A press conference held by the Texas Department of Public Safety on Thursday afternoon left the country with more questions than answers as another timeline of events was offered by Texas DPS' Regional Director Victor Escalon.
According to Thursday's briefing, the shooter wrecked in his vehicle at 11:28 a.m. local time after he shot his grandmother in the face and fled her home in a truck. The shooter then exited the vehicle on the passenger side while carrying a rifle and a bag of ammunition, according to witnesses. Authorities said that the shooter saw two witnesses of his crash across the street near a funeral home, at which point the shooter fired at them.
The shooter then proceeded to walk toward Robb Elementary School and climbed over a fence on the school property to access the school's parking lot. As he approached the school, the shooter reportedly fired "multiple times" at the building before walking into a west entrance of Robb Elementary at 11:40 a.m. and began discharging his weapon once inside.
According to DPS, the shooter entered the school "unobstructed" and he was not confronted by anybody. Escalon also said that earlier accounts that said a school district police officer had confronted the shooter before he made entry was "not accurate."
Texas official: Shooter "walked in unobstructed initially."— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 26, 2022
"He was not confronted by anybody." pic.twitter.com/sojKJPk3bc
When asked a followup on how the shooter was able to enter the school, Escalon said they are still unsure whether the door the shooter used to gain access was locked or unlocked, but that it "appears it was unlocked" and was something that would be investigated further by authorities. "It takes time, we will find out as much as we can- why it was unlocked or maybe it was locked," he said.
Texas official on the door the shooter entered through:— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 26, 2022
"It appears it was unlocked...we will find out as much as we can why it was unlocked, or maybe it was locked, but right now it appears it was unlocked." pic.twitter.com/qyKiWN4cVV
According to DPS, it was only four minutes later, at 11:44 a.m., that local police officers from the city and the school district were inside the building. The shooter reportedly fired at the police officers, at which point they moved back to get cover, a time in which Escalon said the shooter walked through the school's hallways and entered a classroom with an open door. Officers simultaneously called for additional resources and backup from other law enforcement agencies in the area while they began to evacuate students and teachers.
Without mentioning anything in the intervening time period, Escalon said that *one hour later* United States Border Patrol tactical teams arrived, made entry, and shot and killed the suspect.
A Texas official details what happens between the time that the shooter entered the school, and how long it took until the shooter was killed. pic.twitter.com/fJbQKv31Pv— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 26, 2022
The obvious question now becomes what was going on between local law enforcement and the shooter in the hour that passed between local authorities' entry and the Border Patrol agents' eventual arrival when an elite BORTAC agent reportedly put down the shooter.
REPORTER: "What were the officers doing between 11:44 and 12:44...?"— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 26, 2022
"We've been given a lot of bad information, so why don't you clear all of this up and explain to us how it is that your officers were in there for an hour...but yet no one was able to get inside...?" pic.twitter.com/ZFhYmTbpDp
As Guy pointed out, Thursday's press conference was the opposite of helpful as Texas DPS contradicted accounts that had been provided by other authorities in preceding days.
This press conference was worse than doing nothing. Suspicions will deepen.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) May 26, 2022
The briefing also did nothing to explain what happened during the hour between law enforcement first making contact with the shooter and when Border Patrol personnel arrived and took down the shooter. Escalon did say more updates would be forthcoming, but didn't say specifically when additional answers on what was going on inside the school for an hour would be provided.