Arriving parents could still clearly hear the sound of high speed gunfire inside the classroom where their children were dying. Police seemed perfectly capable of being aggressive … to the parents, not the shooter.
A police spokesperson reported that the shooter “barricaded” himself in the classroom. Which appears to mean that he stepped inside and locked the door. Then he began executing children and teachers.
Before going into the classroom, the shooter exchanged gunfire with two police officers, injuring them. He also had an “encounter” with a school safety officer, though it’s not clear any shooting was involved. Then the shooter stepped into a classroom, locked the door behind him, and began killing kids. And the police waited outside.
There may be no better way to sum it up than the statement from the director of public works.
“The bottom line is law enforcement was there,” McCraw said. “They did engage immediately. They did contain (Ramos) in the classroom.”
That’s accurate. They were there from the beginning, but they didn’t stop the shooter. After that first exchange, they stopped attempting to stop him. They “contained” him in the classroom. With the children. And the teacher.
About “40 minutes to an hour” later, a tactical team from the Border Patrol arrived, found the door still locked, and took extraordinary action: They asked another school staff member for a key. Then they unlocked the door and went in.
For everyone claiming that “more armed officers” at schools is the solution, a reminder that this is far from the first time children have died while police stood by. At the Parkland, Florida, shooting in 2018, a police officer on scene was charged with negligence after hiding rather than confronting the shooter in a mass murder that left 17 people dead.