A mother who was handcuffed by U.S. Marshals during the widely criticized law enforcement response to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas said in a recent interview that police were “more aggressive” on parents than they were in their rescue attempt.
Speaking with CBS Mornings, Angeli Gomez—whose two sons both had graduations on the day of the Robb Elementary School shooting—recalled quickly leaving work that morning after learning of the shooting in progress. Per Gomez, she was met with Marshals immediately upon arriving at the school.
“Right away as I parked, U.S. Marshals started coming toward my car and saying I wasn’t allowed to be parked there,” she said. “And he said, ‘Well, we’re gonna have to arrest you because you’re being very uncooperative.’ I said, ‘Well, you’re gonna have to arrest me because I’m going in there and I’m telling you right now, I don’t see none of y’all in there. Y’all are standing with snipers and y’all are far away. If y’all don’t go in there, I’m going in there.’ He immediately put me in cuffs.”
Uvalde officers are then said to have told Marshals to uncuff Gomez, at which point she jumped a fence and went to make contact with her children, encountering additional law enforcement pushback in the process. According to Gomez, no officers were inside the school when she ran toward her second son’s class. At the time, she said, gunshots could still be heard.
“The gunshots were still active,” she said, as seen in the video up top. “They were not in there. There was no one in there. If anything, when I pulled up my car was closer to the school than where the snipers and everybody that was laying on the ground were.”
Gomez’s latest comments arrive as more new information is being made public on the shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead last month. In addition to the overarching issue of a still-shifting timeline from local authorities, the latest updates also include word that a door previously claimed to have been left open ahead of the shooting was actually closed.
Travis Considine, who handles communications for the Texas Department of Public Safety, was cited in an Associated Press report this week as having confirmed that a teacher was initially on the phone with 911 to report the shooter having crashed his vehicle in the ditch.
Footage is reported to show the teacher entering the facility using a door that had been propped open using a rock. While the teacher was later on the phone with 911, she noticed the shooter had a weapon, which prompted her to unprop the door and let it close. Thus, the door was closed but not locked. In prior comments to reporters, the department had said the door remained open.
Meanwhile, ABC News shared footage this week in which a person reported to be a 911 dispatcher is heard telling responding officers that children are calling from inside the room and reporting multiple victims had been shot. In short, this is not in line with what was previously claimed, including that the on-site commander had been under the impression the shooter was barricaded alone and not with the children.
As previously reported, Texas Department of Public Safety director Steven McCraw claimed to reporters last week the on-site commander was “convinced” children weren’t in danger at the time. “It was the wrong decision,” McCraw said.
On Thursday, however, Texas state Senator Roland Gutierrez said that the police “commander at the scene,” school district police Chief Pete Arredondo, was “not informed” about the 911 calls emerging from the school.
“I want to know specifically who was receiving the 911 calls. … There was error at every level, including the legislative level,” Gutierrez said in a press conference, deeming the event a “system failure.”
911 calls being placed from inside the school were also discussed by a surviving student in a recent interview with Fox 26 Houston.
“It was really hard because you have to see a bunch of bodies around you and it’s really scary,” Khloe Torres, who says she called 911 multiple times, said.
On Wednesday, KHOU 11 reported that Texas Rangers had been granted the authority to seize and download content off a phone that belonged to the suspect, Salvador Ramos. The device in question, an iPhone 12 Pro Max, had been discovered near Ramos’ body.
Also receiving nationwide attention this week in connection with the Uvalde shooting is the fact that the father of one of the 19 children killed is currently attempting to secure a temporary release so that he can attend his daughter’s funeral. The family’s efforts were given the spotlight on Thursday with an Instagram Stories update from Kim Kardashian, who also tagged a Federal Bureau of Prisons account and asked for the granting of his release request.
“I ask [the Federal Bureau of Prisons] to grant Eli Torres temporary release so that he can say his last goodbye to his baby girl,” Kardashian wrote. “Every parent deserves that right.”