCrow at a press conference on Friday afternoon. He did not name the children, but said they both survived attack on Robbie Elementary School.
Nineteen students, two teachers died from the shootings.
The first call to 911 was received at 12:03 pm local time. McCrow said the girl whispered that she was in Room 112. The call lasted one minute and 23 seconds.
The girl called again at 12:10 and said that many people had died, he said. He called at 12:13 and again at 12:16 to say that eight students were alive.
At 12:19, the second student called from room 911 to 111, according to McCrow. The girl turned off the phone when another student told her that she had said:
McCrow said that at 12:21 a.m., during the 911 call, three shots were heard in the background. An extra call came at 12:36, but lasted only 21 seconds. The principal said that the first girl called 911 again, “told her to stay on the line, to be very calm.”
At about 12:43 p.m., at 12:47 p.m., the girl asked the 911 operator, “Please send it to the police now,” McCrow said. At about the same time, the girl said that she heard the voices of the policemen next to her.
Shots were heard during another call at 12:50. About a minute later, McCrow said the bell was “very loud” and “it sounded like the officers were taking the children out of the room.”
Reporters questioned McCrow about the law enforcement response to the 911 calls. There have been about 40 minutes before the murder of the first call and the shooting of Salvador Rolando Ramos by the police.
McCrow, who admitted that law enforcement officers had made a mistake, said a decision had been made at the scene that it was a “barricaded item” and that it was time to retrieve the keys to the room where the shooter was barricaded.
“It was a thought process at the time,” he said.
McCrow went on to say that it was a “wrong decision” for police not to break into the classroom immediately.
“Looking back at where I am sitting now, of course it was not the right decision,” he said of the delay in room officers.
The principal said that the school resource officer who arrived at the scene passed the shooter, who was lying next to the car.
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