Tuesday July 5th, 2022 11:54AM

Deputy: 2 officers had chance to shoot Uvalde school gunman

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Two Uvalde city police officers passed up a fleeting chance to shoot a gunman outside Robb Elementary School before he went on to kill 21 people inside the school, a senior sheriff's deputy told The New York Times.

That would mean a second missed opportunity for officers to stop Salvador Ramos before the May 24 rampage inside the school that killed 19 children and two teachers. Officials said that a school district police drove past Ramos without seeing him in the school parking lot.

The unidentified officers, one of whom was armed with an AR-15-style rifle, said they feared hitting children playing in the line of fire outside the school, Chief Deputy Ricardo Rios of nearby Zavalla County told the newspaper.

The officers' chance of stopping Ramos passed quickly, perhaps in seconds, Rios said. When told of the sequence, Rios said a Texas Ranger complained that officers are now scared to use lethal force to stop a gunman.

Messages from The Associated Press to Rios and the Zavala County Sheriff's Office have not been returned. The Zavala County sheriff's officials responded to the shooting in support of Uvalde and Uvalde County officers.

Rios said he had shared the information with a special Test House committee investigating the school massacre.

Uvalde police officials agreed Friday to speak to the committee investigating, according to a Republican lawmaker leading the probe who had begun to publicly question why the officers were not cooperating sooner.

“Took a little bit longer than we initially had expected," state Rep. Dustin Burrows said.

On Thursday, Burrows signaled impatience with Uvalde police, tweeting that most people had fully cooperated with their investigation “to help determine the facts” and that he didn't understand why the city's police force “would not want the same.” He did not say which members of the department will meet with the committee, which is set to continue questioning witnesses in Uvalde on Monday about the attack that killed 19 students and two teachers.

Uvalde police did not reply to messages seeking comment.

Weeks after one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, law enforcement officials have stopped providing updates about what they've learned about the shooting and the police response. Their silence comes after authorities gave conflicting and incorrect accounts in the days after the shooting, sometimes withdrawing statements hours after making them.

Officials also haven't released records sought under public information laws to media outlets, including The Associated Press, often citing broad exemptions and the ongoing investigation. It has raised concerns about whether such records will be released, even to victims' families.

The state House committee has interviewed more than a dozen witnesses behind closed doors so far, including state police, school staff and school district police. The list of witnesses provided by the committee so far has not included Pete Arrendondo, the Uvalde school district police chief, who has faced criticism over his actions during the attack.

Burrows defended the committee interviewing witnesses in private and not revealing their findings so far, saying its members want an accurate account before issuing a report.

“One person's truth may be different than another person's truth," Burrows said Friday.

Since the shooting, Republican leaders in Texas have called for more mental health funding but not new gun restrictions. Authorities say the 18-year-old gunman used and AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle. Police did not confront he gunman for more than an hour, even as anguished parents outside the school urged officers to go in.


Find more AP coverage of the Uvalde school shooting:

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2022
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Deputy: 2 officers had chance to shoot Uvalde school gunman
Two Uvalde city police officers told a sheriff's deputy that they passed up a fleeting chance to shoot the gunman for fear of hitting children outside an elementary school where the gunman killed 21 people
8:32PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Freedom riders' 1947 convictions vacated in North Carolina
Legendary civil rights leader Bayard Rustin and three other men had their convictions vacated posthumously
8:31PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Gunman kills 3 seniors over potluck dinner at Alabama church
Police say a 70-year-old man who fatally shot three elderly people at a church potluck dinner in Alabama had attended services there previously
8:28PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump lashes out at Jan. 6 committee as he teases 2024 run
Former President Donald Trump is lashing out at the the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection as he continues to tease his plans for a third presidential run
7:17PM ( 1 hour ago )
Ukraine gets possible path to EU, aid pledges from Britain
The European Union’s executive arm recommended putting Ukraine on a path to membership, a symbolic boost for a country fending off a Russian onslaught that is killing civilians, flattening cities and threatening its very survival
6:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
Court rejects Trump-era EPA finding that weed killer safe
A federal appeals court has rejected a Trump administration finding that the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup does not pose a serious health risk and is “not likely” to cause cancer in humans
6:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
White House: Florida doctors can order under-5 COVID shots
The White House says Florida doctors will be able to order COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 from the federal government
6:51PM ( 1 hour ago )
GOP candidates undeterred after rival wins Trump endorsement
Kentucky gubernatorial hopeful Ryan Quarles is doubling down on his grassroots Republican strategy
5:47PM ( 2 hours ago )
US adds $103M for wildfire hazards and land rehabilitation
The U.S. is adding $103 million this year for wildfire risk reduction and burned-area rehabilitation throughout the country as well as establishing an interagency wildland firefighter well-being program
4:48PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Iowa court: Abortion not protected by state constitution
The Iowa Supreme Court has made it easier for lawmakers to limit or outlaw abortion in the state, reversing a decision by the court just four years ago that guaranteed the right to abortion under the Iowa Constitution
11:50AM ( 8 hours ago )
Nebraska rushes to build horse tracks despite few fans
Horse races are regularly held in only two spots in Nebraska, but the tracks in Grand Island and Columbus are usually pretty quiet apart from the rumble of thoroughbreds that stomp past the often empty grandstands
10:45AM ( 9 hours ago )
Takeaways from AP interview: Biden on inflation, US psyche
President Joe Biden sat down with The Associated Press to discuss the state of the economy, his concerns about the national mood and his commitment to standing up to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine
7:13AM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Gunman kills 3 seniors over potluck dinner at Alabama church
Police say a 70-year-old man who fatally shot three elderly people at a church potluck dinner in Alabama had attended services there previously
8:28PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Montana governor under fire for vacationing during flood
Montana's governor was not in Montana — or in the U.S. at all — when punishing floods hit Yellowstone National Park and communities on its fringes this week
8:25PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Morikawa, Rahm, McIlroy bring buzz to Brookline in US Open
The storm clouds never arrived at the U.S. Open
8:16PM ( 21 minutes ago )
US Open updates: Dahmen (-5) joins Morikawa for 36-hole lead
Joel Dahmen is in the clubhouse at 5 under, good enough with a tie for the lead with Collin Morikawa
7:55PM ( 41 minutes ago )
Official in election standoff avoids prison in Capitol riot
An elected official who was a central figure in a New Mexico county’s refusal to certify recent election results based on debunked conspiracy theories about voting machines has avoided more jail time for joining the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol
7:40PM ( 56 minutes ago )