Entertainment And News

Uvalde Officer Allegedly Defied Commands By Saving Children While Being Ordered To Stand Down

Photo: Jinitzail Hernandez / Shutterstock / Twitter
Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Khloie Torres

As an investigation into the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School continues, the slow police response is a key question in the minds of Uvalde families.

According to a recent New York Times report, the chief of the small school district police force in Uvalde was on the scene two minutes after Salvador Ramos burst into the two connected classrooms where he shot and killed 19 students, two teachers and wounded 17 others.

Yet, it would take another hour for the gunman to be stopped.

RELATED: Uvalde Survivor Says Classmate Was Shot After Police Ordered Her To 'Yell' While Hiding From Shooter

In the hour that followed, officers gathered around the building and were ordered to stand down rather than immediately confront Ramos, an order that has been the source of outrage ever since news of the shooting broke. 

Instead, it was reportedly a group of officers defying orders who eventually stopped the Robb Elementary School shooting.

A photo has emerged of one of the unnamed officers who helped save Khloie Torres and other classmates after she called 911 during the shooting.

The New York Times compiled interviews with law enforcement officials, children who survived, parents who were witnesses outside to chronicle the moments leading to the shooting’s end, finding many apparent breakdowns in tactical decisions.

But it is reportedly a group of law enforcement officers who went against their superiors who are responsible for bringing the terror inside those classrooms to an end, albeit too late to save everyone.

Officers broke into the classroom after a 911 call from 10-year-old Khloie Torres.

Torres called while the gunman was still in the school and warned 911 dispatchers that one of the two teachers in the room was in urgent need of medical attention.

“There is a lot of bodies,” Torres said on the call at 12:10 p.m, according to a review of a transcript of the call.

RELATED: The Uvalde School Shooter Did Not Act Alone

This was 37 minutes after the gunman fired his first bullet inside the classrooms.

“I don’t want to die, my teacher is dead, my teacher is dead, please send help, send help for my teacher, she is shot but still alive.”

The call lasted around 17 minutes with audible gunfire around 11 minutes into the call.

The officers who eventually breached the classroom were reportedly not a formal tactical team but an ad-hoc gathering of officers who had gathered outside the classroom.

Allegedly, there was no chain of command in this key location in the school.

The group included specially trained Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and a sheriff’s deputy, according to NYT, who decided they were not waiting for permission any longer.

As they approached the classroom with a janitor’s key to unlock the door, one of them heard a command crackling in his earpiece: "Do not breach."

They entered the classroom and killed the gunman, finding the 21 victims and other injured survivors.

Why it took a group willing to defy orders to save these survivors remains under investigation. Reports have also emerged of parents begging officers to enter before being arrested for making these requests.

RELATED: ‘I Hope You Didn’t Feel Any Pain’ — Families Of Uvalde Shooting Victims Share Heartbreaking Tributes Online

Alice Kelly is YourTango’s Deputy News and Entertainment Editor. Based in Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.

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