“Evil” gunman barricaded himself in classroom, opened fire: official
The gunman behind a deadly mass shooting at a Texas elementary school barricaded himself inside a classroom and opened fire while teachers broke windows throughout the school to try to save other children, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.
Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department Public Safety described Tuesday’s ordeal in an interview with Tony Dokoupil, “CBS Mornings” host.
He said the 18-year-old shooter stormed Robb Elementary School in the small city of Uvalde shortly after crashing his car in the area and immediately engaged in gunfire with state troopers on the scene. Olivarez stated that the gunman shot several officers and then locked himself inside a classroom.
“At this point, [he], just started shooting children, teachers, and students inside that classroom, with no regard for human lives,” Olivarez stated. “Just a tragedy. A criminal entered the school and killed children without any reason. “
Authorities said 19 children and two adults were killed in the attack — which is the deadliest school shooting since December 2012, when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
The Texas shooter, identified by Salvador Ramos as the shooter, was killed by law enforcement authorities, authorities stated.
Before the attack at Robb Elementary — attended by students from second to fourth grade –the gunman was involved in a domestic disturbance with his grandmother, Olivarez said. According to the lieutenant, the killer shot the woman and fled the house in a car, before crashing just outside the school. He then abandoned the vehicle.
The grandmother was still in hospital Wednesday morning.
Olivarez said state police learned the shooter was making his way into the school and were the first to respond.
” They heard the gunfire,” said Olivarez. “They saw the shooter. The shooter opened fire on them at that point. Numerous police officers were also shot. “
As soon as the gunman opened fire in a classroom, teachers from other rooms began “breaking windows to evacuate children to stop any further loss of lives,” the lieutenant stated.
” The initial officers who arrived on the scene were at a disadvantage,” Olivarez said. “They couldn’t get in, given the manpower on the scene. Their primary goal was to evacuate as many children possible. “
While helping with the evacuations, officers “kept hearing the gunfire,” Olivarez said.
A specialized tactical unit, made up of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, eventually entered the classroom, Olivarez stated. Olivarez stated that one of the officers was shot but has since left the hospital.
A preliminary investigation indicates the shooter was armed with a handgun, an AR-15 assault weapon and high capacity magazines, law enforcement sources told CBS News. Olivarez stated that federal firearm investigators are investigating how the gunman obtained the weapons.
The gunman lived in Uvalde with his grandparents and attended a local high-school, according to the lieutenant. Olivarez stated that he was unemployed with no criminal record or gang affiliation. The motive of the shooter is still under investigation.
” We are still trying to figure out the motives, the indicators, and if there were any red flags before this mass shooting,” Olivarez stated.
The shooting comes just 10 days after another massacre, described by authorities as “racially motivated,” left 10 people dead at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.