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What we know, minute by minute, about how the Uvalde shooting and police response unfolded

State officials provided a timeline of the massacre and have corrected crucial details amid public demands for information on how authorities handled the situation.

UVALDE, Texas — (The Texas Tribune) Details of how a gunman was able to enter Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and kill 19 students and two teachers over the course of an hour have come out in parcels since the shooting.

Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Department of Public Safety officials have walked back some of their initial statements about the shooting and the authorities’ response after contradictory information came to light.

Details of how long it took for officers to confront the shooter — about 1 hour and 15 minutes — have also sparked widespread outage and criticism. In July, an investigation into the shooting by a Texas House committee determined the law enforcement response was plagued by "systemic failures and egregious poor decision making."

Here is a timeline of the events according to the most recent information available.

September 2021-February 2022

Shooter buys gun-related accessories and asks for help to buy guns

Before turning 18, the gunman asked at least two different people — including his sister — to buy guns for him. Both people refused. In November 2021 and February 2022, the shooter also bought several gun-related accessories online. Those included rifle slings, a military carrier vest and a snap-on trigger system. He also bought 60 rounds of ammunition.

  • Source: Texas House committee report; Texas Department of Public Safety

March-May 2022

Gunman alludes to his plans on social media

The gunman foreshadowed his plans for a mass shooting during several interactions on social media. He referenced doing something in May that would make him famous and put him “all over the news.”

  • Source: Texas House committee report

May 16-18, 2022

Shooter purchases guns, ammunition

The shooter turns 18, the legal age for purchasing a rifle in Texas, on May 16. That same day, he purchases a Daniel Defense AR-15-style rifle and 1,740 rounds of ammunition. The next day, he purchases a Smith & Wesson AR-15-style rifle and returns the following day to purchase an additional 375 rounds of ammunition. In total, he spent at least $4,896 on weapons, ammunition and accessories.

  • Source: Texas House committee report

May 24, 2022: Day of shooting

11:06-11:20 a.m.

Shooter sends text messages before shooting grandmother

The gunman begins sending text messages to an online friend in Germany about being annoyed with his grandmother and that he was about to “do something to her rn [right now]”

  • Source: Texas House committee report

11:21 a.m.

“I just shot my grandma in her head. Ima go shoot up a elementary school rn [right now].”

— Gunman’s text message to the German friend after shooting his grandmother

Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

11:22-11:27 a.m.

Shooter steals vehicle and drives to school

After the gunman shoots his grandmother in the face, he steals her truck and drives from her home to Robb Elementary School, which is a few blocks away. The grandmother, who survived being shot, seeks help from a neighbor.

Before the gunman arrives at the school, a teacher props open the door on the west side of the building with a rock.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Texas House committee report

11:28 a.m.

Shooter arrives near the school

The shooter crashes the vehicle in a ditch near the school. He exits the vehicle, fires three rounds with his gun at two male witnesses near a funeral home and then flees. The two witnesses are unharmed and call 911.

Credit: Google Earth

11:29 a.m.

Door on west side of the building is closed; a teacher calls 911

The same teacher who earlier propped open the door on the west side of the building sees the gunman approaching and slams the door shut. She yells for students to get into their classrooms and calls 911, according to school surveillance footage. Authorities originally said the teacher had left the door propped open.

    • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center; Texas House committee report

11:30 a.m.

Coach Yvette Silva sees shooter, warns students

The gunman tosses a backpack over the five-foot fence that was around the perimeter of the school property and then climbs over it.

Robb Elementary Coach Yvette Silva sees the gunman begin to shoot. She runs away and tells a group of third graders to lock down. She used the school radio to report the incident.

  • Source: Texas House committee report

11:30 a.m.

“Coach Silva to office, somebody just jumped over the fence and he’s shooting.”

— Coach Yvette Silva reporting over the school radio

Source: Texas House committee report

11:31 a.m.

Shooter walks through the school parking lot

The shooter reaches the last row of the school parking lot, firing his rifle from between vehicles.

Surveillance footage from the funeral home also shows a school district police patrol vehicle entering the school parking lot and driving by the concealed shooter.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center

11:32 a.m.

Gunman fires multiple shots outside the school

The gunman fires shots through windows into rooms on the west side of the school, according to funeral home video footage and an audio file from internal school surveillance.

According to the Advance Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center report, a Uvalde police officer sees the gunman outside and asks a supervisor for permission to shoot. Days after the ALERRT report was released, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin disputed that such an event happened.

According to a Texas House committee report, the person the officer saw was not the gunman, but Robb Elementary Coach Abraham Gonzales.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center; Texas House committee report

11:32 a.m.

School goes into lockdown

Upon hearing Coach Silva’s report over the radio, the principal and head custodian of the school started to implement a lockdown, including sending out an alert. Teachers in the school began to tell their students to hide inside the classrooms. Some also closed and locked doors.

  • Source: Texas House committee report

11:33 a.m.

Shooter enters the school

The shooter enters the school through a back door on the northwest side of the school. The door had been closed earlier by the teacher, but it was either “already unlocked or the lock failed to engage, which [the teacher] could not have known because the doors lock from the outside”, according to the Texas House committee report. None of three exterior doors to the building were locked, in violation of school policy, according to the report.

The gunman then walks into classroom 111 and doesn’t appear to encounter a locked door, according to school surveillance footage. A report from the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center also determined the shooter didn’t appear to encounter a locked door. The Texas House committee report elaborates that the door did not lock properly and that it was a widely known fact around school. Arnulfo Reyes, the room’s teacher, had also reported the condition of the door to the school in the past.

The shooter briefly walks out the classroom door and then goes back in, shooting some more. He shoots at least 100 rounds in over two and half minutes inside rooms 111 and 112, which are connected. Children’s screams can be heard in the school surveillance footage. In addition, one of the bullets passed through the walls and struck a teacher in nearby Room 109, who survived. According to the Texas House committee report, “the attacker fired most of his shots and likely murdered most of his innocent victims before any responder set foot in the building.”

Credit: Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center; Texas House committee report

11:35 a.m.

Uvalde police enter the school

Two seperate groups of police officers enter the building from different directions. Three Uvalde police officers rush to the same door that the gunman used to enter, which was closed. Surveillance footage shows the officers all have pistols, and two of them have rifles. One officer has external armor, and two are wearing concealable armor.

At the same time, four officers entered the school through the south entrance: Pete Arredondo, the chief of the school district’s police department; another school district officer; and two Uvalde police officers.

Arredondo does not have his radios. Arredondo wanted both hands on his gun if he encountered the shooter and believed the radios would have slowed him down, his attorney later told the Tribune. According to the Texas House committee report, he testified that he was fumbling with them when he got out of his vehicle. He decided to drop them by the school fence knowing that Sgt. Daniel Coronado with the Uvalde Police Department was there and “fully uniformed” with his radio.

  • Source: Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center; Texas House committee report

11:36 a.m.

More law enforcement officers enter school

School surveillance footage shows four more law enforcement officers entering the school through the same door that the gunman used. Three of these officers are with the Uvalde Police Department, and one is a Uvalde school district police officer.

Meanwhile, the first group of law enforcement officers approach classrooms 111 and 112. The officers said that they heard gunfire inside the building as they were approaching and saw a cloud of debris as well as bullet holes in the walls. However, the Texas House committee reports said that none of the officers recalled hearing screams or having any understanding that people had been shot in the classrooms.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center; Texas House committee report

11:37 a.m.

Gunman fires more rounds and drives officers away

One of the officers peered into the vestibule for rooms 111 and 112. He and another officer faced gunfire and immediately retreated to the north end of the hallways. The officers were grazed by fragments of building material. The officers did not fire toward the attacker.

After retreating, Uvalde Police Lt. Javier Martinez advances again toward the hallway, but no other officers follow him. According to the Texas House committee report, several law enforcement officers said that Martinez might have made it to the classroom and engaged with the shooter if others had followed him.

  • Source: Texas House committee report

11:38 a.m.

Law enforcement indicates that the suspect is contained

After 11 rounds, the gunman stops firing, according to an audio analysis from the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center..

After the gunman stops firing, Arredondo checks Room 110 and finds it empty, noting “There’s no babies in here. It’s awards day.” He then testified that “he prayed that if Room 110 was empty, the children might be gone from the rooms occupied by the attacker as well.” Other law enforcement also testified that they heard no screams or cries coming from the rooms and did not know anyone was in need of medical attention.

Arredondo, along with other officers, then began to treat the gunman as a “barricaded subject” rather than an “active shooter”. However, the Texas House committee said this “approach never changed over the course of the incident despite evidence that Chief Arredondo’s perspective evolved to a later understanding that fatalities and injuries within the classrooms were a very strong probability.”

  • Source: Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center; Texas House committee report

11:40 a.m.

Arredondo calls Uvalde Police Department; more gunfire

According to 911 recordings, Arredondo calls the landline of the Uvalde Police Department from his cellphone to describe the situation. He asked for a SWAT team and a radio. However, the commander of the Uvalde SWAT team was actually among the first officers to arrive from the north side of the building.

Meanwhile, the suspect fires one round, according to an audio analysis from the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center.

  • Source: Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center; Texas House committee report

11:41 a.m.

Law enforcement indicates suspect is barricaded and still shooting

Uvalde police Sgt. Coronado requests shields and flashbangs from the police department and helicopter support and ballistic shields from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Law enforcement dispatch asks if the door is locked, and he replies that they don’t know, but that they have a Halligan, an ax-like firefighting tool used to breach doors. The House committee report said that no officers tested whether the classroom doors were locked. Dispatch also asked if there were students inside Room 112 where radio traffic indicated the shooter was, and Coronado responded by requesting a mirror to look around corners. A voice on the radio replied “class should be in session.”

Meanwhile, four additional law enforcement officers enter the school from an east hallway.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Texas House committee report

11:42 a.m.

Children begin to be evacuated

Johnny Field, a Uvalde County constable, arrives on the north end of the hallway and talks over the phone with Arredondo, who is in the south hallway. They discuss the need to evacuate children. Several officers begin breaking classroom windows to evacuate students from the building.

  • Source: Texas House committee report

11:43 a.m.

Robb Elementary and Uvalde police post on Facebook

Robb Elementary announces on Facebook it is under a lockdown status “due to gunshots in the area.”

“The students and staff are safe in the building. The building is secure in a Lockdown Status,” school officials say in the announcement.

At the same time, the Uvalde Police Department posts on Facebook, “Large Police presence at Robb Elementary. We ask the public to avoid the area.”

11:48 a.m.

Officer reports his wife has been shot

Uvalde school district police officer Ruben Ruiz is among law enforcement inside the school, where his wife, Eva Mireles, is a teacher. Ruiz can be heard telling other officers that Mireles has been shot, according to a transcript of police body-camera footage. He is escorted out of the building.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center

11:50 a.m.

Law enforcement indicates people need to get out of hallway

Coronado says that people need to get out of the hallway and proclaims, “Chief [Arredondo] is in there, Chief is in charge right now, hold on.”

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety records; Texas House committee report

11:51-11:52 a.m.

More police arrive

School surveillance footage shows seven law enforcement officers entering the door on the northwest side of the school, the same entrance the gunman used.

A minute later, the first ballistic shield is brought through the same door.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

11:53 a.m.

DPS special agent arrives to maintain the perimeter

Special Agent Luke Williams with the Texas Department of Public Safety arrives. He told the House committee that he “disregarded a request that he assist at the perimeter” outside the building. He makes his way to the east door on the north side of the building. He begins clearing classrooms and finds a student hiding in the boys’ bathroom.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center

11:54 a.m.

Onlooker starts filming

Twenty-one minutes after the shooter enters the school, an onlooker, Angel Ledezma, streams a live video showing parents begging police to enter the school.

Posted by Angel Ledezma on Tuesday, May 24, 2022

11:56 a.m.

Radio communication fails to provide clarity for law enforcement

An unknown person says over a police radio, “[I]t is critical for everybody to let PD take point on this.” However, according to the Texas House committee, none of the witnesses they interviewed “indicated any knowledge of this communication or what it meant by ‘PD’ taking ‘point on this’.”

The report concludes officers either assumed Arredondo was in charge or couldn’t tell who was in charge. Several people interviewed by the committee called the scene “chaos” or a “cluster.”

  • Source: Texas House committee report

11:56 a.m.

DPS special agent asks about kids in classroom

As he approaches a group of officers at the intersection of the hallways, DPS special agent Williams hears someone ask, “y’all don’t know if there’s kids in there?”. Williams says, “If there is, then they just need to go in.” The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center reported this exchange happening at 11:53 a.m.

According to DPS and the Texas House committee report, someone then responds, “Whoever is in charge will determine that.”

Williams also says, “There’s still kids over here. So I’m getting the kids out,” according to body-camera footage. He later leaves to continue clearing other classrooms after another officer pointed out to him that his position would create a “crossfire situation.”

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center; Texas House committee report

11:58 a.m.

Officer believes Arredondo is with the shooter

A law enforcement officer incorrectly believes Arredondo is in the room with the shooter. When asked about the shooter, the officer responds, “The school chief of police [Arredondo] is in there with him.”

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

12:01 p.m.

Law enforcement officer indicates a hostage rescue situation

A DPS special agent indicates that this is a hostage rescue situation and that officers should “go in.” Someone replies, “Don’t you think we should have a supervisor approve that?”

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

12:03 p.m.

Police continue to arrive, and a student calls 911

A student calls 911 from Room 112 for a minute and 23 seconds and identifies herself in a whisper. The House report said that Chief Arredondo did not learn about the call because he didn’t establish a way to get “critical information from outside the building."

The Texas House committee said it “received no evidence that any officer who did learn about phone calls coming from inside Rooms 111 and 112 acted on it to advocate shifting to an active shooter-style response or otherwise acting more urgently to breach the classrooms.”

Meanwhile, at least 19 officers are positioned in a school hallway. School surveillance footage also shows a second ballistic shield being brought through the door that the gunman used.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Texas House committee report

12:04 p.m.

A third ballistic shield is brought into the school

School surveillance footage shows a third ballistic shield being taken through the back door.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

12:06 p.m.

No command post set up

Police radio logs show that no command post is set up, and other officers are needed to keep parents out of the school. The Texas House committee report was critical of the lack of a command post, saying it "could have transformed chaos into order, including the deliberate assignment of tasks and the flow of the information necessary to inform critical decision making.”

  • Source: Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center; Texas House committee report

12:10 p.m.

Student calls back; SWAT officers arrive

The student calls 911 again and says multiple people are dead.

Meanwhile, more SWAT officers arrive on the scene, according to law enforcement body-camera footage. Officers in the west hallway also begin handing out and wearing gas masks.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center

12:11 p.m.

Arredondo requests master key

Arredondo, the chief of the school district’s police department, requests a master key, according to law enforcement body-camera footage. Finding a master key “was a primary focus of his attention for the next 40 minutes,” according to the Texas House committee report.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Texas House committee report

12:13 p.m.

Student calls 911 again

The student calls 911 a third time. By this time, the child had explained that among the dead were several children and one of her teachers. The student said that another teacher was hurt in Room 112.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center

12:15 p.m.

Border Patrol Tactical Unit arrives

Border Patrol Tactical Unit members carrying shields arrive. Paul Guerrero, acting commander for the tactical unit, entered from the north side of the building. In a statement after the event, Guerrero said he was advised “that the subject had possibly shot multiple children and was still in the classroom,” according to the Texas House committee report.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety;Texas House committee report

12:16 p.m.

Student calls 911 once again

The student calls 911 again, saying eight or nine students are alive.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

12:17 p.m.

Arredondo attempts to test keys on a different door; school announces active shooter on campus

Arredondo attempts to test numerous keys on a different door, according to law enforcement body-camera footage.

Meanwhile, Robb Elementary officials announce on Facebook that there is an active shooter on campus.

Onlookers and parents beg for action

At some point during the standoff, onlookers beg police to charge the school, according to The Associated Press. Parents try to break windows and are not allowed to immediately be reunited with their children.

  • Source: News reports

12:19 p.m.

Another student calls 911

A student in Room 111 calls 911 and hangs up when another student tells her to.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

12:21 p.m.

Gunman fires again, fourth ballistic shield is brought to the school

The gunman fires again. Authorities say he was believed to be at the classroom’s door. On a 911 call from a student, three gunshots can be heard. School security footage shows four rounds are fired.

At the same time, school surveillance footage shows a fourth ballistic shield being brought into the hallway. U.S. Marshals officers furnished the shield, which was the only one on scene that was “rifle-rated,” according to the Texas House committee report.

“The Committee heard evidence that the rifle-rated shield was the only one that would have provided meaningful protection to officers against the attacker’s AR-15 rifle,” the report said.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center; Texas House committee report

12:23 p.m.

Medical triage set up in east hallway

School surveillance footage shows Border Patrol medical team members begin to set up medical triage in front of the restrooms in the east hallway. There were backboards, medical kits, a defibrillator and bleeding control supplies.

“This indicates that [the Border Patrol Tactical Unit] likely assumed tactical command of the incident at this time,” according to the Texas House committee report .

  • Source: Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center

12:30 p.m.

Officers move closer, anticipating a breach of the classrooms

Officers moved closer to Rooms 111 and 112, anticipating a move to breach the classrooms, which did not end up happening at that time.

  • Source: Texas House committee report

12:32 p.m.

Search for keys continues

Officers continue searching for keys to the classrooms. The Texas House committee report criticized the long search. "With respect to using keys, ALERRT teaches that “[o]ften, the quickest, most discreet, and safest method of entering a locked building is to locate a key—as long as keys can be located immediately,” but “if a key cannot be located quickly, [law enforcement] responders should use another technique to enter the area without delay.”

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Texas House committee report

12:35 p.m.

An officer with a forcible-entry tool enters school

School surveillance footage shows Guerrero, acting commander for the Border Patrol Tactical Unit, entering the back door with a Halligan or similar tool. Guerrero attempted to use the tool to pry a door open in the hallway to see if it would work. He determined “it would take too long and dangerously expose an officer to gunfire coming from inside the classroom,”, according to the Texas House committee report.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Texas House committee report

12:36 p.m.

Student in Room 111 calls back

The same student calls back for 21 seconds and is told to stay on the line quietly.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

12:38 p.m.

Arredondo attempts to communicate with suspect

Law enforcement body-camera footage shows Arredondo attempting to communicate with the shooter in English and Spanish.

Arredondo periodically tried to communicate with the shooter throughout, including at 12:21 p.m. after shots were fired inside the classroom, according to the Texas House committee report.

  • Source: Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center; Texas House committee report

12:43 p.m.

Gunman shoots the door

The student tells 911 that the gunman shot the door.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

12:45 p.m.

Keys are tested

A law enforcement officer tells the House committee that a Texas Ranger has a set of keys being tested.

In addition, Border Patrol unit commander Guerrero also obtained a master key and another officer advised him to try it on another door first. When the first attempts didn’t work, he then received a second master key which successfully opened the test door. This was the master key that would be used to open the door to Room 111, even though the door was already unlocked.

  • Source: Texas House committee report

12:46-12:47 p.m.

Arredondo gives approval to enter

Arredondo gives his approval to enter the classroom. “If y’all are ready to do it, you do it,” he says.

One minute later, Arredondo says, “He’s going in! He’s going in! Tell those guys on the west that they’re going in! Let ’em know!” according to body-camera footage.

However, according to the Texas House committee report, Arredondo said he did not make the decision for the Border Patrol Tactical Unit to breach the classroom.

  • Source: Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center

12:46 p.m.

“I can hear the police next door.”

— Student who called 911

Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

12:47 p.m.

“Please send the police now.”

— Student who called 911

Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

12:50 p.m.

Officers kill gunman

Shots are heard on the student’s call. A team of officers breach the room and kill the gunman, who has been hiding in a closet and emerges when the officer enters.

The Texas House committee report criticized officers for taking so long to enter, saying “there was an unacceptably long period of time before officers breached the classroom, neutralized the attacker, and began rescue efforts."

“Given the information known about victims who survived through the time of the breach and who later died on the way to the hospital, it is plausible that some victims could have survived if they had not had to wait 73 additional minutes for rescue," the report said.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety; Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center; Texas House committee report

12:51 p.m.

Children are moved out of the room

From the student’s 911 call, officers are moving children out of the room. At that time, the student makes it outside, and the call cuts out.

  • Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

1:06 p.m.

Police announce shooter is in custody

Uvalde police announce on Facebook that the shooter is in custody. Authorities recanted that information later.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.

  • Text and research: Reese Oxner and Eric Neugeboren
  • Graphic: Carla Astudillo

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