Uvalde’s mother says police harass her after saving children from shooting – National

A mother who bravely entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas to save her children says she is now being harassed by local police officers.

Angeli Rose Gomez told San Antonio News 4 that she took matters into her own hands during last month’s school massacre that left 19 children and two adults dead.

Gomez said she rushed to the school when she heard there was an active gunman on the property. She could hear gunshots and children’s screams as she faced police officers standing outside the school doors. Officers told her she could not enter the school and handcuffed her briefly when she tried to enter the school.

After convincing her that she would calm down, they released her from the handcuffs, she said.

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Then she saw an opportunity. She told the news outlet she jumped a nearby fence and started banging on a door window, signaling to her eldest son’s teacher, who she could see at school.

Gomez told her, “You already have a gate out so you might as well just come out. As if I’m going out with him, just come with me.”

Once inside the building, she was able to pick up her eldest son and some of his classmates and escort them out of school. Then she went back to the door of her youngest son’s classroom.

A woman lights a candle at a makeshift memorial in front of the Uvalde County Courthouse on May 26, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. – Texas police faced angry questions about why it took an hour to neutralize the gunman who murdered 19 young children and two teachers in Uvalde on May 26, 2022, when video surfaced of desperate parents begging officers to storm the school.

Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

“In that moment, I’m shaking the handle and I’m going pretty crazy like I’m trying to get the door open and it won’t open, so I step back and the cops are already behind me and they’re like, ‘Ma’ bin, calm down! ‘” she told KATU News.

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She said she told police she would not leave the hallway until they began evacuating the classroom.

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“They immediately start evacuating the classroom and my son runs up to me and says, ‘Mom, Mom!'”

Since the harrowing incident, her lawyer says, Gomez has been the target of harassment and hostility from some Uvalde Force officers.

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“As far as we know, there are two clear cases,” Mark Di Carlo told HuffPost, saying his client was recently stopped at a traffic stop and falsely accused of having illegal immigrants in her car. Di Carlo says police also parked in front of her house for 45 minutes and threw their car lights at her and her mother as they went for a walk.

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Uvalde’s officers have been widely criticized for their behavior on the day of the shooting. Texas Public Safety Chief Steve McCraw said officers waited more than 70 minutes before storming the school and killing the gunman – something he described as a “pathetic failure”.

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“Three minutes after the subject entered the West Building, there were a sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract and neutralize the subject,” McCraw said during a Texas Senate committee hearing last week, instructing one Much of the blame on the school District Police Commissioner Pete Arredondo.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw speaks during a press conference held in front of Robb Elementary School on Friday, May 27, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.

The Associated Press

“The officers had guns, the children didn’t. The officers wore body armor, the children didn’t. Officers had training, subject had none,” McCraw said.

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“One hour, 14 minutes and eight seconds – that’s how long the children and teachers in Room 111 waited to be rescued.”

The May 24 attack on Robb Elementary School is the deadliest school shooting in the United States in nearly a decade, and for three days police offered a confusing and sometimes conflicting timeline that evoked public anger and frustration.

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Authorities now admit that students and teachers have repeatedly called 911 operators for help, while the police chief asked more than a dozen officers to wait in a hallway. Officials said he believed the suspect was barricaded in adjacent classrooms and that there was no longer an active attack.

The chief’s decision – and officers’ apparent willingness to follow his orders in defiance of established active shooter protocols – raised questions about whether more lives were lost because officers failed to act faster to stop the shooter, and who should be held responsible.

Di Carlo told HuffPost he wrote to Uvalde Police about what happened but received no response. Police have not commented publicly on Gomez’s allegations.

A mourner stops to pay their respects at a memorial at Robb Elementary School, which was killed in honor of victims of the recent school shooting June 9, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.

Eric Gay/The Associated Press

An emotional Gomez told CBS News she believes officials’ delayed response had cost the lives of innocent children.

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“They could have saved a lot more lives,” Gomez said in an interview earlier this month. “They could have gone into the classroom and maybe two or three would have gone, but they could have saved the whole, even the whole class. They could have done something – walked through the window, grabbed him through the window. Something but nothing was done.”

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Last week, Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Hal Harrell confirmed Arredondo was placed on administrative leave, citing unanswered questions about what happened that day.

“From the beginning of this horrific event, I communicated that the district would wait until the investigation was complete before making any personnel decisions,” Harrell said. “Due to the remaining uncertainty and the unknown timing of when I will receive the results of the investigation, I have made the decision to place Chief Arredondo on administrative leave effective as of that date.”

With files from Kathryn Mannie of Global News

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

https://globalnews.ca/news/8957137/uvalde-school-shooting-police-harassment/ Uvalde’s mother says police harass her after saving children from shooting – National


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