Timeline of what happened in the Texas school shooting

By Tuesday evening, 21 people had been killed in the mass shooting

Graig Graziosi,Gustaf Kilander
Friday 27 May 2022 18:50

Related video: Joe Biden demands change after Texas mass school shooting

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Police in Uvalde, Texas, are facing a number of unanswered questions about the handling of the mass shooting that left 21 dead at Robb Elementary School.

Local officers and Texas Governor Greg Abbott have spoken out about what unfolded on Tuesday in the horror attack that left 19 elementary students and two teachers dead.

But they have so far been unable to explain how Salvador Ramos was able to barricade himself in a classroom and open fire for more than an hour before being shot dead.

Here’s what we know so far about the timeline (in central daylight time) of events leading up to, and on the day of, the shooting in Uvalde on Tuesday.

20 March

Salvador Ramos, 18, moves in with his grandmother Celia, 66, according to the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steve McCraw.

16 May

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, this is Ramos’s 18th birthday.

17 May

Ramos visits Oasis Outback, where he buys a semi-automatic rifle

18 May

Ramos purchases 375 rounds of ammunition for his new rifle

20 May

Ramos buys another semi-automatic rifle at Oasis Outback.

An exterior view of Oasis Outback, the store where a gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School purchased his weapons, in Uvalde, Texas, U.S., May 25, 2022

The day of the shooting – 24 May

Morning

An account on Instagram that authorities think was connected to Ramos sent another user on the platform a photo of a firearm on a bed

11am

Ramos reportedly sent three private messages on Facebook that parent company Meta says were one-to-one messages. One of the messages, to an unknown person, said that he was planning to shoot his grandmother.

11.21am

A 15-year-old girl from Germany told The New York Times that Ramos text messaged her just before the shooting, saying “Ima go shoot up a elementary school rn”.

The teenager, who is only referred to as Cece, told the newspaper that she received the message immediately after another one at 11.21am, in which the suspect texted her “I just shot my grandma in her head”.

She said that she met Ramos several weeks ago on the livestreaming app Yubo, and that he video messaged her from a gun shop earlier in the month where he said he was buying an AR-15 rifle.

Cece says that she did not raise the alarm but when news of the massacre broke got a friend in the US to contact authorities on her behalf.

Ramos began arguing with his grandmother whom he had been living with his grandmother after he was placed in her home due to ongoing conflicts he was having with his mother.

The argument was reportedly over Ramos failing to graduate high school. He then shot his grandmother in the face, after which he wrote, “I just shot my grandmother” in another one-to-one message.

The 66-year-old woman managed to run across the street and call the police. She was taken to hospital in a helicopter and is still in critical condition, Mr McGraw said.

The home of suspected gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, is cordoned off with police tape on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas

Ramos then wrote that he was planning to attack an elementary school, but didn’t specify which one, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said during a Wednesday press conference.

11.28am - Ramos crashes truck in ditch

Ramos took his grandmother’s car and crashed it in a ditch near Robb Elementary School at 11.28am, according to Victor Escalon Jr, the Department of Public Safety’s South Texas regional director.

A police vehicle is seen parked near of a truck believed to belong to the suspect of a shooting at Robb Elementary School after a shooting, in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. May 24, 2022

Someone who heard the crash called 911 to report the accident.

Ramos left the truck from the passenger’s side with a rifle and a bag of ammunition. He then fired upon two people passing a nearby funeral home, before climbing a fence to get into the school’s parking lot.

Ramos was seen wandering around the school with his rifle, a chilling scene that was captured on video.

Video appears to show gunman walking around school grounds armed with rifle

11.40am - Ramos enters ‘unlocked’ school ‘unobstructed’

At 11.40am, Ramos entered the school from the west side, Mr Escalon said, adding that he was “unobstructed”. Authorities had said earlier that he had been confronted by a school police officer.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said earlier that Ramos was fired upon, but changed their comments on Wednesday to say that he was confronted but wasn’t shot at.

“He walked in unobstructed,” Mr Escalon said. “He was not confronted by anybody.”

A door to the school was unlocked, Mr Escalon said.

“We will find out as much as we can why it was unlocked, or maybe it was locked. But right now, it appears it was unlocked,” he said.

11.43am - ‘Gunshots in the area’

Robb Elementary School writes on Facebook that the campus is on lockdown “due to gunshots in the area”.

11.44am - Police respond

Police responded four minutes after Ramos entered the building, but Mr Escalon said they didn’t enter the school at first “because of the gunfire they were receiving”.

“They hear gunfire, they take rounds, they move back, get cover,” Mr Escalon said, adding that officers evacuated students and teachers while requesting backup.

Ramos barricaded himself inside a classroom and began shooting students and faculty. In total, he killed 19 students, all from the same fourth-grade classroom, and two faculty members.

11.53am - ‘Please, just stay back’

Public transmission on a radio channel used by EMS workers in the area, someone said that a response has been requested to the school area by a lieutenant, The Washington Post reported. An official told first responders, “please, just stay back”.

11.54am - Footage shows parents and bystanders starting to gather outside school

Footage published by The Washington Post shows parents and other bystanders starting to gather outside the school at 11.54am.

As early as 11.58am, police can be seen getting physical with people trying to get closer to the building.

Videos show that desperate parents argued with police officers, urging them to rush into the school.

Footage from outside school premises shows 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 footage was live-streamed on Tuesday and has since been shared on social media.

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

Some parents can be seen in the footage attempting to cross police lines. A woman appeared to be pinned to the ground by an officer, prompting a bystander to yell “what the f*** are you doing to her? Let her go!”

“Y’all keep fighting with us, go fight that motherf***er!” one person can be heard yelling at officers in another video.

In footage from the scene, the person livestreaming can be heard saying that it had “already been about an hour and they still can’t get the kids all out”.

“That’s f***ing crazy, bro, they’re standing all outside, there’s f***ing kids in there still, man,” he said.

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

12.03pm – 911 call placed from inside school

A student called 911 from room 112 at 12.03pm, according to Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety. The call lasted one minute and 23 seconds.

She called back at 12.10pm to report several people were killed, and again three minutes later to report that eight to nine students are still alive.

12.17pm - School district sends social media alert

The Uvalde school district began posting messages to social media warning that an active shooter was at the elementary school campus and that law enforcement had arrived.

“Your cooperation is needed at this time by not visiting the campus. As soon as more information is gathered it will be shared. The rest of the district is under a Secure Status,” the message read.

At 12.19pm, a person in room 111 called 911. The caller hung up when another student told her to hang up.

On a call placed at 12.21pm, “you could hear over the 911 call that three shots were fired,” according to Mr McCraw.

12.30pm - ‘Additional firemen need to respond’

The Uvalde Fire Department says that “additional firemen need to respond to Mill Street to establish a perimeter to assist Uvalde EMS and Uvalde PD”.

At 12.36pm, a 911 call lasted 21 seconds.

“The initial caller called back ... and was told to stay on the line and be very quiet. She told 911 that he shot the door,” according to Mr McCraw.

12.38pm - School establishes reunification site

The Uvalde school district announces that it’s setting up a reunification site at Willie DeLeon Civic Centre to pick up their children.

During a call to 911 at 12.43pm, the caller asked to “send the police now” according to Mr McCraw.

More shots can be heard on another call at 12.50pm.

At 12:51pm, a call got “very loud” and “sounds like officers are moving children out of the room,” Mr McCraw said.

12.52pm - ‘Do not attempt to get closer’

Shots could still be heard at this point, radio recordings show.

“Do not attempt to get closer,” one voice warned on the channel used by EMS staff.

1.06pm - Suspect killed

The suspect was reported to be “in custody”, though it would later be revealed that Ramos was killed.

Flowers and candles are placed outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022, to honor the victims killed in Tuesday's shooting at the school.

2.47pm - Children confirmed taken to hospital

Uvalde Memorial Hospital confirms in a Facebook post that 13 children arrived via ambulances and busses for treatment. At the time it was unclear if the children were injured in the shooting, but it was later confirmed they were killed.

A short time later the hospital confirmed that two of the children who arrived at the hospital were pronounced dead upon arrival. University Health in San Antonio also received injured children and an adult from the school.

3pm - Texas Governor Greg Abbott holds press conference

Mr Abbott gave a press conference naming the shooter as Ramos. He explained that Ramos had abandoned his car and entered the Robb Elementary School with a handgun and potentially a rifle. Mr Abbott then confirmed that at least 14 students and one teacher were killed. He said that two responding officers were also injured.

4.16pm - Joe Biden briefed, police hold press conference

Joe Biden was briefed on the shooting, and Uvalde police held a press conference. During the press briefing, the police confirmed that Ramos had been killed and that they believed he had acted alone.

5.45pm to 6.06pm - Biden speaks with Abbott, Kamala Harris comments

Mr Biden calls Texas Governor Greg Abbott to offer him federal assistance in response to the shooting. Later, Vice President Kamala Harris gave a statement addressing the shooting.

“Every time a tragedy like this happens, our hearts break, and our broken hearts are nothing compared to the broken hearts of those families,” she said. “And yet, it keeps happening.”

6.25pm - More deaths confirmed

Texas Department of Public Safety officials confirmed that the number of children killed had risen to 18. Police also confirmed that Ramos had been killed and that his grandmother was in critical condition.

7.43pm - Biden addresses shooting

Joe Biden

Mr Biden discussed the school shooting in a televised address.

“There are parents who will never see their child again,” he said. “To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away. There’s a hollowness in your chest, and you feel like you’re being sucked into it and never going to be able to get out. It’s suffocating. And it’s never quite the same.”

He went on to call for the US to push back against gun lobbyists.

“When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” he said. “When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?”

8.57pm - Death toll increases again

Texas Department of Public Safety officials confirm that 19 students and two adults were killed by Ramos. The death toll has remained at 21 since that announcement.

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