As the controversy over the police response time during the Ovaldi, Texas shooting escalates, the first testimonies from the surviving children are beginning to emerge.
On the eve of President Joe Biden’s visit, the first testimonies emerged from children who survived the Yuvaldi massacre on Saturday, describing the horror at this Texas school where a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers.
The day before, Texas authorities took responsibility, admitting that the police had made a “bad decision” not to enter the building quickly.
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It took the police about an hour on Tuesday to put an end to the massacre, despite numerous calls from children to intervene. The 19 agents present at the scene were waiting for the intervention of a specialized unit of the border police.
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Inside, children were locked up with the shooter, barely 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.
Upon entering the room, the latter shuts the door, telling the children, “You’re all going to die,” before the shooting, one of the survivors, Samuel Salinas, 10, told ABC Friday.
“I think he was shooting at me,” the child testified, but a chair between him and the shooter blocked the shot.
In the bloodied room, Samuel Salinas tried to “play dead” so he wouldn’t be targeted by bullets.
Miah Cerrillo, 11, tried to escape the attention of Salvador Ramos in the same way. The girl covered herself in the blood of her companion, whose body was next to her, she explained to CNN, in unrefined testimony.
She had just seen a teenager kill his teacher after saying “Goodnight”.
Another student, Daniel, told the Washington Post that while the victims waited for the police to arrive to rescue them, no one screamed.
I was scared and exhausted because the bullets almost hit me.”
Her teacher, who was wounded in the attack but survived, told the students to “keep calm” and “stay still”.
One child, also hit by a bullet, had kindly asked her teacher to call the police, saying she was “bleeding a lot,” said Daniel, who can no longer sleep alone and has nightmares.
Her mother, Briana Ruiz, said the children who survived are “traumatized, and will have to live with her their whole lives”.
Samuel Salinas also said he had nightmares in which he saw the shooter. The thought of going back to school, or even seeing your classmates, is still scary.
“I’m not in a hurry,” he asserted, adding that he wanted to “stay home” and “rest.”
Law enforcement thinks ‘there may be no more survivors’
These testimonies only added to the controversy over the police response.
Pressured by reporters to explain their much-criticized response time, Stephen McCro, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said law enforcement believed there “might be no other survivors.”
However, police received numerous calls from several people in the two affected classrooms, including one from a child at 12:16 p.m., more than half an hour before the police intervened at 12:50 p.m., warning that “eight to Nine students said makro.
The President of the United States and his wife, Jill Biden, are heading to Yuvaldi, Sunday, to “share in mourning” for the residents of this small town who suffered one of the worst gun massacres in recent years in the country.
The shooting, which the American press called “the new Sandy Hook,” in reference to the horrific massacre that took place at an elementary school in Connecticut in 2012, awakened American shockers.
The faces of the very young victims, ages 9 to 11, have been repeatedly broadcast on television, and the testimonies of their devastated relatives have moved the country, re-launching a wave of calls for better gun regulation.
The Democratic president, who has regularly denounced the “epidemic” of gun violence, has so far failed to pass major legislation on gun control.