Return to Transcripts main page

Inside Politics

TX Officials Give Update On Mass Shooting At Robb Elementary School; Official: Teacher Called 911 After Hearing Car Crash, Shots Fired; Official: Shooter Shot At Least 100 Rounds; Official Gives Minute-By-Minute Timeline Of School Shooting; Official: It Was "Wrong Decision" Not To Breach Classroom Door. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired May 27, 2022 - 12:00   ET



JOHN KING, CNN HOST, INSIDE POLITICS: Hello, and welcome to Inside Politics. I'm John King in Washington. Thank you for sharing this important news day with us. Any moment now, we will get another update, a new update from Texas officials about the Uvalde massacre that killed 19 children and two of their teachers.

Some giant questions, of course, remain unanswered this hour. Why did law enforcement wait so long to breach that classroom? Why did their story change about the gunman being confronted on his way into the school? Why many parents were asking outside that school, would the police not go in? And if they would not go in, why wouldn't they let them go in?

Let's get straight to the scene. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz is right there. Shimon, walk us through some of the key questions. The kindest way I could describe what we've heard over the last three days is it's contradictory and it's inconsistent. Do we expect that the authorities now are trying to give us a clearer, fuller factual timeline?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Hard to tell what expectations are right now. I can tell you that the someone from the DPS here, told us that the director here is going to take a lot of questions. They expect this to be an extensive briefing. And you can see there's a whiteboard behind me and I think he may be coming to the podium. But that is a map of the school. And it looks like the director here is now taking the podium, John.

So, we're going to wait, but what they're telling us that this is going to be an extensive briefing. He's going to take a lot of questions. The Texas rangers you see are behind them. There are also FBI agents behind him. So, and that is the map. It looks like of the school, John, and here we go.

KING: He's the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.


COL. STEVEN MCCRAW, DIRECTOR. TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: Good morning. Thank you for being here today. My name Steven McCraw, Director of Texas Department of Public Safety. On Tuesday, the District Attorney for the 38th Judicial District, we're seeing a Mitchell requested that the Texas rangers under the department of public safety, assume lead responsibility of this horrific murder of 19 innocent child and two adults.

Our goal today is to provide the parents, the community of Uvalde the public, as much information as we can and where we are on the investigation. We're here to report the facts as we know them now. Not to defend what was done or to criticize what was done, or the actions taken.

I'll begin first and foremost with the timeline as we know it. Second, the second timeline I'll discuss is the 911 timeline. Then we'll talk about the relevant social or digital media footprint of the subject. You will also have plenty of time for questions at that point.

At 11:27, we know from video evidence, 11:27 the exterior door suspected for what the - where we knew the shooter enter. We're almost - was propped open by a teacher. At 11: 28, the suspect vehicle crashes into the ditch as previously described. The teacher runs to the room 132 to retrieve a phone and that same time teacher walks back to the exit door and door remains propped open.

There were two males as reported by regional director Escalon yesterday. There were two males at a funeral home that when he heard the crash, they went to the crash scene. When they arrived at the crash scene before they got there, they saw a man with a gun exit the passenger side with a backpack. They immediately began running.

Well, Ramos begin shooting at him, did not hit him. One of the males fell when he was running. Both males returned the funeral home while they're running. And then again, we see through video, teacher reemergence inside the school and panic and apparently calls 911. 911 call at 11:30. There was a crash man with a gun.

At 11:31, the suspect reaches last row of vehicles in the school parking lot, 11:31, the suspect shooting began at the school, while patrol vehicles got to the funeral home. I'll point out where it is. Crashed vehicle is over here. Suspect is hiding behind a vehicle, started walking down, shooting in the classroom.


There's a discussion early on that an ISD, consolidated ISD for Uvalde, head officer was a resource officer had confronted the subject that did not happen is already Escalon talked about yesterday. It certainly stated in preliminary interviews, but often these preliminary interviews and a cursory walkthrough doesn't reveal the type of information and certainly, you know, police officers like anyone else under stress. Sometimes witnesses get it wrong.

But the bottom line is that officer was not on scene, not on campus, but had heard the 911 call with a man with a gun, drove immediately to the area. Spared to what he thought was the man with a gun, to the back of the school, who turned out to be a teacher and not the suspect. And doing so, he drove right by the suspect who was hunkered down behind the vehicle where he began shooting at the school. At 11:31, the suspect shooting in between the vehicle is when it began. Well, patrol vehicle gets to the funeral home. Multiple shots are fired outside the school at 11:31. Patrol car accelerated in the parking lot, drives by the shooter, that's exactly what I was talking about the - it was the ISD officer at that time.

He passes and leaves the camera view. There is multiple shots fired at the school at 11:32, at 11:32:27 and 11:32:36. At 11:33 is when the suspect entered the school at the door that I'm pointing to now. 11:33 the suspect began shooting into room 111 or 112, is not possible determine from the video angle that we have at this point in time.

We do know this. That he shot more than 100 rounds, based on the audio evidence at that time, at least one hundred rounds. Here at 11:33 - or 11:33 started shooting in the classrooms at 111, 112. At 11:35 three police officers enter the same doors a suspect entered. All three of those police officers worked for the Uvalde police department.

They later followed by another four, the team, with Uvalde police officers three, and also a county sheriff, county deputy sheriff. So, a total of seven officers were on the scene. The three initial police officers that arrived went directly to the door and two receive grazing wounds at that time from the suspect, while the door was closed.

At 11:37, there was more gunfire, another 16 rounds was fired at 11:37, one at 11:37 and 16 seconds 11:38, 11:40, 11:44. At 11:30, a police sergeant and USP agents started arrive. At 12:03, officers get continued to arrive in the hallway. And there were as many as 19 officers at that time in that hallway. At 12:15 we know that BORTAC members arrive, not the entire BORTAC but members of BORTAC along with shields.

At 12:21, the suspect fired again, was believed to be at the door. 11:21 law enforcement moved down the hallway. At 11:50, they breached the door using keys that they're able to get from the janitor because both doors were locked. Though both of the classrooms that he shot into were locked when officers arrived. They killed the suspect at that time.

And now I'd like to go over the 911 timeline. So, what is not, it's better that I read it than you listen to it. The caller identified. I'll not say her name. Who but she was in room 112, called 911 at 12:03. The duration of the call was one minute 23 seconds. She identified herself, whispered she's in room 112.


At 12:10, she called back in room 12 advisor multiple dead. 12:13, again she called on the phone. Again at 12:16, she's called back and said there was eight to nine students alive. At 12:19, 911 call was made and another person in room 111 calls. I will not say her name. She hung up on another student told her to hang up.

At 12:21, you can hear, with the 911 call that three shots were fired. At 12:36, 911 call it lasted for 21 seconds. The initial caller called back, student child called back and was told to stay on the line and be very quiet. She told 911 that he shot the door, at approximate 12:43 and 12:47 she asked 911 the police and the police now.

At 12:46, she said she could not - that she could hear the police next door. At 12: 50 shots are fire that can be heard. With 911 call at 12:51 is very loud and sounds like the officers are moving children out of the room. At that time, first of all that called was outside before the call cuts off.

Additional information that we have is that there are 58 total magazines at the school led to the crime scene, 11 those magazines were inside the school. Three were on the suspect's body. Two in room 112, six inside room 111, five were on the ground, one was in the rifle. There were 32 magazines outside of school, but on school property, one just outside the school building and 31 and the suspects backpack that he did not take into the classrooms with them.

There is 15 magazines at the crash site. There are two magazines at the suspect residence for a total of 60 magazines. He had purchased and had a total of 1657 total rounds of ammunition. 315 of those rounds were inside the school, 142 that those were spent cartridges. 173 were live rounds. 122 were outside of the school, but on school property. 22 of those were spent cartridges.

900 were live rounds. 422 were at the crash site, 22 were spent cartridges, 400 of those were live rounds. There's 35 spent law enforcement cartridges total in the school. Eight of those were in the hallway, 27 were inside the classroom 111 where the suspect was killed.

I have mentioned that we're going to go over quickly by digital timeline, well like we talked about early and want to correct something that was said early on in the investigation, is that that he posted, OK, on Facebook publicly that he was going to kill - he's going to shoot his grandmother and secondly after that, that he was going to - that he had shot her and the third - that he's going to go shoot up a school. That did not happen. It was actually on a message, was a Facebook application, messenger application to somebody else that he had a conversation with.

We know that through his digital media footprint. And I'll just go by - I'll just do by date time. The Ramos asked his sister to help him buy a gun. She flatly refused. That was in September of '21. He may avoid some of these and get to the Instagram four group chat. And it was discussed that Ramos was being a school shooter. That was on February 28 of 2022.

On March 1, 2022, there was an Instagram he had with four people of the chat. He discussed him buying a gun. On March 3, 2022, there's another four-person chat, "word on the street" as you're buying a gun. Ramos replied, just bought something or in.

On March 14, and there was an Instagram posting by the subject in "10 more days." The user replied, are you going to shoot up school or something? The subject replied, no. And stop asking dumb questions and you will see. [12:15:00]

We have many questions, and I've agreed to stay as long as we can to answer as many of those questions that we can. If I can't answer it, because we don't know, definitively right now, I'll simply say that, and it continues to be a plenary investigation. You know, literally, you know, certainly over hundreds of interviews have been conducted, will continue to be conducted.

And there's thousands of leads that are being pursued. Not consecutively, but concurrently. And thanks to our federal and local partners, and do what I mentioned behind me, we've got the FBI special agent in charge. We also have the ATF's special agent charge or a sack. And of course, well, what I got behind me. OK. Texas rangers, if there's any specifics that I haven't covered, that I might need their particular support on.

I do want to cover one thing quickly, though, before I go to questions. And that's some of the questions that we've received that we've already received. And one of those is going around now that there's that, in fact, the subject had been one of the two arrested by the Texas rangers and the local police back in 2018. That's not the case. He was not one of the individuals. In fact, we found no links associated in relationships, that investigation.

Literally, it was a threat. It was back in 2018. The two juveniles were charged, was attempted or conspiracy to commit capital murder. There's no question that we thought, and we had evidence, and certainly a district attorney agreed that these juveniles one 13 and one 14 years old, was a threat to Uvalde. And there was a discussion at that time, even the senior year of the one that was 14 years old, which would make it 2022. However, that was not the subject. Questions?

Well, one thing I want to say, one thing I failed to say is that, when we're done, we have (Inaudible), well this is going to translate into Spanish. OK. What the answers and the questions are afterwards.

PROKUPECZ: We just need you to stay at the microphones, otherwise the cameras. Thank you for doing this. And I do hope you stay here and take as many questions as possible. Did you say there were 19 officers gathered in the hallway or somewhat? What efforts were made to try and break through that door? You say it was locked. What efforts were the officers making to try and break through either that door or another door, get inside that classroom.

MCCRAW: But none of that time? The on-scene commander at the time, believed that it had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject.

PROKUPECZ: You have people who are alive, children who are calling 911 saying, please send the police. They are alive in that classroom. There are lives that are at risk.

MCCRAW: We're well aware of that.

PROKUPECZ: Right. But why was this decision made not to go in and rescue these children.

MCCRAW: Again, you know, the on-scene commander considered a barricaded subject and that there was time and there were no more children at risk. Obviously, obviously, you know, based upon the information we have, there were children in that classroom that were at risk, and it was in fact, still an active shooter situation and not a barricaded subject.

PROKUPECZ: Sir if I can follow-up? Sir, if I can follow-up?


MCCRAW: The question is simply is this, was 40-minute gap? And if the 911 operators were aware that children were alive in that classroom, why weren't officers notified of that? And if that's the case, why didn't he take action? That's the question. And again, I'll go back to the answer.


But right now, is that, that it was considered, OK. The decision was made on the scene. I wasn't there. At the same point in time, you know, a decision was made that this is a barricaded subject, situation, there was time to retrieve the keys and wait for a tactical team with the equipment to go ahead and breach the door and take on the subject at that point. That was the decision. That was the thought process that particular point in time.


MCCRAW: There was 19, like I said, there was 19 officers in there. In fact, there was plenty of officers to do whatever needed to be done, with one exception is that the incident commander inside believed they needed more equipment, and more officers to do a tactical breach at that point. That's why BORTAC was requested on the scene. As soon as they were there, they executed a search - released a dynamic entry and went in. And of course, that was not (Inaudible)

Hey. For the benefit of hindsight, hey, the benefit - standby, standby. Hey, standby. Hey, standby. I got it. OK, got it. OK. Hey, from the benefit of hindsight, where I'm sitting now, that of course, it was not the right decision, it was the wrong decision. Very, there's no excuse for that. But again, I wasn't there. But I'm just telling you from what we know, and we believe there should have been an entry at that as soon as you can.


Hey, when there's an active shooter, the rules change. Is no longer, OK, it's no longer a barricaded subject. We don't have time. You don't worry about matter printers. And by the way, Texas embraces active shooter training, active shooter certification, and that that doctrine requires officers, we don't care what agency you're from, you don't have to have a leader on the scene. Every officer lands up, stacks up, goes and finds when those rounds are being fired out and keep shooting until the subject is dead. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible)

MCCRAW: Well, I'll answer to the last, he used the debit card first. But to your point is very expensive, and a debit card is not a credit card, it means he had money in the bank. So, why and how it's being looked at right now. And I'll take this, hundreds of more, thousands of more leads are being looked at right now because we haven't answered all the questions.

We haven't gotten into the why. OK. We know the individual was also into cyber gaming in that regard, and group gaming in that. So, we got a lot of questions are out there. And we're seeking answers, but we've got an obligation, we'll continue to update you when we find something out.


MCCRAW: The border patrol agents, the BORTAC agents that were in the building, did lined up. They're part of the night team that I talked about, and the entry team, ultimately the entry team that went in, but I can tell you that they were told just as like, as any other officer was told, and others even command staff that came on board is that that the incident commander at the time was, it's believed that, you know, that in fact, it was a barricaded subject that we had time, there was no kids at risk.


MCCRAW: I wished it was. I wish it was because there's no question. And I'll say this right now, but every time we have one, these and there's copycats. OK. And we need the public, just like we did back in 2018 that was a public, OK, that came forward and we got two people that are about to shoot up a school or plan to shoot a school is in quite parallel in the public, when you get something just because it sounds like he's a nut.


He may be a nut, but he - just because it sounds like possible to do, he may be intended to do. As I read it on the timeline based upon the chance that he had. So, you know, we need everyone when we have a threat to life like that that take it seriously and report it because ultimately this is trapped. This is tragic. What do you tell the 19 - well the parents of 19 kids, one of the families of two teachers?


MCCRAW: Like I said it before, is that first of all, when it comes to an active shooter is, you don't have weighed in on tactical here. Plain and simple. You got an obligation. What I know now, OK, absolutely. It was an active shooter because you can transition. Keep in mind and the doctrine, OK, of active shooters, you can transition from an alert, from an active shooter situation to a barricaded subject or a barricaded with hostage subject.

But but if shooting continues, and you have any reason to believe that there's individuals alive in there, you've got an obligation to move back to an active shooter posture, and that means everybody out the door.


MCCRAW: Well, we've already as a part time SWAT team number one, the ISDs got, you know, the limited officers. I think what we got six.


MCCRAW: They've got six, yes. Well, the independent consultant - independent school district has six officers, and they didn't have one posted at that location. And someone said, what do you tell the parents? I mean, you know, bottom line is that or someone talked about simply when there's kids in the room, why wasn't there an entry because it was believed.

Like I said at the time that that the subject was stationary barricaded. There was no risk to other children. Again, on retrospect from where I'm sitting right now, clearly there was kids in the room, clearly, OK, they're at risk, and by the way, even when he's going back to shooting, there may be kids that are injured, OK, they may have been shot but injured and it's important for life saving purposes to immediately get there and render aid.



MCCRAW: He was not on campus.


MCCRAW: Well, we'll have all those answers down the road.



MCCRAW: Well, first, I want to say that I want to the consolidated independent school district officers were there early, there was four of them. And they immediately began evacuating the school and did that throughout the process. So, they keep in mind so that was going on. And what do I say to the parents? I don't have anything to say to the parents, other than what had happened. We're not here to defend what happened. We're here to report the facts, so they have the facts.



MCCRAW: I'm sorry. I don't have any information on that.


MCCRAW: One second, though. However, we did review of what DPS officers arrived on the scene. What they did and looked at those systems.


MCCRAW: If I thought it would help, I'll apologize. But let me say that, let me say this. When you go back to the timeline, again, I want to go back into my defending anything, but you go back to the timeline, there was barrage, hundreds of rounds were pumped in and four minutes, OK, in those two classrooms. Then any firing afterwards was sporadic, and it was at the door.