An off-duty border patrol agent has told how he evacuated children including his own eight-year-old daughter from Robb Elementary School, armed with a shotgun he had grabbed from his barber’s as he left to dash to the site.
Jacob Albarado, a father of three, received a text message from his wife Trisha – a fourth grade math and science teacher at the school – when he was in the barber’s chair.
‘There’s an active shooter,’ she said. ‘Help. I love you.’
Albarado leapt up and grabbed a shotgun the barber lent him, and rushed to the school.
Inside, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a high school dropout and loner who had bought the rifles he used a week before, was murdering 19 children and their two teachers. He was eventually shot dead by one of Albarado’s border patrol colleagues.
Jacob Albarado is pictured with his wife Trisha, a fourth grade teacher at Robb Elementary, and their sons Zachary and Jordan, and eight-year-old Jayda. She and her mother were in the school at the time of the shooting on Tuesday
Albarado, pictured with wife Trisha, said that he led a team evacuating the classrooms
His wife and her class were hiding under tables and behind curtains; his daughter was locked in a bathroom.
Albarado was at the barber’s on his day off for a haircut when his wife messaged him
Albarado told The New York Times that, on arriving at the school, a tactical group was forming to take on the gunman, barricaded in another fourth grade class.
Albarado then led his colleagues to evacuate as many children and teachers as possible, including his own daughter.
‘I’m looking for my daughter, but I also know what wing she’s in,’ he said.
‘So I start clearing all the classes in her wing.’
Two officers provided cover, with their guns drawn, he said.
Two others guided the children and their teachers out on the sidewalk, many of whom emerged screaming.
‘They were just all hysterical, of course,’ he said.
He said he hugged Jayda, then kept moving the other children along.
‘I did what I was trained to do,’ Albarado said.
The Albarados have lived in Texas for generations: Jacob’s father Oscar ‘Shotgun’ Albarado, who died last year aged 72, was a world champion boxer and a Uvalde legend
Oscar ‘Shotgun’ Albarado is pictured (left) in Japan in 1974, winning his world championship fight
Oscar Albarado, father of Jacob Albarado, died last year at the age of 72
Albarado’s father Oscar ‘Shotgun’ Albarado, who died last year aged 72, was a world champion boxer, winning the title in 1974 in the Junior Middleweight division following a match in Tokyo.
On Wednesday, Jacob Albarado wrote on Facebook that schools needed more armed guards.
‘As I’m putting my daughter to sleep, she tells me her team mates sister passed away today and it was her friend also,’ he wrote.
‘I’m so angry, saddened and grateful all at once.
‘Only time will heal their pain and hopefully changes will be made at all schools in the U.S. and teachers will be trained & allowed to carry in order to protect themselves and students.’
Uvalde police are facing new criticism over first-hand accounts and videos showing them handcuffing and restraining frantic parents, who were urging them to storm the Robb Elementary school building on Tuesday.
‘The police were doing nothing,’ Angeli Rose Gomez told the Wall Street Journal.
‘They were just standing outside the fence. They weren’t going in there or running anywhere.’
Gomez has two children in second and third grade and she said she drove 40 miles to the school after hearing of the attack.
She was one of the desperate parents who encouraged police with increasing urgency to enter the school.
Eventually, federal marshals put Gomez in handcuffs and told her she was under arrest for intervening in an active investigation, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Angeli Gomez (above) jumped the school fence and ran inside the school where she rescued her children herself
The girl explained she wasn’t hurt and the blood was from her best friend ‘Amerie.’ It was then that Angel Garza (above) realized the blood he was looking at came from his own daughter
Gomez said she was able to convince a Uvalde officer whom she knew to have the marshal free her and she took the opportunity to move away from the crowd, jump the school fence, and ran inside the school where she rescued her children herself.
She said that other parents also trying to get to their kids were tackled and even pepper-sprayed by police.
Angel Garza, whose daughter was killed, was handcuffed after trying to run into the school when he heard that a ‘girl called Amerie’ had been shot.
Garza later told his heartbreaking story to Anderson Cooper.
He explained that when he arrived on the scene he tried to help a young girl covered in blood, because he is a trained medic.
The girl explained she wasn’t hurt and the blood was from her best friend ‘Amerie.’
It was then that Angel realized the blood he was looking at came from his own daughter.
He later found out that she was among those who died.
Gomez (above) has two children in second and third grade and she reportedly drove 40 miles to the school after hearing of the attack.
Video shows Texas cops holding down a parent outside Robb Elementary School on Tuesday while a shooting unfolded inside
Javier Cazares’ fourth grade daughter Jacklyn Cazares was also killed in the attack.
Cazares told the Associated Press that he raced to the school when he heard about the shooting, arriving while police were still gathered outside the building.
Upset that 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.
One shocking video shows officers holding some parents back as they tried to get inside.
The footage shows a parent being pinned to the ground by an officer, while another carrying a taser stands guard nearby.
Other footages shows parents begging the cops: ‘What are you doing!? Get inside the building!’
Another woman could be heard to say ‘They’re trapped inside’ as howls of pained anguish rang out in the background.
It was unclear at what time the footage was shot.
Desperate parents gathered outside Robb Elementary School urging heavily armed officers to charge into the school and stop the gunman
During a press conference on Thursday, Victor Escalon of the Texas Department of Public Safety, addressed the parents’ claims that they were restrained from helping their children.
Cazares, whose daughter Jacklyn Cazares (above) was killed, told the Associated Press that police were gathered outside the building.
‘I have heard that information, but we have not verified that,’ Escalon said, adding that there were officers from all over at the scene and that he would interview them to find out what happened.
Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw told reporters that 40 minutes to an hour elapsed from when Ramos opened fire on the school security officer to when the tactical team shot him, though a department spokesman said later that they could not give a solid estimate of how long the gunman was in the school or when he was killed.
‘The bottom line is law enforcement was there,’ McCraw said.
‘They did engage immediately. They did contain (Ramos) in the classroom.’
Meanwhile, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said the Border Patrol agents had trouble breaching the classroom door and had to get a staff member to open the room with a key.
Cazares said the officers should have entered the school sooner.
‘There were more of them. There was just one of him,’ he said.
The footage shows a police officer with a taser standing guard nearby as parents urged Uvalde police to enter elementary school
Questions remain over why it took police so long to get into the classroom where the kids were trapped with the gunman.
Derek Sotelo, 26, who works in a tire shop nearby, said parents were begging to be let into the school.
‘They were just angry, especially the dads. We were wondering, ‘What the heck is going on? Are they going in?’ ‘The dads were saying, ‘Give me the vest, I’ll go in there!’
Juan Carranza, whose house is located across the street from the school, said he witnessed nearby women shouting at officers: ‘Go in there! Go in there!’ soon after the attack began.
Carranza said the officers never did end up going inside.
Timeline of a massacre: How events unfolded in Uvalde, Texas
11:32am: A mass casualty incident – later discovered to be the shooting – takes place at Robb Elementary School. The school reports it is locked down because of ‘gunshots in the area.’
12.17pm: The school posts a message on social media writing: ‘There is an active shooter at Robb Elementary.’
12.38pm: A reunification site is set up at the Willie DeLeon Civic Center.
1.06pm: The Uvalde Police Department reports the suspect is ‘in police custody.’
2.47pm: Uvalde Memorial Hospital posts an update to Facebook that said it had received ’13 children via ambulance or buses for treatment. Two children have been transferred to San Antonio, and one child is pending transfer. Two individual that arrived at UMH were deceased.’
3pm: Gov. Greg Abbott identifies the suspect as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, saying he abandoned his vehicle and entered the school with a handgun and possibly a rifle. He then confirms that at least 14 students and one teacher were killed.
3:56pm: University Health San Antonio says a 66-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl are both in critical condition.
4.17pm: Uvalde police confirm the suspected shooter is dead and he is believed to have acted alone.
6.06pm: Vice President Kamala Harris addresses the shooting, calling for ‘reasonable and sensible public policy to ensure something like this never happens again.’
6.25pm: The number of children killed in the massacre jumps to 18 as authorities confirm that the shooter was killed and the shooter’s grandmother is in critical condition.
6.55pm: It is confirmed that the shooter bought two long guns on his 18th birthday.
7.12pm: Chris Olivarez, with the Texas Department of Public Safety, confirms the shooter was swearing body armor and used a long rifle in the shooting.
7.13pm: Fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles is confirmed to be one of the victims.
7.43pm: President Joe Biden gives televised remarks on the shooting, asking the nation to pray for the victims and their families and saying the nation has to ask: ‘When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?’
He demanded Congress act on ‘common-sense gun laws’
7.50pm: It is confirmed that an agent with the Border Patrol Tactical Unit, a specialized unit within the US Border Patrol, shot and killed Salvador Ramos.
8.57pm: Death toll increases to 19 children and two teachers killed in the attack.