Police State/Civil Liberties

Desperate onlookers urged police to charge into the school where their children were trapped. Instead, police massed outside the building for 40 minutes and waited.

UVALDE, Texas — Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upward of 40 minutes and ended when a Border Patrol team killed the 18-year-old shooter.

“Go in there! Go in there!” nearby women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who saw the scene from outside his house, across the street from Robb Elementary School in the close-knit town of Uvalde. Carranza said the officers did not go in.

Javier Cazares, whose fourth-grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, said he raced to the school when he heard about the shooting, arriving while police officers massed outside the building.

Upset that the police were not moving in, he raised the idea of charging into the school with several other bystanders.

“Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,” he said. “More could have been done.”

“They were unprepared,” he added.

Minutes earlier, Carranza had watched as the shooter crashed his truck into a ditch outside the school, grabbed his AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle, and shot at two people outside a nearby funeral home who ran away uninjured.

Officials say he “encountered” a school-district security officer outside the school, though authorities had conflicting reports on whether the men exchanged gunfire.

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