A timeline of how the Texas school massacre -- and the police response -- unfolded
A timeline of how the Texas school massacre -- and the police response -- unfolded
As a broken community tries to make sense of a massacre that took the lives of 19 young children and two teachers, authorities have offered shifting timelines of what happened inside the Uvalde, Texas, school.
On Friday, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw laid out the most detailed breakdown the public has received to date about the horror that unfolded in Robb Elementary School on May 24 -- and attempted to offer some answers about the way authorities responded.
Among the details we know now are: that a school officer drove right past the shooter -- 18-year-old Salvador Ramos -- while Ramos fired at the school; that as many as 19 officers were inside the school more than 45 minutes before the suspect was killed; that the school district police chief decided not to breach the classroom where the shooter was; and that a young girl from the class called 911 several times asking for police while authorities were right outside.
CNN created a timeline of events with information provided by McCraw, social media posts and other reporting that offers a look into what came before the shooting and a minute-by-minute breakdown into the attack -- and how authorities responded to it.
- 10-year-old boy recounts 'horrifying experience'
- She smeared blood on herself and played dead: 11-year-old reveals chilling details of the massacre
- WATCH: Merella Fernandez on families coping with loss in Texas
IN THE MONTHS PRIOR
In September 2021, the shooter asked his sister to help him buy a gun and she "flatly refused," McCraw said.
The shooter was in a group chat on Instagram and in it, there was a February 28 discussion of the suspect being a "school shooter," McCraw said.
On March 1, the shooter had an Instagram chat with several others in which he discussed buying a gun, McCraw said. Two days later, there was another group chat in which someone said, "word on the street" was that the suspect was buying a gun. The shooter replied, "just bought something rn."
On March 14, the shooter wrote in an Instagram post, "10 more days." Another user replied, "'are you going to shoot up a school or something?' The shooter replied, 'no and stop asking dumb questions and you'll see,'" McCraw said.
On May 17 and May 20, the shooter legally purchased two AR platform rifles at a local federal firearms licensee, said Texas state Sen. John Whitmire, who received a briefing from law enforcement.
The shooter also purchased 375 rounds of ammunition on May 18, Whitmire said, citing law enforcement.
State Sen. Roland Gutierrez said the purchases were made for the suspect's 18th birthday.
HE SHOT HIS GRANDMOTHER AND LEFT THE HOUSE
Before going to the school and committing a massacre, the shooter sent a series of chilling text messages to a girl he met online, according to screenshots reviewed by CNN and an interview with the girl.
The teen girl, who lives in Germany, said she began chatting with the shooter on a social media app earlier this month. The shooter told her that on Monday, he received a package of ammunition, she said.
On Tuesday morning, Ramos called her and told her he loved her, she said.
He complained about his grandmother being on the phone with AT&T about "my phone."
"It's annoying," he texted.
Six minutes later, at 11:21 a.m., he texted: "I just shot my grandma in her head."
Seconds later, he said, "Ima go shoot up a(n) elementary school rn (right now)."
SUSPECT BEGAN FIRING OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL
On Tuesday, May 24, at 11:27 a.m.: Video shows an exterior door of Robb Elementary school, which is suspected to be where the shooter entered from, was propped open by a teacher, McCraw said during a Friday news conference.
11:28 a.m.: The shooter's vehicle crashes into a ditch near the school. A teacher runs into a room to get a phone and returns to the exit door, which remains propped open, McCraw said. The suspect jumps out from the passenger side of the truck with a rifle and a bag, which officials later discovered was ammunition, DPS director Victor Escalon said at a Thursday news conference.
Two witnesses meanwhile, who were at a funeral home across the street from the school, hear the crash and go to see what happened. The suspect begins firing at them, McCraw said. Both began running away.
11:30 a.m.: A teacher reemerges in a panic and "apparently" called 911, McCraw said. In a separate statement, the US Marshals Service said it received a call for assistance at 11:30 a.m. from a Uvalde Police Department officer.
11:31 a.m.: The suspect reaches the last row of vehicles at the school parking lot and begins shooting at the school, McCraw said. Patrol vehicles begin to arrive at the funeral home.
There was no school resource officer that confronted the suspect outside the school, as officials had previously described, McCraw said. A school resource officer was not on scene but heard the 911 call about a man with a gun, drove to the area and sped to the back of the school, to a person he thought was the suspect but was a teacher, McCraw said.
"In doing so, (the school resource officer) drove right by the suspect, who was hunkered down behind a vehicle, where he began shooting at the school," McCraw said. Multiple shots were fired by the suspect, he added.
FIRST OFFICERS ENTERED THE SCHOOL MORE THAN ONE HOUR BEFORE SHOOTER WAS KILLED
11:33 a.m.: The shooter enters the school and begins shooting into a classroom, which is connected to a second class. He shot "at least" 100 rounds, McCraw said.
11:35 a.m.: Three Uvalde Police Department officers enter through the same door as the suspect. Another three Uvalde police officers and a county sheriff follow, McCraw said, for a total of seven officers on scene.
The three initial officers went directly to the class door, which was closed, and two received grazing wounds from the shooter, McCraw said.
11:37 a.m.: Another 16 rounds are fired in the following minutes.
11:42 a.m.: A source close to a teacher receives a text saying there was an active shooter on campus. CNN saw the text chain and confirmed the timestamps.
11:43 a.m.: Robb Elementary announces on Facebook it's under a lockdown status "due to gunshots in the area," adding that "the students and staff are safe in the building."
Roughly 11:44 a.m.: Officers are calling for additional resources, equipment, body armor, negotiators and evacuating students and teachers, Escalon said Thursday.
11:51 a.m.: More officers arrive on scene, McCraw said.
12:03 p.m.: Officers continue to arrive in the hallway of the school. "There's as many as 19 officers at that time in that hallway," McCraw said.
12:03 p.m.: A young girl from inside one of the adjoining classrooms calls 911, identifies herself and whispers the classroom she is in. The call lasted a minute and 23 seconds. She calls back several minutes later and says multiple people are dead.
12:10 p.m.: First group of deputy US Marshals arrives on scene to assist "federal, state, and local law enforcement already on scene," the Marshals Service said in its statement.
12:13 p.m.: The girl calls 911 again, McCraw said.
12:15 p.m.: Members of the Border Patrol's tactical unit, BORTAC, arrive on scene, McCraw said.
(When Border Patrol agents began to arrive, the officer in charge of the situation had already made the determination that it was a barricaded subject situation, a source familiar with the situation said. The team then waited, not breaching the classroom where the shooter was holed up -- until nearly 40 minutes later.
McCraw said the person who made that decision was the school district police chief, calling it the "wrong decision," not to engage with the gunman sooner.)
12:17 p.m.: Robb Elementary announces on Facebook that there is an active shooter at the school and authorities are at the scene.
12:16 p.m.: The girl calls 911 again and tells dispatchers there are eight to nine students alive, McCraw said.
12:19 p.m.: Another person calls 911 from one of the two classrooms and hangs up when another student tells her to, McCraw said.
12:21 p.m.: The suspect fires again. He was believed to be at the door, McCraw said.
Law enforcement move down the hallway.
12:21 p.m.: Three shots fired are heard from another 911 call made.
12:36 p.m.: The initial student who called 911 calls again, is told to be very quiet and tells dispatchers "he shot the door,' McCraw said. The call lasted 21 seconds.
12:43 p.m.: The young girl asks dispatchers to "please send the police now."
12:47 p.m.: The student asks for police again, McCraw said. A minute earlier, she had said she could hear the police next door.
12:50 p.m.: Law enforcement breach the locked classroom door using keys from a janitor, McCraw said. They shoot and kill the suspect.
12:51 p.m.: Through the young girl's 911 call, there are loud noises and officers can be heard moving children out of the room, McCraw said. The child goes outside and the call cuts off.
The suspect purchased and had a total of 1,657 total rounds of ammunition, McCraw said -- at least 315 of them were inside the school.
And 142 of those were spent cartridges.
MORE WORLD NEWS
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Two young emergency room doctors, raised and trained in Montreal, are leaving their jobs after only two years to move back to Toronto – and they say the Quebec health-care model and Bill 96 are to blame.
Crown counsel is seeking to revoke the prior order that granted bail for Tamara Lich, an organizer of the 'Freedom Convoy,' and says he will argue for her to be detained.
The gunman who attacked an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago fired more than 70 rounds with an AR-15-style gun that killed at least six people, then evaded initial capture by dressing as a woman and blending into the fleeing crowd, police said Tuesday.
Hours after gunfire interrupted the Highland Park, Illinois, July Fourth parade, killing six people and wounding dozens more, police apprehended the man they believe was responsible.
The Bank of Canada's strategy of rapidly increasing its key interest rate in an effort to tackle skyrocketing inflation will likely trigger a recession, a new study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) says.
Canada became the first country to ratify Finland and Sweden's accession protocols to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday.
As passport processing delays and long lineups persist at Service Canada offices, the federal government is looking to buy 801 chairs for people standing in line by the end of this week.
South Africa's president will attend the funeral Wednesday for the 21 teenagers who died mysteriously at a tavern last month.
Police in Saanich, B.C., are expected to provide an update on the condition of the six officers who sustained gunshot wounds in a robbery and shootout with two men outside a bank last week.
The Canadian soldier charged with speaking against federal vaccine mandates while wearing his uniform and who recently led a march to Ottawa is now facing a court martial. Warrant Officer James Topp's lawyer says the army reservist was recently notified that he will be allowed to have his case heard in a military court instead of by his chain of command.
As Canadian airports continue to experience long lines, cancelled flights and even lost luggage, travel expert Natalie Preddie says there still are ways to ensure a less stressful airport experience.
After more than four months of ferocious fighting, Russia claimed a key victory: full control over one of the two provinces in Ukraine's eastern industrial heartland.
Simple advice from a friend to stay near the door may have saved Yenifer Yulisa Cardona Tomás from the deadly fate that befell 53 other migrants when they were abandoned trapped in a sweltering semi-trailer last week on the edge of San Antonio. The 20-year-old from Guatemala's capital said it was already hot on June 27 when she stepped out of the warehouse on the Texas side of the Mexico border where she had been waiting and climbed into the back of the trailer.
Police in Turkey's capital broke up a LGBTQ Pride march Tuesday and detained dozens of people.
Two of Britain's most senior Cabinet ministers resigned on Tuesday, a move that could spell the end of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's leadership after months of scandals.
With doctor shortages causing emergency rooms around the country to shut down, a northern Ontario hospital is scrambling to stave off the same fate.
Alberta reported three more confirmed cases of monkeypox Monday evening, raising the provincial total to eight adult cases.
A group of prominent women in Canada's tech sector are calling for employers to pay for U.S. staff to travel to get abortions.
A satellite the size of a microwave oven successfully broke free from its orbit around Earth on Monday and is headed toward the moon, the latest step in NASA's plan to land astronauts on the lunar surface again.
An enormous waterlily in London's Royal Botanic Gardens has been discovered to belong to an entirely new species, after 177 years in the gardens' herbarium.
A new study has offered what it says is the first physical evidence showing dinosaurs from the Triassic period regularly endured freezing conditions, allowing them to survive and eventually supersede other species on the planet.
Amber Heard's lawyers have asked a judge to throw out the US$10.35 million verdict against her in the defamation case filed by ex-husband Johnny Depp, arguing that the verdict was not supported by the evidence and that one of the jurors may not have been properly vetted by the court.
During a recent interview, Adele shared that she felt like 'a shell of a person for a couple months' after having to cancel her Las Vegas residency.
R. Kelly is no longer on suicide watch following the jailed R&B singer's sentencing in a federal sex abuse case, prosecutors said in court papers filed on Tuesday.
Canada's main stock index plunged more than 400 points in late-morning trading amid a broad-based decline led by losses in the energy and base metal sectors, while U.S. stock markets also fell.
Even though it may seem years away, saving for retirement is a top priority among 26 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 34, a recent survey from the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan found. However, 79 per cent of respondents in that age group say saving for retirement is prohibitively expensive.
Travellers might not have any control over long lines and cancelled flights, but there are ways to minimize luggage disasters. From tracking devices for your luggage to packing light, here are some tips and tricks for your next trip through the airport.
A few Ontario cities and towns are now offering to pay tourists to encourage them to stay overnight this summer.
A vampire-slaying kit once owned by a British aristocrat sparked an international bidding war before selling for six times its estimated price, according to Hansons Auctioneers.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have promoted Hayley Wickenheiser, Ryan Hardy and Darryl Metcalf to assistant general manager and hired Curtis Sanford as a goaltending coach.
The estimated cost to taxpayers for Toronto to host several 2026 FIFA World Cup games has risen to about $300 million, or at least $60 million per expected game.
Novak Djokovic spotted 10th-seeded Jannik Sinner of Italy that huge lead Tuesday, then worked his way all the way back to pull away and win at Centre Court, earning an 11th semifinal berth at Wimbledon with his 26th consecutive victory at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament.
Lewis Hamilton backs environmental protests, but not their methods as protestors invade British GP track
Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has said he supports the cause of environmentalist group Just Stop Oil, but not some of its methods after group members invaded the track during the British Grand Prix.
A Vancouver Island real estate agent has lost his bid to recover a deposit he made on a new Ford Mustang that he intended to offer as a prize in a year-long contest in 2020.
Tesla's sales from April through June fell to their lowest quarterly level since last fall as supply chain issues and pandemic restrictions in China hobbled production of its electric vehicles.