Expolicia analyzes the actions of agents in the shooting of Uvalde 2:26
(WABNEWS) — In the 77-minute bloodshed at a Texas elementary school, teacher Eva Mireles spent her last moments on the phone with her husband, telling him she was dying, a Uvalde County official told The Associated Press. New York Times.
But her husband, school district police officer Ruben Ruiz, was unable to save her and 20 other victims massacred last week at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.RELATED
Police Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo decided not to break into the adjoining classroom where a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers, including Mireles.
During the bloodbath, a negotiator tried to call the attacker but did not respond, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told reporters Wednesday.
“They tried every number they could find that it was associated with,” McLaughlin said. Now this grief-stricken city is also racked by shifting police storiesunanswered questions and the horror of learning that 21 victims were trapped with a gunman for more than an hour, despite repeated calls to 911 for help from inside classrooms.
The last call from a teacher to her husband
Mireles, a fourth-grade teacher, was on the phone with Ruiz during the massacre, Uvalde County Judge Bill Mitchell told The New York Times after being tipped off by sheriff’s deputies.
Ruiz was one of many police officers who responded to the school during that attack. “She was in the classroom and he was outside. It’s terrifying,” Mitchell told the Times on Wednesday.
In Texas, county judges are the chief executive officers of the county. Mitchell said he didn’t know the exact words the teacher and school district police officer exchanged. But the core message was devastating.
“He was outside listening to his wife: ‘I’m dying,'” Mitchell told the Times.
He said he did not know if Ruiz passed on the details of his phone call with his wife to Arredondo, who was the incident commander during the massacre.
The director of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the incident commander believed the scene was no longer an active attacker situation, but rather a barricaded person scenario. It is not clear why.
Established law enforcement policy, created in the wake of the 1999 Columbine school shooting, requires police to apprehend the armed person as quickly as possible in an active shooter situation.
Speaking exclusively to WABNEWS on Wednesday, Arredondo said he will not provide any more information while the funerals take place.
“We are going to be respectful of the family,” said Arredondo, who was sworn in as a new member of the city council on Tuesday.
“We’re going to do that eventually,” the school district police chief said. “As long as this is done and families stop crying, then we’ll do it, obviously.”
‘It was an honor’ to spend final moments with a heroic teacher
In this small town, everyone knows someone deeply affected by the massacre. After Border Patrol tactical agents stormed classrooms and killed 18-year-old shooter Salvador Ramos, a Texas DPS trooper saw the carnage and found to a seriously injured friend.
WABNEWS confronts Uvalde school police chief 0:41
It was Mireles, the teacher who told her husband that she was dying.
“It was an honor to spend the last moment with Eva as she left this Earth for a better place,” DPS Agent Juan Maldonado told WABNEWS affiliate KSAT.
Maldonado met Mireles and her husband years ago when their daughters joined the same soccer team, KSAT reported.
“She protected her students,” Maldonado said. “She is a hero to everyone, and she is a hero to the family and to Uvalde.”
Mireles’ funeral is scheduled for Friday.
The funeral for the other slain teacher, Irma Garcia, and her husband, Joe Garcia, was held on Wednesday. Joe Garcia died of a heart attack two days after his wife was shot to death. The couple’s family attributed his death to a broken heart.
What’s the research on now?
Local, state and federal investigators will be examining the still-evolving details of the massacre to try to understand what went so horribly wrong.
At this time, the Texas Rangers are investigating the massive tragedy. Once the agency completes its investigation, Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Busbee said she will review the report and determine how to proceed.
“The Rangers will complete their investigation. I’ll review it and then we’ll see if there are any criminal charges that need to be filed,” Busbee said.
At the same time, the US Justice Department said it will review law enforcement’s response to the deadly attack.
The review is intended to “provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses that day, and identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active fire events,” he said. a Justice Department spokesman.
While the investigations have not been completed, some notions are very clear, said Thor Eells, executive director of the National Association of Tactical Officers (NTAO).
He said the incident commander’s belief that the attacker was no longer active and the decision not to immediately storm the classroom were “100% wrong.”
“If you’re in a classroom with innocent victims and I know shots have been fired, I need to talk to you,” Eells said. “Even if you stopped shooting, I will enter the room so we can begin administering life-saving aid to any potential victims.”
WABNEWS’s Mark Morales, Aaron Cooper, Shimon Prokupecz, Aya Elamroussi, Virginia Langmaid and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.