Texas shooting: Distraught mother ‘handcuffed’ in chaos outside school as another parent ‘pepper sprayed’

Parents of children at Robb Elementary School desperate to get inside claim police ‘did nothing’ as shooting went on

Thomas Kingsley
Friday 27 May 2022 20:06
Troubling video purportedly shows police stopping parents from rushing in during Texas school shooting

Distraught parents say they were handcuffed by police and claim another was pepper sprayed in chaotic scenes outside the Texas school shooting that left 21 dead.

Uvalde Police is facing fresh criticism for its handling of the tragedy on Tuesday, after allegations they did not act fast enough to tackle the gunman inside Robb Elementary School.

Footage shows parents arguing with officers and demanding they storm the school, where gunman Salvador Ramos had barricaded himself in a classroom with the children.

The US Marshals Service released a statement denying their officers arrested parents at the school adding that their “hearts are heavy with sorrow and sadness”. However, at least two parents reported being arrested by officers outside the school.

“The police were doing nothing,” Angeli Rose Gomez told The Wall Street Journal. “They were just standing outside the fence. They weren’t going in there or running anywhere.”

Ms Gomez has two children in second and third grade and had reportedly driven 40 miles to the school after hearing of the attack.

After pleading with officers, she claims she was placed in handcuffs and told she was under arrest for intervening in an active investigation.

Videos show desperate parents asking officers to intervene in Uvalde school shooting

Ms Gomez says she was later able to jump the school fence and rescue her children herself after she convinced an officer she knew to get the marshall to free her.

Police deny that anyone was put in handcuffs outside the school. Ms Gomez also claimed one parent was pepper-sprayed by officers, though this has not been confirmed.

Angel Garza, whose daughter was killed, claims he was also handcuffed after trying to run into the school having heard a “girl called Amerie” had been shot.

Angel Garza was emotional telling his ordeal to news broadcasters

A girl he spoke to explained she wasn’t hurt and the blood was from her best friend “Amerie”. It was then that Angel realized the blood he was looking at came from his own daughter. Mr Garza told the heartbreaking story to CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Another parent, Javier Cazares, whose fourth-grade daughter Jacklyn Cazares was killed in the attack, also accused the police of not doing enough.

“Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,” he said. “More could have been done. They were unprepared.”

Footage from outside the premises show parents telling police to “go protect the kids!” and others suggesting that they “just rush” the school themselves in an effort to get their children to safety.

The incidents were livestreamed on Tuesday and have since been shared on social media. It reveals the parents’ extreme distress as the shooting was underway.

Gunman Ramos, 18, was inside the school for up to an hour before being killed by authorities.

“What are you doing – get inside the building!” one person can be heard yelling in the footage. “Go protect the kids!” another said.

“That’s f***ing crazy, bro, they’re standing all outside, there’s f***ing kids in there still, man,” another parent could be heard saying.

“You’re scared of getting shot? I’ll go in without a vest, I will!” one mother told an officer.

Salvador Ramos was inside the school for up to an hour before being killed by authorities

Steve McCraw, a director in the state of Texas’ Department of Public Safety, defended the law enforcement response on Wednesday.

“The bottom line is law enforcement was there,” he said. “They did engage immediately. They did contain (Ramos) in the classroom.”

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