[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
More unsettling details of Tuesday’s deadly mass school shooting in Texas have come out — as chaos continues to follow in its wake.
According to reports, the gunman who killed 19 elementary school students and 2 teachers with a semi-automatic rifle this week barricaded himself inside the classroom where all of his victims were found.
The revelation was made by Lt. Chris Olivarez from the Texas Department of Public Safety, who told CNN that officers responding to the shooting at Robb Elementary School were “at a point of disadvantage” because the shooter had already crouched down inside the classroom — the only classroom he had entered that fateful day.
Olivarez said the shooter entered the classroom at around 11:30 a.m., “locked the door, and just started shooting children and the two teachers” inside, telling the outlet:
“Just goes to show you the complete evil from this shooter.”
Olivarez said an initial lack of “sufficient man-power” at the scene had hindered police from engaging the shooter, so authorities started breaking classroom windows to evacuate students and their teachers instead, in an effort to save as many lives as possible.
When officers did exchange gunfire with the shooter later on, one officer was struck by a bullet and sustained a non-life-threatening wound. Eventually, police were able to fatally shoot the gunman.
It’s been said by authorities that the gunman shot his grandmother, who has so far survived her injuries, before traveling to the school. The shooter crashed his car in a ditch near the school, and was able to enter the building, despite being engaged by law enforcement outside the school.
The children killed were in the second, third, and fourth grades, police confirmed. One of the victims includes fourth grade teacher Eva Mireles. Police have not discussed a motive for the shooter, who they believe acted alone.
Many of these details were shared at a press conference on Wednesday that grew so tense, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke had to be escorted out of the building.
The moment came when Beto interrupted the presser from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and shouted at the current governor for his “totally predictable” response to the shooting — blaming it solely on mental health and having nothing to do with easy access to guns.
Several attendees on the stage, including Sen. Ted Cruz, started biting back, telling O’Rourke that he was “pathetic,” and that this was no place for politics. Abbott ordered law enforcement officers to escort Beto, who is running for governor, outside the auditorium. Watch it all go down (below).
WATCH: Beto O’Rourke confronts Texas Gov. Abbott as state officials share details of the mass shooting in Uvalde.
O’Rourke: “You are doing nothing. … This is totally predictable.”
Lt. Gov Dan Patrick: “You’re out of line and an embarassment.” pic.twitter.com/x68fo3v4UZ
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 25, 2022
Abbott resumed the press conference following the outburst, saying that state laws that allow 18-year-olds to purchase long-barrel rifles have been on the books for 60 years. He argued that what is really driving mass shootings is “the status of mental health in our society.”
Meanwhile, O’Rourke held an impromptu press conference outside, saying of Abbott:
“He’s refused to expand Medicaid, which would bring $10 million a year, including mental health care access for people who need it. He’s refused to champion red flag laws. … He’s refused to support safe-storage laws so young people cannot get their hands on their parents’ weapons.”
Beto went on to say that the shooter “who just turned 18, bought an AR-15 and took it into an elementary school and shot kids in the face and killed them.” He added:
“Why are we letting this happen in this country? Why is this happening in this state? Year after year, city after city,” O’Rourke said. “This is on all of us if we do not do something and I am going to do something and I’m not alone. The people of Texas are with us, the majority of people in Texas are with us. Well, we’ve got to stand up to this… We just can’t accept this theater or business as usual, and accept the next shooting… We could have stopped this if we had stood up after Santa Fe High School, if we had stood up after El Paso… We are going to stop the next one. We’re standing up right here in Uvalde, Texas, right now. That’s why I’m here.”
It’s absolute insanity that changes have yet to be made.
[Image via ABC News]